July 28, 2014

Food Grade Transportation: Advantages of Shipping by Truck

Have you ever been picking through your produce at the grocery store and suddenly wondered how it got there? Did you ever think how many miles this food must have traveled in order to be available to you? This is a question that has been raised on many occasions, particularly because many people are curious where their food came from and how it got to their local grocer’s shelves.

Often times, people are very surprised at how far the produce they are eating has traveled to get to them. There are only a few states in the U.S. that have climates able to support the growth needed to feed their populations year round. Yet we don’t really think about that when we are eating strawberries in a cold Michigan December. Several of the items that we eat have traveled hundreds, if not thousands of miles to get to us, and it is a host of shipping companies leading this charge. Farmers in California, New Mexico, and many other states are pushing to get their produce out all year. Up until the last forty years or so, rail transportation was used to send boxcars of goods to the Northern States all year. Trucking soon took over, being both faster and more flexible, and soon farmers started loading hundreds of trucks and sending them down the newly formed interstate highways so we could have mashed potatoes and corn in the February.

The food industry is faced with many challenge in transporting produce and other goods from place to place. Many times they are dealing with goods that can easily spoil within mere weeks. Only a handful of years ago, it could have taken two full weeks to get a truck load of potatoes from Idaho to a store in Wisconsin. Now there have been several developments in the industry that enable companies to deliver goods in half and even a quarter of the time. Refrigerated shipping containers and trailers enable shippers to take cold foods cross country without worrying about it going bad. Larger gas tanks and more fuel efficient trucks also help the process by being able to carry more produce farther without the need for frequent stops and harmful pollutants being discharged into the air.

Advantages of Truck Shipping

Below are some of the other benefits that we get from using trucking as the main source of transportation for our produce and foods.

• Faster pickup and delivery.

• More flexibility in where the produce can go.

• Less spoilage during shipping, since there is no need for a “secondary shipment,” which would be needed to take a shipping container from a rail yard to the final destination

• Cleaner and safer foods being delivered to consumers.

• Creation of jobs in the shipping industry

Shipping by truck has also made shipping foods and other goods for human consumption much more clean and safe. Many of the stainless steel containers that you may see going down the highway carrying milk and other liquids are often thoroughly cleaned and inspected. When using rail shipping, it could be days before a car is inspected, meaning that a simple malfunction in a cooling unit could cause an entire car of 45,000 bags of grapes to go bad. With shipping by truck, there is very little chance than an issue due to cleanliness or power failure will not be resolved quickly. Shipping standards by truck are also much more stringent when it comes to consumables than by air or train as well, so shipping companies have to go above and beyond to be able to deliver and cleaner, safer, more superior product.

The face of the shipping and logistics industry regarding food transportation has changed drastically over the last 100 years, going from not being able to send items over long distances to being able to get produce from a California field to an Ohio grocery store in a week. Refrigerated trailers, dedicated and loyal drivers, and stringent inspection policies also ensure that all of our food is clean, unspoiled, and safe to consume. It is companies like Kan-Haul, a leading domestic and international food grade trucking company, and others that make this possible. See how Kan-Haul can help take care of your food grade logistics issues today by contacting them at 1-(800) 959-9501.

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