Food Logistics Tips: How to Keep Perishable Items Safe & Compliant

MercuryGate Blog - Freight Category

The best approach to managing food logistics intertwines freight visibility with existing logistics processes, bolstered by technology. Increased shipment-level visibility keeps perishable items safe and boosts compliance with applicable regulations, effectively reducing the risk of spoilage. However, spoilage remains a major contributor of added food freight costs, and food shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) need to understand the causes of spoilage, how monitoring inbound operations can avoid risks, and a few food logistics tips to improve both safety and compliance without additional stress and extreme costs.

Common Causes of Spoilage of Perishable Items

Spoilage occurs due to a failure to maintain proper temperature controls for food freight or willful neglect. After all, food will spoil if left unattended for an extended period. Thus, temperature and improper transit are the most common causes of spoilage of perishable items.

Proper Monitoring Reduces Risk

Since spoilage is a direct result of improper monitoring of food while in transit or during delivery, it stands to reason that improved monitoring will lower risk. As explained by Food Logistics:

“Cold chain interruptions are inevitable, despite your most diligent deterrents. Ensuring 100 percent cold chain reliability is possible, but also expensive, while it’s difficult to balance the growing cost of cold chain risk management with the relentless need to reduce costs, supply chain professionals today have an advantage their predecessors didn’t — the Internet of Things. IoT combined low-cost connected sensors for real-time shipment monitoring can help cold chain management.”
As a result, shippers and LSPs must implement advanced systems that can isolate and identify potential problems and causes of potential spoilage before it occurs. Of course, issues will always arise, so these companies must take the additional step of recognizing when spoilage events or potential safety risks have come to fruition and notify affected businesses and consumers of the issues.

Additional Food Logistics Tips That Build Compliance and Safety for Your Customer

Organizations can successfully improve the transport of perishables by following these additional food logistics tips:
  1. Increase transparency of food logistics to your customers.
  2. Track food from origin through retailer or destination.
  3. Leverage technology to automatically capture food shipment data.
  4. Reduce the time spent waiting on the dock or traffic with optimized shipping.
  5. Automatically report deviations, as well as interventions, to isolate affected shipments.
  6. Stay informed of changes in the supply chain with deviation notifications.
  7. Use analytics to recognize when risks grow and the likelihood of coming to fruition.
  8. Work with experts in the field of freight technology with use cases that show prowess in managing food logistics for individual shippers and established logistics service providers (LSPs), such as MercuryGate.

Eliminate Risk of Spoilage With End-to-End, Automated TMS Capabilities

Food shippers do not want to think about the risk of spoilage, but the facts are simple. Unchecked spoilage will cause a safety hazard. These safety hazards can lead to the spread of foodborne illness, potentially costing lives. In addition to the blowback from consumers following a foodborne illness outbreak, the FDA may leverage fines and penalties against an organization, and costs will spiral out of control. Instead of risking the success of your business, take the time to apply the food logistics tips that will enable compliance and boost safety for your customers, your business partners, and your bottom line.

Learn how a connected platform can keep your perishable foods safe and maintain compliance by requesting a demo of the MercuryGate platform today.

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