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Tips for Safely Shipping Fresh Seafood to Supermarkets

Joe Dickman | February 27th, 2020

Fishers catch seafood product, workers process and clean the product, then prepare the product for shipment. Fish, crab, lobster, and other perishable seafood often spend hours out of the ocean before reaching their trucks, upping the urgency for proper and expedient shipment. Compared to other products shipped via the cold supply chain, fresh seafood has particular nuances deliverers need to pay special attention to. To understand these nuances, look over these tips for safely shipping fresh seafood to supermarkets.

Streamline Your Shipping

Your most important priority is streamlining your shipment process. When shipping fresh product as opposed to frozen, you have less time before it spoils. According to FSR Magazine, carriers take between 10-24 hours to get cold chain product to a retailer from a processing or storage facility. Given the sensitivity of seafood, saving time by unitizing product and taking care of other delivery logistics helps preserve product.

Limit Exposure to Heat

Part of the reason you need to limit time spent shipping is because exposing fresh seafood to changes in temperature counteracts its freshness. Ten-degree temperature increases during transport shave days off its viability. To mitigate these losses, take special care to prevent exposure to heat during transition points. Every time product needs to move locations, such as when it’s dropped off at an end retailer or changes vehicles, it loses the protection of a temperature-regulated environment, so scheming to lessen these transfers improves freshness.

Refrigerate Appropriately

Another tip for shipping fresh seafood to a supermarket is to refrigerate correctly. Seafood is uniquely difficult to keep cool because the fish, crabs, lobsters, or other sea creatures in question are irregular shapes and vary in size from one another. Those delivering the product must keep this in mind and should focus on removing air from packages and using appropriate boxes to limit this. Also, a fresh product needs a refrigerant. Dry ice is a useful refrigerant for many types of seafood.

Your most important tool when shipping your seafood is the refrigerated and insulated transportation you use. Contact Emerald Transportation Solutions, a leading refrigerated truck manufacturer, for information on their diverse refrigeration-equipped vehicle offerings.

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What does under DOT mean?

Questions regarding DOT requirements come up often. 10,000 lbs GVW (gross vehicle weight) and over are commercial vehicles that fall under the Department of Transportation regulatory requirements.

What is the difference between GVW and payload?

GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight is the entire weight of the vehicle including the payload. The payload weight represents the amount of cargo you are hauling.

What is a self-powered unit and a vehicle-powered unit?

A self-powered unit has its own fuel source and will run independent of the truck. This is the heaviest and most expensive option. While vehicle-powered units run off the engine via a compressor mounted on the engine. These are less expensive and lighter in weight but you must run the truck or plug the electric standby into shore power.

What does K-factor mean and why is that important?

K-factor is a term that stands for the overall insulating value of the container (truck body). Quite simply the lower the K-factor the better the truck body will be able to maintain a given temperature and require less energy to do so.

How much lighter is a Poly Van vs a US spec body?

Poly Van bodies are very light. On average we estimate we are 75-150 lbs per foot lighter than a traditional sheet and post foamed in place body. These weight savings translates to less fuel burn and less CO2 emissions, along with added payload, the most important benefit.

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