Fresh produce often has a short shelf life, which makes it essential to transport these products to the market as quickly as possible. Overcoming the challenges of transporting fresh produce isn't an easy task, as it requires extensive planning and infrastructure.
However, emerging technology trends have made it easier for freight carriers to transport fresh produce to a wide range of locations. These technology trends will only continue to evolve, as staying up to date with the latest transportation practices is critical in maximizing efficiency and delivering fresh produce.
Here are three emerging technologies that can transform the fresh produce shipping industry.
The ever-growing development of cold chain technologies has made it possible to transport food over long distances without sacrificing quality or safety. Cold chain technology keeps a product at a constant temperature and is essential during the transportation process.
Source loading continues to grow in popularity and is transforming fresh produce shipping by directly loading the cargo from the packing plant into a reefer convey. Source loading significantly enhances transportation speed due to eliminating intermediary stages in handling cargo that can lead to delays.
Typically, source loading provides an additional 25 days of shelf life to the product, which is much better compared to maritime shipping and is less expensive than air shipping.
One of the most effective ways to eliminate food waste is through the use of innovative packaging techniques. Hazel Technologies is a Chicago-based company that has developed packaging inserts that significantly reduce the chance of fungus and mold growth while also slowing the spoilage cycle of fruits and vegetables.
Food waste is a major issue in the produce industry, as the U.S Department of Agriculture estimates over 25 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables is wasted each year. These staggering numbers result in over $30 billion in value that is lost due to wasted food.
However, Hazel Technology has developed packaging that actively emits anti-fungal agents and ethylene inhibitors to dramatically reduce food waste. These innovative packing products significantly enhance the shelf life of produce without the need for any chemical solutions.
Ultimately, this is a win-win solution for farmers and freight carriers.
Cold chain logistics has made it possible for fresh produce to be available on a nearly continual basis. The ability to switch supply sources throughout the year makes it easy for supermarkets always to receive a steady stream of fresh produce, whether it is grown in a tropical climate or a controlled environment such as a greenhouse.
Bananas and pineapples are always available year-round due to their tropical climate while apples and grapes are grown in various seasons throughout different areas in the world. Cold chain logistics makes it possible to transport these items across long distances while also maximizing the shelf life of all types of fresh produce.
The constant demand for these products and the use of the latest technology in shipping has made it possible for fresh produce to be available throughout the year.
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