Every industry comes with its unique set of challenges. Those who work in the food transportation and logistics industry have their own challenges as well. These issues can come from multiple areas including the product type, market conditions, issues with the receiver, and more.
When it comes to bulk food transportation, there are several challenges that arise. How companies address these challenges will dictate their ability to survive in a competitive industry. A third-party logistics company knows how to ensure all products arrive safely at their destination. What are some of the challenges facing those who operate in this industry?
Deadlines and Chargebacks from Retailers
Manufacturers, including those in the bulk transport industry for food, must hit expected delivery dates that have been set by their customers. These are usually termed “Must Arrive by Dates,” often shortened to MABDs. If these dates are missed, then fees are usually charged. Some customers may charge a flat fee for late orders while other companies might take a percentage of the purchase price. If the company is unable to meet the dates that have been set by their customers, this can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue per quarter. In addition, this can ruin important relationships between the supplier and the customer. There are unforeseen circumstances that could make it harder for food-grade bulk tanker carriers to hit certain dates at certain times. Pallet configuration, appointment scheduling, and operating hours can all play a role in how well food grade tanker trucking companies can meet the MABDs set by customers.
The Importance of Refrigerated Shipping for Food Grade Carriers
In the food industry, many consumer goods are subject to perishing en-route. Therefore, temperature-controlled transportation is often a necessity. During the past few years, the demand for this equipment has gone up dramatically. Consumers prefer fresh products instead of processed ones and this demand has gone back to the supplier. On the other hand, the supply of temperature-controlled shipping is largely still the same. Combine this with a more challenging regulatory environment and the cost of ownership when it comes to temperature-controlled shipping is going up. This means higher prices when compared to a traditional truck. Conditions are particularly challenging between the months of April and July. This is the prime produce season in the United States and temperature-controlled trucks can be hard to find.
Handling and Contamination
It is critical to make sure that food and beverage products are not contaminated during the shipping process. Any debris or odour that is present in the product could permeate through the packaging and completely ruin the goods before they arrive at their destination. Sometimes, trailers are rejected due to debris or odours that are present in the truck, ruining shipping timelines. It is important to follow all instructions and ensure the goods aren’t contaminated during the bulk transport process.
Furthermore, handling is a major issue for a bulk transport corporation. The more times something is loaded and unloaded, the greater the chance that something could break. Holes in packages mean ruined products. The fewer the transport points, the lower the risk of breakage during food grade transport
Less-than-Truckload (LTL) Shipping in Food Transportation Services
For those who might not have enough freight to fill a full truck, this might be business as usual; however, LTL shipping does have its own risks. In an LTL truck, there might be multiple types of products in the trailer, increasing the threat of contamination. With numerous loading and unloading points to pick up the various products in the trailers, this also increases handling and the risk of breakage of a food-grade tank.
In addition, appointment scheduling can be a major problem. Sometimes, LTL carriers cannot schedule an appointment until they arrive at a delivery terminal. This could cause the company to miss its MABDs, leading to fees and penalties.
The Volatility of the Market
Finally, there are major volatilities in multiple industries that could have an impact on food retailers. The price of oil, the current labour market, shifting consumer demands, and competitor gains all have impacts on this market. When trucking prices rise, companies need to find ways to get more efficient in order to maintain their profit margins. Anything that impacts the cost of transportation (including food grade tanker carriers) is going to have an impact on this industry. Therefore, it is critical to identify new strategies to remain ahead of the competition.
If you are looking for a 3rd party logistics company that specializes in bulk food transportation for liquid food, get in touch with us today! At Freightlinxs, it is our goal to make sure that all of your supply arrives safely and efficiently at its destination.