August 30, 2017

Documenting Pulp Temperatures at Shipping Point Affords you Protection

By: Tom Oliveri

One of the important ways to verify the produce loaded at shipping point is cooled to the proper temperature is to pulp the produce during the loading process of the trailer and have it witnessed by the truck driver.  After the driver witnesses the pulp temperatures of the product being loaded into the trailer, those temperatures then need to be recorded on the bill of lading and initialed by the driver. Document, document, document!

Not only should you record the pulp temperatures on the bill of Lading but you should, as a best practice, also have a pre-load check list that the driver should also sign or initial. Please consider a pre-load check list that among other things also includes pulp temperatures for the driver to initial click here

By taking these steps, you ensure you are properly cooling your produce, but you also can invalidate the argument by the buyer or carrier alleging that the product was loaded warm at shipping point. This evidence is fundamental to you as the shipper to establish evidence that you fulfilled your obligation in placing the produce inside the trailer in a properly cooled condition, which under proper transit condition, should allow the produce to arrive at destination in an acceptable temperature range.

It has been my experience over the years that shippers who institute this loading discipline have fewer complaints. When complaints do arise, they are in a better position to have a professional dialogue based on documented facts.  Remember, the key element is having the driver initial and sign the bill of lading and pre-load check list.  Hopefully, you will consider this best practice which can translate to a long term financial benefit for your organization and reputation.

 I strongly recommend that you as a shipper 1) Review your bill of lading. If you have not already done so, add pulp temperatures and a check box for the driver to sign off on those temperatures. And 2) please consider a pre-load check list that among other things also includes pulp temperatures for the driver to initial.  

Should you have any questions or wish for me to review your bill of lading or pre-load check list, please contact me at or 949-885-2269.