What Is Transportation in Food Processing?

Food transport is one of the many strict food safety control points.

The transport of food products is handled by logistics food shipping companies or by the traders themselves, and requires the use of vehicles and other specialized machinery.

The transport of food from point A to point B must be rapid and safe. Respect for the cold chain must be maintained throughout the process. The shipping conditions are the same for you, on a smaller scale, when you return your purchase.

Food products are perishable (by their very nature, decomposing more or less quickly over time). In order to retain all their organoleptic properties (taste, appearance and flavor), these goods must be transported and maintained under special conditions, in particular for the transport of fresh and frozen food products.

When you are shipping food for the very first time, it is especially important to be well-informed about the most appropriate methods to do so.

In this section, you will find basic information on how to ship food, whether it is for a short shelf life or a long one.

How is food transported?

There are several ways to distribute food products. Contrary to what manymay think, the transport of food products is a service in itself that deserves special attention. Containers are specially designed for the distribution of food, whether frozen or fresh. Once the food has been loaded into these vehicles, an insulated food bank is in charge of maintaining the temperature throughout the journey until the products are delivered. Thermal protection of the food is ensured at all stages of transport.

Be sure to analyze your product characteristics. All products are different and shipping rates for one type of food may differ from another product. If you are selling fresh products, opt for airbags or bubble wrap. These elements allow the products to be packed in a compact manner without exerting excessive pressure on the food, which prevents them from being damaged during transport. For slightly stronger products, it is usually sufficient to protect them with additional wrapping paper.

What are the benefits of shipping food containers?

The container is the ideal means of transporting food and has several advantages concerning logistics. Thanks to insulated cabinets known for this type of service, delicate food products can be protected without risk of heating. These vehicles are convenient for grouping foods that have different temperatures, so you can put frozen products, positive foods and even dry foods in the same container without any restrictions.

The insulated cabinet protects the products from the gel. You can also safely transport food at positive temperatures in a negative refrigeration truck. These containers ensure a sufficient cold chain adapted to the duration of the journey.

If the transport time is completely exhausted, the isotherm can maintain the temperature without increasing the internal temperature.

Efficient transportation

Foods have always been sold far from their production areas, especially when they cannot be produced locally. However, the problem of transport and conservation has always limited the development of international food trade. It has grown very strongly in recent decades, however. Cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat and milk cross continents and oceans through increasingly safe and efficient means of transport. The choice of transport mode depends on various constraints such as cost, distance traveled and product characteristics.

Road or rail transport is favored on a national or continental scale, however the train is mainly used in vast countries. Shelf-life foods, such as asparagus or mangoes, are transported by air from one continent to another.

Low-cost shipping is becoming increasingly important with specialized vessels such as refrigerated cargo ships and container ships being employed. Regardless of the mode of transport chosen, the food route remains complex. The circuits are extended through different production, packaging and distribution units, entailing additional kilometers which have an ecological cost.

Discussed Kilometers

To assess the environmental impact of transport, the ‘food kilometer’ is used to calculate the amount of CO2 emitted during the transport of one ton of food per kilometer. A ship is the least CO2-emitting means of transport, emitting 15-30 grams per ton per kilometer; behind it is a train, a car, and then a truck. An airplane has the biggest impact, emitting from 570 to 1580 grams per ton per kilometer.

Consumers may therefore wonder whether it makes sense to have products from the end of the world available in all seasons, when taking into account the environmental cost of transporting food products. But the problem is more complicated than it appears. CO2 emissions during transport are only a part of the carbon balance of the food, allowing greenhouse gas emissions during production, distribution and consumption to be calculated.

Purchasing from an environmental perspective is far from always a given, and buying locally is not always greener.

Wanting to ship food products is a challenging and exciting adventure. One of the biggest challenges, though, is meeting the customer’s requirements.

With the right expertise and means of transport, you can ship your orders with the guarantee that they will arrive in good condition.