Food distribution, which involves the transportation, storage, and marketing of food, is a complex process that’s becoming more important owing to the growing population, scarcer resources, and changing dietary habits. Products are gathered from farmers and food processors and transported to retail and wholesale buyers. Food is now transported over longer and longer distances to feed densely populated areas, and the prices don’t always reflect the environmental and social costs, but we won’t go there right now. Supermarkets, restaurants, and food service providers depend on distributors to acquire the ingredients they need to operate.
Logistics is a crucial aspect of supply chain management, and if the operation is well-run, it can drastically reduce food wastage and ensure products reach consumers on time. There’s greater demand than ever for visibility into shipment status and location, as it’s imperative to make adjustments where there are challenges that could delay transportation. Food distribution uses different means of transportation, yet trucking is by far the most common, particularly in the United States. It could be argued that truck drivers are essential to food distribution, and any breakdown in the industry could leave millions of people without the goods they rely on.
Shipping By Truck Is the Most Efficient Form of Food Transportation
Trucking services represent the main means of transportation for dispersing goods around the world. Due to the expansion of food distribution, fruits and vegetables reach previously underserved areas, and the quality of those items doesn’t fade during transport. Densely populated areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York City lack sufficient space to dedicate to agriculture, so food distribution ensures that the people who live there get what they need. Trucking accounts for more than half of all food transportation, which doesn’t come as a surprise given that it’s one of the most efficient and safe ways of moving goods from one place to another.
Trucks allow for faster delivery times because cargo is transported from point A to point B without any change in the transportation method. They usually travel at a speed of 50 miles per hour, so trucking is an efficient and cost-effective shipping method. Freight costs are reduced significantly as far as fuel consumption is concerned because it’s not necessary to load an empty trailer at the end of the trip. The driver can drive continuously, although breaks are required every 2 hours. Since trucks are robust, they can travel on any road regardless of weather conditions. GPS tracking and temperature control translate into the fact that trucks can transport various types of goods.
How To Choose the Best Transportation Service Provider
Many foods have a short life span, so on-time delivery is of the essence for time- and temperature-sensitive foods. Delays are sometimes inevitable, but they should be avoided whenever possible, even if challenging. Currently, many companies rely on 3PL for outsourced logistics and supply chain management, focusing on growing business. The cost of the transportation service is one factor to consider, but it shouldn’t be the decisive one; it’s imperative to be sure of the quality of the services that are being offered, even if you have a budget to stick to. Look for a company with modern logistics trucking capabilities.
Properly implemented logistics trucking enables businesses to eliminate unnecessary costs and improve other service areas, not to mention their systems for accuracy and productivity. They know the optimally efficient routes for the fleet of trucks, what types of fuels are best to use, and how they can meet the demands and needs of customers. The logistics carrier is the partner you depend on, so perform due diligence when auditing potential transportation service providers to work with. You’ll want to hire a company to help you with shipping from beginning to end, so you should be able to get help when you need it.
Before choosing a 3PL company, become aware of its expertise. Not only should you listen to what the public has to say, but you should also check to see if they’re licensed and registered. Besides reviews on the actual website, you should look up reviews on sites like Yelp or Google Reviews to get an idea of who you’re dealing with. Many businesses affirm that customer service is their main priority, but that’s simply not the case. If your first contact with a logistics carrier is disappointing, they’ll surely back out of the commitment and let you down when you need it the most.
What Are the Best Types of Trucks for Transporting Food?
If you’re distributing food, it’s likely that you’ll need a truck to do the job. What kind of trucks are best suited for transporting food depends on the goods in question. Please continue reading to discover the most common types of vehicles used in logistics trucking:
- Standard semi-trucks – Semi-trucks are articulated vehicles that tow independent semi-trailers, ranging in size from oversize loads of heavy equipment to standard loads of household goods. Cereal, pasta, and canned foods can be transported using standard semi-trucks.
- Tanker trucks – Tanker trucks are designed to carry liquids on the road, so they’re perfect for transporting fruit juice, corn syrup, and milk, to name a few. They play an important part in the delivery of perishable liquids without contamination. Tanker trucks can also be used to transport flour and sugar.
- Refrigerated trucks – Refrigerated trucks carry perishable freight at low temperatures, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, and so on. Since the refrigeration unit is powered by the vehicle’s engine, there’s no need to use a secondary diesel engine.
The transportation company will know what truck is right for the job, making sure your goods stay fresh during transit. Needless to say, you don’t want the truck to be overloaded, so take into account the weight and size of your goods. A regular truck is good enough if you’re distributing food across smaller distances, yet you’ll need something more reliable if you’re transporting goods for hours or days at an end. Yet again, the logistics shipper will be able to help you out.