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Key Considerations for Transporting Perishable Goods

It can be challenging in transporting goods, particularly when handling sensitive items like perishables. This is critical for maintaining the global food supply chain, ensuring that goods arrive at their destinations on time and in good condition.This article aims to highlight the considerations for transporting perishable goods. It involves implementing of cold chain logistics for the best condition throughout the supply chain process. The proper handling, packaging, and handling inventory for perishable products are essential for safe delivery while preserving quality condition to its consumers.It is important to follow rules and regulations while transporting goods to ensure supplies maintain in top condition and safety assurance. Transportation management is not simple when it comes to choose transportation method and calculate the cost of supply chain procedures. However, it is essential for preserving the global food supply chain, ensuring that goods are handled in excellent state.

Temperature Control

There are certain perishable goods for instance chilled meat that is highly sensitive to temperature changes. A small temperature difference while being transported can cause issues such as bacteria development, quick spoilage, loss in colour and flavour.The practice of cold chain logistics enables the supply chain to move perishable or temperature-sensitive cargo without compromising it. A good cold chain operation requires the use of thermal, refrigerated packaging techniques along with strategic logistical planning. The capabilities of cold chain operations have recently improved dramatically, enabling them to meet the needs of a wide variety of products. A few products required detailed maintenance temperature to keep perishable goods in optimal condition throughout logistics process. The cold chain industry typically utilizes this temperature standards in their system to accommodate perishables. These temperature settings are as follows: “Deep-Frozen” at -29°C, “Frozen” at -18°C, “Chill” at 2°C, and “Banana” at 13°C. It is vital to maintain these settings for the integrity of shipments and ensuring that perishable goods have an optimal shelf life.

Compliance with Guidelines and Regulations

The transportation of perishable goods requires a set of required documentations and regulations that need to adhere by law. There are guidelines that cover import and export goods from food product classification, relevant food legislation to labelling requirements. In Singapore, only SFA-licensed or registered traders are permitted to import food and beverage for commercial sale. The inspection and sampling of imported perishables for food safety may take place as the sale of unsafe goods are not permitted. It is also important to follow the standards made by IATA on Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR) if shippers are using by air freight. Shippers mustcomply with these regulations to ensure a smooth transportation process. It is required to have accurate and complete documentation including permits, invoices, and health certificates for customs clearance to avoid logistical difficulties.

Supply Chain Cost

This is also known as logistics cost, which is one of the key aspects of transporting goods. One of the costs will be transporting cost as these expenses are directly related to the actual transportation of goods between locations. The factors on expenses will be labour cost, fuel, vehicle maintenance, tolls and any other fees levied by the transportation companies. These costs are needed to transport cargo goods so proper data analysis to calculate the ideal and cost-effective approach.There are several technologies such as the Transportation Management System (TMS) or the Fleet Management Software (FMS) to increase cost effectiveness. It is a software for tracking and organizing the movements of materials and goods. It also aids companies and suppliers in managing their logistics procedure plus a communication channel between the fleet and the operator.

Packaging and Packing

In the shipping industry, packing is a procedure used to pack and safeguard goods in a container. It involves preparing goods for delivery by a person or a machine. The process of getting items ready to be wrapped, shipped, or transported in another way is known as packaging. This is to ensure that perishables are packaged properly contributes to preserving their quality and freshness during transportation. When shipping perishable goods, several factors need to be considered, such as handling procedures, packing materials, labelling, and temperature control protocols.The proper temperature for the products can be maintained with the use of insulated containers or cooling trucks. The cargo quality is guaranteed by the temperature range that these containers are made to maintain. Furthermore, additional insulation for chilled or frozen goods can be added using packaging materials like dry ice or gel packs. Logistics companies can ensure that perishable goods stay fresh during their journey by adhering to appropriate packaging standards.

Inventory Management

The aspects of proper inventory management including effective inventory management, shelf-life control, and quality regulation are essential in the food and beverage sector. FIFO (First-In-First-Out) and FEFO (First-Expired-First-Out) are two strategies that are used to achieve these goals. These guidelines are crucial to preventing the accumulation of outdated goods and guaranteeing that customers receive new products. This procedure keeps expired goods off store shelves, which not only preserves product quality but also cuts waste. Strict quality control procedures increase customer satisfaction and safety even more. This extensive strategy raises customer satisfaction and safety standards while ensuring the quality of the perishable. These inventory management techniques reduce operating costs, encourage accountability, and effectively utilize resources.


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Carlson Kueh Boon Leong
Carlson Kueh Boon Leong
Carlson Kueh has substantive years of experience in the food and beverage industry, from restaurants to hotels. He holds a bachelor's degree in hospitality & Tourism and is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Carlson completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM)on December 2023 at SIPMM Institute.
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