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The Life of an Avocado

March 2, 2022

Refrigerated Freight and Why Temperature Matters So Much…

In most cases, freight requiring temperature-controlled shipping needs an immediate turnaround to be loaded and on the way to its destination. Anytime temperature-sensitive freight has to sit and wait for delivery means the product could be spoiled and the shipper could be losing money.

When transporting goods like flowers, food, or pharmaceuticals, it’s crucial that the carrier pay close attention to the details. The shipper will list the specific temperature freight needs to remain during transit. If this temperature setting is altered up or down at all, the freight could be damaged and may be deemed unacceptable upon delivery. This means time wasted and money lost.

Items that require temperature-controlled shipping includes food such as produce, meat, fish, and dairy, florals, pharmaceuticals, and even cosmetics. Such shipments have strict guidelines that absolutely must be followed, or the customer may not accept the delivery. In addition to the requirements the customer has, there are also regulatory requirements which dictate how food products must be handled during shipment. The details regarding temperature outlined on the bill of lading must be followed to make sure the freight is kept at the right temperature.

Just imagine a full truckload of delicate avocados arriving at the delivery dock spoiled because the carrier handling the refrigerated shipping did not pay attention to the freight. Avocados are a perfect example of the precise conditions needed to be followed in order to ensure satisfactory delivery of cargo.

With 74% of the U.S. population believing that avocados are potently healthy, it’s no surprise that avocados are everywhere these days. According to the USDA, avocado consumption per capita has tripled since 2001. The average American now eats eight pounds of avocados every year. In fact, Americans alone consumed 2.6 billion pounds of avocados in 2020.

As it turns out, there’s a lot more going on besides simply picking them off trees and loading them into trucks. Let’s take a deeper look into the avocado…

The harvesting process is very particular as avocados mature on the tree, but they will not ripen there. You must pick them if you want them to get their highly sought-after creamy taste and texture. Additionally, the amount of time it takes for an avocado to ripen can vary – anywhere from days to weeks! This depends on the degree of maturity before they are plucked from the tree, storage temperature, and the variety of avocado.

Because of this, the supply chain analytics of shipping avocados is very complex. Keeping avocados fresh requires a cold chain. That means once they’re picked, they need to be kept refrigerated constantly in order to deliver optimal ripeness at the grocery stores.

Although the avocado is rarely sold in the refrigerated section, they typically prefer a container of 1-degree Celsius, or 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit, while en route. Any shift in temperature will create problems – too warm and the avocados will ripen too quickly, too cold and the avocados will shrink!

Carriers must also limit the amount of exposure to sunlight, which could cause the avocados to over-ripen and rot. From farm to table, moving avocados requires careful attention to detail.

Many people out there do not realize the importance of the accuracy of temperatures in the trucks from the very moment the fruit is loaded to the very moment it is delivered. But we do! Our teams understand temperature sensitive products as does our massive network of carriers. We work hard to ensure the safe transport of refrigerated freight.

At Simple Logistics, we book 15-20 full truckloads of avocados per week during the produce season! Our customers know they can count on us to carry their avocados at the precise temperature needed for the freshest possible delivery. When you need refrigerated freight moved, call us, we MAKE IT SIMPLE…

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