Since September 2018, transportation shipping companies that deliver food items meant for animal or human consumption must comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) food transportation rules reform. The Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule expands upon the foundation set by the Food Safety Modernization Act established in 2011.
Therefore, it is critical that trucking companies understand the unique needs of these laws no matter which state that they conduct business. As 2020 enters the short-run time horizon, it is beneficial for you to evaluate your current practices so you can go into the new year the right way.
At Opus9, we follow food transportation regulations carefully to ensure that our clients and partners can work together seamlessly and deliver shipments safely. Here are the top 11 best practices for refrigerated freight that matter most to shipping and logistics professionals:
1. Work with the Right Shipping Partner
The shipping partner you choose with have a significant impact on your day-to-day operations. Since there is so much at stake, it is critical that you work with a company that aligns with your needs. Choose a team that understands the unique needs of refrigerated shipping.
2. Transport Items According to Their Needs
It is likely that you ship products that do not need to be refrigerated. While we are not going to state the obvious that keeping them separate is critical, we will assert that you should plan your routes according to the needs of your shipments. Perishables need to move faster than electronics as an example.
3. Pinpoint the Correct Temperature Settings
Before setting the temperate, check with the Bill of Lading (BOL) to ensure that your deliveries are aligned with the customers' specifications. Ask questions first if you notice any discrepancies in directives.
4. Load Shipments Quickly
Due to the sensitive nature of biological breakdown, tightening up the process of loading deliveries is essential to the health and safety of consumers. Mitigate the amount of non-refrigerated time that the products must endure.
5. Inspect Your Refrigeration Equipment for Every Load
It is negligent to not inspect your refrigeration equipment at regular intervals. However, you should actually be performing this function before, during, and after every truckload. Modern technology has developed far along enough to show signs of mechanical failure before it occurs.
6. Monitor the Shipment Along the Route
Since your drivers are responsible for the safety and security of freight, paying attention to the temperature control monitoring systems of your reefer is critical to ensure the well-being of everyone involved. Continuous monitoring of perishables is a cornerstone of refrigerated shipping best practices.
7. Planning Ahead Can Make a Huge Difference
Refrigerated items are more expensive to transport than non-refrigerated ones. It is for this reason that planning ahead is critical to driving your bottom-line. In your search for the best deal, confirm with your shipping partner their costs, fees, and stop charges. Doing so can avoid a headache later down the road.
8. Unload Shipments Quickly
Like loading, unloading temperature control perishables is vital to shore up as well. You can leave your reefer units running during this process to prevent further exposure and biological breakdown.
9. Understanding How to Use Continuous Cooling
Continuous cooling is a function reserved for deliveries that involved fresh products, like flowers, vegetables, and fruits. The ripening and blooming process of these goods creates heat and moisture, which requires continuous cooling and proper airflow to remain in good condition.
10. Properly Label Your Packaging and Pallets
Temperature controlled goods are shipped in a reefer. Adequately labeling your packaging and pallets will ensure that your deliveries arrive in good condition and to the customers’ expectations. Check the bill of lading for more information regarding temperature range at which your transport must be kept. It is a good practice to label your shipping documents with these numbers.
11. Evaluate Your Shipment for Proper Packaging
The packaging is what protects shipments from sustaining damage while in transit. Check to ensure that your packaging is secure, crush-proof, and utilizes proper venting requirements if necessary. Doing so can only stand to ensure that you are in compliance with relevant state and federal laws.
Modern Solutions for Modern Problems
Delivering freight that requires refrigeration signals a need for using shipping and delivery solutions that are compliant with the laws of the industry. Ultimately, bills are passed to ensure the safety and happiness to which everyone has a legal right. Make sure that you are following suit by adopting the preceding list of best practices for refrigerated and temperature control freight when delivering perishables.
Opus9 is a professional third-party logistics (3PL) provider that is committed to providing the best solutions and competitive rates for moving your refrigerated freight across the continental United States. Get your free refrigerated freight quote today!