Perishable Logistics: 4 Challenges of Perishable Food Freight

Perishable Logistics: 4 Challenges of Perishable Food Freight

The shipment of perishable products is much more complex than shipping products that do not have to stay at special low temperature. And there are several reasons for the complexity. Consider the shipment of the first COVID-19 vaccines, when the Pfizer’s vaccines had to stay at -70 Celsius. Now that’s cold. Here are some of the challenges of handling perishable food freight. 


Once a product has to be kept cold, the shipment is more complicated. Perishable products usually have a limited shelf life, even if they are shipped at the right temperature. The time needed for shipping becomes more important than with other products. Every hour and day spent in the shipping process cuts down on the amount of time that product has on the retail shelf. While time is always important in shipping and logistics, time is more important with perishable products. 

Temperature Range

Not only do some perishable products have to be kept below a certain temperature, but often these products have to be shipped within a narrow temperature range. If the temperature gets to cold, this can be as damaging to the product as if the temperature was too hot. Maintaining a narrow temperature range is difficult especially when shipments have to changes modes of transport between planes and trucks or ships and trains, for example. 


Packaging is another challenge. Often these types of perishable products have to be packaged differently and with more expensive materials, such as cold packs or dry ice, in order to be shipped. This is an added cost to the shipping process. 

Amount of Product 

The amount of product shipped is another complication. Imagine, for example, that there are different products within the same container, and each batch of products requires a different (cold) temperature range. If the amount of product shipped is smaller or larger than a full unit, this will affect the costs.


The most important point to be made about shipping perishable goods is that if you are using a shipping and logistics provider, choose a company with a lot of experience shipping cold and temperature sensitive products. If you are currently struggling with the shipping of your perishable products, please contact Overseas Container Logistics in Vancouver at (604) 295-8236, and let us help you find the best solution for your shipping problems.

Overseas Container Logistics (OCL) is a 3PL commercial freight-forwarding company based in Richmond, British Columbia. 

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your transportation and freight needs, give us a call at (604) 295-8236.