People think of fresh fruit and veggies as essential summertime staples. The freight industry does a lot of behind the scenes work to bring the crops from the farm to the store in good condition. What are the key factors in transporting fresh produce?
Know Harvest Seasons:
During the summer months, produce like watermelons, peaches, and berries are in high demand. But watermelons grow in over 30 U.S. states and harvest spans several months depending on where it is shipping from. And produce can start to be imported into the U.S. in February well ahead of summer months. The warm southern states are typically ready to harvest before the northern states. Know your crop calendars and your equipment needs.
Know Your Equipment Requirements:
One of the biggest challenges in transporting fresh produce is temperature control. Depending on the type of produce, it may need to be kept at a certain temperature or humidity level to prevent spoilage. This means that the modes of transportation used for fresh produce may vary depending on the specific requirements of the product.
Refrigerated trucks, also known as reefer trucks, are a common mode of transportation for fresh produce. These trucks are equipped with temperature control systems that can keep produce at a consistent temperature during transit. However, not all produce needs to be transported in reefer trucks. For example, some crops like corn or potatoes are more resilient and can be transported in regular dry vans.
Another important factor to consider is the distance between the farm and the store. The longer the distance, the more crucial it becomes to keep the produce fresh during transit. This may mean using temperature-controlled containers or even air freight to transport the produce quickly.
Avoid Improper Handling
Working with refrigerated freight experts who match the correct equipment with the product can ensure that fresh produce arrives at the store in good condition for consumers to enjoy. A mistake in the freight planning can be costly and frustrating.
At Hawkeye Transportation Services, we ensure that all our employees are highly trained in refrigerated freight so you are working with a partner who knows how to handle your cargo. We emphasize a culture of safety and compliance and ensure that all our drivers and staff have completed food safety training.
We have a long history of safety awards, so you know that your loads are in good hands. In addition to ensuring food safety, our driving safety is a high priority. Hawkeye has won 9 consecutive years of the Platinum Safety Award from Great West Casualty, which recognizes freight carriers with exemplary safety records. Additionally, we provide increased protection to our customers and ourselves with elevated insurance coverage that sets us apart from our competitors.