Shipping perishable items is often more expensive than sending non-perishable goods. Because they are often time and temperature sensitive, the shipping agency must deliver the goods on time or risk spoilage. They may also have to arrange for temperature controlled transport. Not surprisingly, there is an incredible amount of waste when it comes to shipping perishable items.
Since each shipment has its own specific needs, the slightest error can result in an increase in spoilage. If, for example, the carrier is hauling roses, they can and will wilt if they are not kept at the proper temperature. If the refrigeration unit breaks down, even for a few hours, there is virtually no chance that the flowers will survive the trip.
Besides flowers, frozen foods, dairy products, baked goods, fresh produce, medicine, and film must be shipped via temperature controlled transport. These items are either shipped by air, train, or truck. The cost of the shipment depends on the distance and the current price of gas. As gas prices continue to rise, more companies that ship large portions of their inventories have contacted third-party logistics providers.
What are the benefits?
Time-sensitive goods often have to be shipped in temperature controlled transport. More often than not, we are talking about refrigerated trucks. These trucks can be difficult and expensive to maintain. Their refrigeration units must be serviced before each and every trip. In short, most new businesses simply cannot afford a fleet of refrigerated trucks. They must hire an
experienced third-party logistics provider instead.
Outsourcing has become a dirty word in many industries. It conjures up pictures of abandoned American plants and exploited third-world workers. But that is certainly not the case when it comes to temperature controlled transport. Since most time-sensitive goods are shipped domestically, providers are often local. These shippers focus exclusively on the last leg of the supply chain,
To ensure that perishable products arrive at their destination at the peak of freshness, they must be packaged, stored, and shipped by trained professionals. As good as farmers and other food manufacturers may be at growing and picking fresh produce, they rarely know anything at all about temperature controlled transport.
Some business owners make the mistake of investing in their own distribution networks. These investments often turn out badly, especially for smaller firms. Buying or leasing refrigerated trucks can be quite costly. Not only do they need professional drivers, but they require maintenance crews. With the cost of gas on the rise, it is best to leave this service to the experts.
A third-party logistics provider can save his clients money based solely on volume. That is, he has a warehouse and trucks that he will never let go to waste because every inch of space is spoken for. By comparison, a company that invests in its own distribution systems may have warehouses that are half full and trucks that are sent out almost empty due to fluctuating volumes. But when provider focuses on distribution and has several clients, it can cut down on waste by never
sending trucks out with less than a full load.