Manage Logistical Hazards in Food Shipments through the Use of Technology

By Allie Gallant

Contamination in shipping can wipe out all the time, money and effort you put into producing safe food. Variables like time, temperature, handling, and storage conditions are as critical as safety on the farm or in the processing plant.

When food is in-transit, every container, truck, rail car or cargo hold matters. So do countless workers and external factors, like weather or mechanical failures. Logistics require a high degree of flexibility to deal with real-time changes in conditions. How can you control the risks? Look to automation and technology for help:

Logistics require a high degree of flexibility to deal with real-time changes in conditions

  • Wireless sensors and communication systems allow for remote quality supervision
  • Gas sensors can detect ethylene, which is a sign of unwanted ripening, and volatile compound sensors can detect mold infections
  • GPS tracking helps companies pinpoint exactly where food is at any given time, avoiding excess time and waste in shipping and receiving
  • Logistics programs have moved online, with real-time data on key quality and safety variables, and the ability to customize software for specific risks and products
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