July 21, 2013

Challenges Facing International Food Transportation

International shipping from Kan-Haul, Inc. Liquid Food TransportationAll international transportation companies face a unique set of challenges due to changes in regulations when crossing borders. In this article we’ll try to shed light on some of the issues directly related to the international food transportation industry specifically.

As with all shipments in the transportation industry, international food transport requires the proper permits and licensing to operate vehicles within a given location. International Fuel Tax Agreement permits, proper registration and insurance, as well as a working knowledge of state and local guidelines in addition to federal regulations. In particular, international transportation faces the unique challenge of having to cross national borders and both the driver and company must be absolutely certain that all regulations are followed as the fines involved can be substantial. In some cases the driver may be required to carry a passport to cross the border, or pass a background check before entering the new country.

Transporting Liquid Food Internationally

Liquid food shipments present a further challenge to the driver as tanker transport requires an additional endorsement on the driver’s license and carries it’s own special set of regulations. Liquid tanks may or may not have baffles to help prevent the commodities inside from moving around too much during shipping. Whether the tanker has baffles or not generally depends on the commodity being shipped. Milk, for example, is shipped in a tanker transport without baffles, whereas grape juice is shipped in baffled tanks. Liquid shipments can face the danger of oscillation, where the liquid sloshes back and forth inside the tanker, causing the weight distribution of the shipment to vary wildly. Experienced tanker transport drivers learn to compensate for the displacement of their cargo by planning their braking, turns, and maneuvers accordingly while loaded.

In addition to the physical difficulties associated with transporting liquids and the regulatory necessities of operating a shipping company in general, international food transport companies must often comply with food safety and agricultural standards as well. International food transport often requires agricultural permits, certificates of inspection proving the origins and ingredients of the product, and may require hazardous materials placards depending on the variety of food being shipped and the locations it will have to pass through in order to reach its destination. Most large shipping carriers have a dedicated staff for international transportation, drivers and dispatchers with experience carrying or dispatching shipments across international borders. Local laws can change rapidly, and experienced transportation staff is a must when considering an international shipment.

Kan-Haul has a long history of experience in domestic and international transportation. We’re familiar with the challenges we’ve outlined, and would love to put our knowledge to work for you!

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