Product protection is a top-of-mind concern for anyone who works with delicate foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Having a shipment of product arrive at its destination damaged or spoiled is something we can all relate to, and unfortunately this affects your business AND your customer’s business. If providing the highest quality produce is of utmost importance to you, consider these 3 ways you can better protect your product:
- Use Rigid Packaging
The use of rigid packaging material is not an element to be overlooked. All proper measures can be followed, but a pallet is only as stable as the materials it is composed of, especially over a period of time. When supporting a load, a corrugated fiber box has only 65% of its laboratory determined strength after 10 days. This potential challenge can be avoided by using sturdy transport packaging such as RPCs, which maintain their strength throughout the fresh supply chain and are unaffected by time and moisture.
- Ensure optimal transport temperature.
With ventilation and temperature control being a vital component of product quality through the fresh supply chain, make sure to consider three main heat loads that affect temperature during transport:
- Internal Heat Loads- Results from field heat and respiration heat generated by produce in transit. This can be minimized with pre-cooling and proper temperature control during transit.
- External Heat Loads- This type of heat load is caused by external conditions affecting the transport vehicle. Conduction, infiltration and radiation all fall under this category though infiltration is most prevalent. Infiltration occurs when outside air enters through, cracks, holes or an open trailer door. This can be minimized through trailer inspections and ensuring that any necessary repairs are made in addition to opening the trailer door only when needed.
- Residual Heat Loads- This accounts for heat already in the transport vehicle and any other heat that is not an internal or external heat load. This type of heat load can be minimized by pre-cooling produce so it does not further warm the trailer. If the refrigeration unit is turned off during loading, the quicker the product is loaded with the door shut and refrigeration restored, the less outside air will get in.
- Use packaging that’s easy to handle.
Choose packaging that is easy to use and handle at all points from source to store. Specifically, by using transport packaging with handles that are easy to work with, this enables easier, more stable movement of product through the supply chain.
Interested in discovering more ways to better protect your products? We’ve got 7 more for you right here: 10 Ways to Protect Your Product Throughout the Supply Chain.