While shipping of frozen food, the carriers must be complaint with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of the FDA. The logistics of shipping of frozen food is called as a cold chain. By a cold chain is meant nothing but a supply chain with controlled temperature.
Here are temperatures that must be adhered to for the sake of cold supply chain for transportation of farm products:
- The exporter is responsible for maintaining the necessary temperature based on kind of frozen food. But the customers may have specifications of temperature which are a feature of their purchase agreement/ order.
- General shipping of frozen food: All the frozen food needs to be maintained at a temperature of Zero Degrees F. Also, the temperature of internal product must not exceed ten degrees F.
- There must be pre-cooling of vehicles to a temperature of 20 degrees F (and lesser), prior to loading. Shipments of frozen food may not be permitted for transporting in case where temperature of internal product crosses 0 degrees.
- Common standards of temperature are Deep Frozen (-29 Degree C), Frozen (-18 degree C), Chill (2 Degree C) and Banana ( 13 degree C).
- Adhering to these measures of temperature may be crucial to the shipment’s integrity through the chain of cold supply. It ensures correct shelf life for perishables. In case of any divergence, it can end up in expensive and irrevocable damage.
- The crucial technologies of cold chains consist of: gel packs, dry ice, plates ( which are filled with certain liquids and can have multiple times of usage), reefers (trucks with controlled temperature) and quilts of liquid nitrogen (insulated pieces which are placed above and surrounding the cargo to function like a buffer inside variations of temperature and to keep constant the temperature).
- The final mile: This refers to shipments proceeding to their destination. The primary means of transport at this stage are vans and trucks which must adhere to the stipulations required to transfer cold chain transport regarding this stage. One other crucial factor is the last transportation of shipment to the facilities for storage because there is chance for violation of integrity of temperature.
- Advice is provided by the forwarder to the container’s carrier of ocean freight regarding the temperature setting requested at the freight booking time.
- Before loading, the trucker or shipping line will prepare the reefer. The in-charge of the reefer will switch on and do setting of the container till the right setting of temperature needed as per the exporter such that whatever time it arrives for being loaded on the carrier (ship), it should be at the accurate temperature.
- As for the shipping line, it features a meter which records the suitable temperature through the period of the trip.
- The shipper will be provided with a reading from this kind of meter featuring regular temperature graphs.
This is the main aspect of frozen food transportation.