Shipping Seasonal Freight - the problems, the solutions

Posted by Harriet Mills on Mar 30, 2016 2:39:12 PM

How to overcome the challenges of shipping refrigerated produce and nursery freight

Produce and nursery items appear in our stores every single day, and it’s easy to take them for granted. Successfully bringing these items to market, however, is dependent on refrigerated transportation, making it one of the industry's larger challenges.

Today we’re going to look at what it takes to keep that fruit fresh and those plants perfect so you can understand how the right transportation partner can make all the difference.

The problems with produce and what can be done to overcome them

vegetables-and-fruitsAsk anyone in the food or logistics industry and they'll know all about the potential for pitfalls when shipping produce. For starters, it spoils. The weather is always a factor and the nature of the product means you can’t plan for a scripted Monday-Friday pickup and delivery. Throw in the extra government regulation that accompanies food, especially refrigerated food, and you have a beloved good with a whole host of challenges.

So how do you overcome them?

Conquering the challenges of refrigerated logistics requires clear communication and the latest technology. At Choptank Transport our team is constantly monitoring every shipment we manage to make sure cargo temperature never rises above or below the safety zone. And if a concern arises, our team can contact the driver immediately so they can pull over and rectify the problem before any product is damaged. This ensures a product remains safe from the farm field to the store shelf, with as little waste as possible.

Nurturing those nursery items

Nursery items pose some of the same challenges we find with produce when it comes to transportation, but there are a few unique considerations as well. Having the right transportation provider becomes even more important. When Choptank Transport handles a nursery order, we make sure the truck has the necessary E-tracks — metal channels that run down the inside walls of a trailer that ratcheting straps can be attached to in order to secure the carts.

We’re also mindful of how a trailer’s metal roof can potentially damage plant and tree tops on the hottest days. That’s why we always make sure there are barriers or sufficient insulation is in place to block the heat of the sun.  And in special instances we use vehicles with fiberglass roofs to help control the temperature.

Lastly, never discount the importance of a well-trained driver when delivering nursery or produce items. We have different procedures in place for all types of freight that help the driver assure a successful delivery. Our drivers are our most important asset for your most important shipment.


And then there is the issue of capacity, but that is a topic for another blog.

To learn more about Choptank Transport's refrigerated shipping solutions for produce and nursery items, contact us today.

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