The Logistics of Perishable Goods

In today’s world there are huge logistical problems moving perishable products from their source to the market place. Consumers expect that when they go to their local supermarket to do their weekly shopping the shelves and refrigerators will be filled with everything they need. It does provide a challenge to the retail food giants which have built up their reputations for being able to do it efficiently. It is the very reason why the large supermarket brands are so successful.


Image courtesy of digitalart/


Perishable food is exactly that; something that has a limited life and must be loaded, delivered and available for sale as soon as possible. While canned produce, pasta, flour and sugar all have a long life, there are many items such as dairy produce and meat that reach a stage where they deteriorate and cannot be left available for sale. Transportation in refrigerated vehicles is therefore essential in order to make the goods available on supermarket shelves, hopefully to sell the same day.


Transportation of perishable goods is a specialised business unlike general haulage. It requires vehicles manufactured specifically for the job. Companies like are specialists, providing new and used vehicles that this sector of the transport industry requires.

General haulage is a very competitive business; it is sometimes difficult for hauliers to increase their rates despite overheads rising all the time; fuel, tax and wages. Specialisation may be the answer for companies that find their margins being squeezed. At least there is likely to be less competition. It will not be essential to buy several new refrigerated vehicles immediately because it is possible to get companies that do conversions to suitable existing vehicles to quote for the work. Good companies that have established a reputation will not offer to do the work if the vehicle being considered is not suitable for conversion.


It is one way for a transport company to diversify into carrying perishable goods. Obviously, anyone trying to diversify in this way must be able to find customers. In many ways it is no different to any challenge which involves increasing a database of clients.

If the venture is successful then the fleet may need to be expanded. That can be achieved either by purchasing used vehicles that might have been traded in, serviced and made ready for resale, or buying new vehicles. In both cases there are companies happy to talk and provide advice. They are likely to be specialists because they will need mechanical and refrigeration engineers which general vehicle dealers do not require.

All in all the business of refrigerated transport, from the supply and maintenance of vehicles to the function itself, needs efficiency. Time will always be a factor in perishable goods reaching the consumer; their useful shelf life needs to be extended by the use of quality refrigerated vehicles.

Related Posts

%d bloggers like this: