Shipping Tips & Solutions

Shipping Food: The Dos and Don'ts Guide to Keeping Produce Fresh

Find valuable food shipping tips with our new guide from guest author Elizabeth Raw of R+R Packaging!
Shipping Food: The Dos and Don'ts Guide to Keeping Produce Fresh
Elizabeth Raw

By Elizabeth Raw


September 20, 2019

In the catering business, and for eCommerce companies that ship fresh food out to customers, it’s essential that produce arrives at its destination fresh and ready for use - after all, there are few things less appealing for a customer than receiving a product that’s melted, thawed or unusable!

That’s why we’re offering a bite-sized food shipping guide so that you can master fresh produce transportation, ensuring every delivery arrives fresh and, subsequently, leaving your customers satisfied with their product.

Seal in Freshness

While it goes without saying that food should be shipped at the appropriate temperature throughout the shipping process, unless it’s wrapped efficiently, it’s unlikely that your food will reach its destination without some form of spoilage. That’s why shipping securely is key when you’re sending fresh food out to customers.

To lock in that “just baked” freshness when shipping food, use plastic wrapping to preserve goods such as pastries or cakes. Prevent damage by separating any delicate goods in a holder with individual spaces so that the hours you spent decorating those fairy cakes to perfection aren’t wasted during transit. To keep products fresh for as long as possible, our top tip is to make its packaging airtight, so wrap containers in plastic or seal all edges with a strong tape which is durable for the entirety of the journey.

Alternatively, use shrink wrap where suitable for pies or cakes which are less delicate, or offer minimal decoration. Not only is shrink wrap easy to use, but applies a very tight seal and is versatile to mold with any shape. By creating an airtight seal, food is less exposed to its surroundings where it ultimately will stay fresh for longer. Shrink wrap is puncture proof, so that your products will stay safe and sound.

However, in the unlikely event that damage did occur, openings will be easily identifiable to be rectified before so that your product reaches its destination without spoilage.

Choose Wrapping Appropriately

Temperature is one of the biggest determinants in affecting both storage time before spoilage and food quality during its shipping time. So, for items which are susceptible to melting, thawing or are particularly liquid heavy, choose your wrapping with this at the forefront of the mind.

The same food shipping rules apply when it comes to keeping air space to a minimum - by sealing your products as tightly as possible, you’ll ensure any coolants don’t have to work beyond their capabilities. Insulation is key for shipping seafood, meat, fruit or dairy products, so choosing the right cooling materials is necessary to protect your fresh or frozen goods. Plastic foam insulation alongside frozen gel packs are very efficient when working in tandem to keep any perishables cool, as they hold their temperature for a long time and don’t come with the risk of freezer burn, which is characteristic of cold packs.

Another aspect to consider is your delivery service, whether you’re sending fresh or frozen food. By shipping your products as soon as possible, you’ll reduce its warehouse time and increase customer satisfaction as a result. So, choose a shipping company which prioritizes freshness, and is capable of delivering to all of your customers promptly to ensure you offer an outstanding service.

Pack Efficiently

Choosing the right packaging is essential to protecting your products efficiently. When it comes to fresh or frozen food, a foam container or alternatively an insulated corrugated carton will provide the best insulation and protection. Although it’s tempting to reuse boxes where you can, they tend to weaken, making them a high risk for perishables.

Ensuring that the packaging is as close to the product as possible is also essential for keeping your produce fresh. Not only that - the smaller your packaging, the more items you’ll be able to ship at once (and at less of a cost). For items such as sandwiches which can’t be packaged in shrink wrap, opt for high-quality sandwich packaging to ensure your products are safe and secure. It’s essential to evaluate what packaging is most effective for each individual product that you offer to ensure that your product is kept fresh, as each product is likely to require a different method of preservation.

Shipping Food: Stay Fresh With These Tips

We hope that with these food shipping tips, you’ll be on your way to offering outstanding solutions to your food shipping so that your products stay fresh throughout the entirety of their transit. While the most important factors to keeping your food shipments fresh are insulation and refrigeration, packaging is equally as important to keeping heat and moisture from spoiling your goods!

In the food shipping business? Remember to sign up for Easyship for access to 250+ global couriers and rate discounts of up to 70 percent!

Author bio:

Guest author Elizabeth Raw works for R+R Packaging, providers of biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging materials for businesses within a wide variety of industries.