How to Ship Perishable Foods

Posted by Port City Logistics on Dec 19, 2019 1:26:02 PM


With the recent rise of meal subscription boxes, shipping food has evolved over the last few years. Though shipping food may seem like a seamless task, the process can be difficult and error prone if not properly researched or led by an expert. As the holiday season continues, the logistics industry expects a rise in food shipping. On a small scale, you may send cookies from a local bakery, grandma’s famous cake to your kids, or even seafood bought from your trip in the Florida Keys. On a much larger scale, you may run a bakery or restaurant that is in high demand. Whatever the reason, you want to guarantee freshness to whoever may be receiving your shipment. To make sure your family gets their food the right way, follow these tips to guarantee fresh food.

What’s Considered Perishable?

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a perishable is any item that can deteriorate over a given period of time when exposed to environmental conditions. Temperature and humidity play large roles in how long these items can last, especially in areas that consistently stay hot and humid. Perishable shipments can include (but are not limited to) seafood, dairy, meat, vegetables, or baked goods. If not properly stored and shipped, these items can quickly spoil and leave your recipient disappointed. For a full list of specifications, see this USDA approved list on mail order food safety. 

Correct Packaging is a Must

Bad packaging can ruin any product, but with perishables it can mean frustrated customers and disappointed family members. Imagine this scenario: you run a local bakery with a high volume of baked goods during the holiday season. Whether it’s cookies, cakes, or anything else you may imagine, you want to guarantee your items arrive fresh and undamaged to your customers.

To do so, it’s imperative to use protective packaging and airtight wraps. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your product is before it ships, but rather how great it is once it arrives at its final destination. A few precautions are necessary to guarantee a quality product. First, any cake or baked goods must be wrapped tightly in an airtight wrap to keep it as fresh as possible. Retaining taste is a priority in most cases. Next, to keep your baked goods protected from harm, it’s necessary to package them in a protective container. Cake tins, cases, or holders all can achieve this goal, but additional layers of protection are needed as well. These will also help the cakes keep their proper shape while in transit. 

Keep it Tight

Depending on the size of the item, there may be a chance that your product can bounce while in transit to its destination. If a product is in a large box with plenty of room to move, every bump in the road can cause potential damage. However, if packaged with bubble wrap or airbags, the likelihood of road hazard damage is dramatically decreased.

The same tactic can be applied to insulating materials. If surrounded by thick walls and cold insulation, a product is likely to stay at a proper temperature for an extended period of time. For a visual representation of how insulated or padded shipping boxes can protect your items, refer to this guide from FedEx. As you can see, each layer provides either an additional layer of insulation or protection. Though it may not seem like much, each layer benefits the shipment’s chances of reaching its destination in perfect condition.

Specialized watertight and airtight containers can prevent frustrated customers. No customer enjoys soggy boxes, so taking the proper steps for watertight and airtight shipments is necessary when shipping food items like seafood or dairy. Though these two perishables beckon for different precautions than baked goods, understanding proper packaging benefits your business in multiple ways. For these items, plastic sealed protection is necessary.

Skip the Stress

If these steps seem difficult or hard to manage for your style of business, using a 3PL company like Port City Logistics may be beneficial for you. Partnering with an expert shipping company can lift the burden off of your business and let you get back to doing what your business loves.

For more information on how Port City Logistics can revolutionize your shipping, please refer to our 3PL guide on the right or contact us with any questions you may have with the form below. With 2020 quickly approaching, Port City can amplify your business’s logistical volume to new heights.



Topics: Third Party Logistics (3PL)