Refrigerated transport is an instant solution for farmers and business people that need to transport perishable products such as meats and produce. The article below discusses the various considerations to make when using refrigerated transport.
Work With a Reputable Company
Conduct some internet research to determine the reputation of the refrigerated transport companies in your locality. Some of your concerns should include:
- Does the company have a responsive customer service department? You want a company that provides 24/7 customer support and regular updates on the condition of your goods.
- What kind of liability does the company accept? Work with a company that insures customer goods.
- What is the company's specialisation?
- What services does the company provide? For instance, if you intend to export the products, you may need climate-controlled warehouses.
- The company's services should be reasonably priced. Inquire about extra charges and check the conditions of the contract.
Choose a Suitable Reefer
Check the temperature range of the reefer that will transport your goods. Some reefers will keep goods chilled while others will freeze the product. What is the size of the reefer? When transporting a small number of products, look for a partitioned reefer. The reefer should have sufficient insulation on the walls, floor and doors to prevent loss of temperature. For long-distance transport, choose a reefer that has a standby generator that will keep the refrigeration unit running when the truck's engine is off.
Ask for the truck's service records and inspection records to ascertain its mechanical condition. Avoid old vehicles that may break down along the road.
Preparing Goods for Transport
Pathogens in damaged and rotten farm products will infect healthy products during transport. As such, always inspect the load to remove unhealthy produce. Do not load hot products onto the reefer. The container should be sanitised with hot water or disinfectants. The packaging method should minimise product damage and ensure adequate circulation of air. Besides, the refrigerated container should be pre-cooled before loading the products.
Cold Chain Management
Evaluate the company's cold chain management practices. For instance, they should keep documents indicating the product's loading temperature and the transport chain temperatures. The records will help resolve conflict if the products go bad before reaching their destination. Some companies use advanced technology that allows them to remotely adjust reefer temperatures during transport. The system will also give warnings if the set temperature is out of range.
When considering refrigerated transport, work with a reputable company, choose a suitable reefer, prepare goods for transport and examine the company's cold chain management strategies.