Food, something that brings everyone together. We all need it, buy it and cook it (to some extent at least). If you have a business that specialises in produce, having to ship it to a location that is outside of your area will be a part of your company’s role; if not now then in the future. If you have large shipments going out the most efficient way of sending the products is via a pallet courier. But how do you proceed in packaging your goods to ensure they arrive in mint condition?
If your products spoil if not kept cool, or if you just want produce to stay fresh, they need to be packaged to survive the journey. When shipping on a small scale, using dry-ice and/or gel packs.
Cover the bottom of a Styrofoam box with dry-ice (available to buy in many online stores) add the products and layer with frozen gel packs. Note that if your products are sensitive to moisture it’s recommended to solely use dry-ice as gel packs have a tendency to become damp when thawing. Dry-ice will keep the food cooler, but for a shorter time than gel.
Liberal use of duct tape will make sure that there is no leakage, but also secure the boxes firmly on the pallet.
When shipping sensitive products such as glass jars or other fragile goods, always secure them safely with bubble wrap to prevent them from breaking. Secure the goods properly on the pallet and always plan for a bumpy road. Even if the ride is smooth, if you plan for shaky roads and rough handling, the likelihood of your goods arriving in top condition improves substantially.
Also note that even if you label your packages with “This way up!”, to make sure it stays that way, always palletise your goods.
When handling products that are sensitive to air, or if they have an especially strong fragrance, use vacuum-sealed plastic bags for packaging. This is especially true for meat or cheese, where the surrounding air can influence the flavour of the product. Vacuum sealing can be combined with the cooling techniques mentioned above.
If shipping products internationally, there is a whole slew of laws and regulations to follow – much more than what can be covered in this article. Refer to each country’s import regulations for more information, and read a quick rundown here.
It goes without saying that choosing a quick delivery time is essential when transporting foodstuffs (overnight delivery is effective here), but for many products 48 hours is within acceptable limits. Luckily, pallet deliveries are a very quick and effective way of delivering goods to all parts of the country.