Exporting food products can be complicated. If you cut corners and make the wrong decisions, your products will arrive at their next destination in terrible condition. You don’t want to throw away your cargo because it’s inedible. That will be a huge profit loss and a colossal waste of time.
So, how can you export your food products safely? Follow these simple tips.
Get the Right Shipping Containers
You will need a top-quality shipping container whenever you ship internationally. What’s a top-quality container? A top-quality shipping container will have minimal to no damage on the inside or outside. It will be wind and water-tight with no large scratches or patches of rust. This will prevent moisture and sunlight from infiltrating your container and affecting the cargo inside.
Where can you find these containers? You can find and purchase top-quality shipping containers from Boxhub — they will have one-trip and cargo-worthy containers available. If you’re unsure about your pick, you can talk to a consultant for additional support. They will guide you towards the best containers for your products.
Depending on your products, you may need to search for food grade and reefer containers.
What’s a food-grade container?
A food-grade container is a clean container that has only transported food products. You do not want to have a container that has previously transported toxic chemicals, which could contaminate your cargo during your own shipment.
What’s a reefer container?
A reefer container is a refrigerated shipping container. Many food products need to be shipped in a temperature-controlled environment to prevent spoilage.
Remember, your products will be traveling through locations with different outdoor temperatures. They can move through places with high humidity, extreme heat and extreme cold. You don’t want the fluctuating temperatures to influence the quality of your products and create foodborne pathogens. This will destroy your supply before the shipment is complete.
Not all shipping container portals carry this specialized type of container.
Monitor Your Shipments
If you use reefer containers, you should insert wireless temperature sensors in them so that you can monitor their internal temperatures throughout the shipment process. The sensors will set off alarms when the temperature crosses a threshold and needs adjusting — this threshold will depend on the product’s refrigeration needs. Frozen foods will need lower temperatures than fresh produce.
It’s better to know this information before your products reach their destination. Otherwise, compromised products could be distributed, which will put the health of potential customers and the reputation of your business at risk.
Monitoring shipments isn’t just helpful — it’s also necessary for many importing countries. They want proof that your exported food products have been properly refrigerated and won’t carry potential health risks.
Do Your Research
Every country will have different requirements for exporting companies, especially when they are shipping over food products. You will have to get specific certifications, meet labeling requirements, and follow other protocols to guarantee that your products meet all of their food safety standards. Skipping over these protocols could leave your products stuck in a shipyard, going to waste.
A good place to start your research is at the food export library through the Food and Drug Administration. This will give you a brief list of certification requirements from various trading partners, from Brazil to Vietnam.
The type of food you are exporting will also influence the protocols you need to follow. For instance, if you’re exporting fish and seafood products, you will need to go to the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program to see which certificates and guidelines your destination requires.
Make sure that your food products make it to their final destination safe, secure, and in selling condition. Follow these shipping tips!
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