QUESTION: Is it important for a shipper to record or take pulp temperatures at shipping point?
The answer is a resounding yes! By documenting pulp temperatures at shipping point and having those pulp temperatures acknowledged and signed-off by the carrier is an excellent best practice to document that the product at shipping point was properly pre-cooled and loaded on the trailer at the correct temperature. By having the driver acknowledging the pulp temperatures, it will help dispel the possible misrepresentation that the produce was not properly pre-cooled at shipping point. With your documented pulp temperatures at origin, produce arriving with elevated pulp temperatures at destination then enables you to examine transit temperatures for fluctuation and also begins the dialogue with the carrier about those temperatures. The comparison of origin and arrival pulp temperatures is what you should first review when there is a reported temperature issue at destination. If at destination the temperature differs from those at shipping point you, as a shipper, you have standing to explore those variances as a possible contributor to the condition factors at contract destination. This is because you have evidence of what the product pulped at shipping point.
Next, how does a shipper go about recording pulp temperatures a shipping point? When recording the pulp temperatures at shipping point it is important to have the driver witness the temperatures being taken and the driver must initial or sign a document (i.e. bill of lading or loading document) verifying those several pulp temperatures. The extra time it might take to perform this task helps ensure you have properly cooled the produce, and it could pay dividends when you have a situation with higher or lower temperatures at destination. Your bill of lading should have a box that indicates what temperature should be maintained during transit and also a box to record the pulp temperatures, which were recorded on your loading form and initialed by the driver. I have handled hundreds of complaints and I am always amazed to find some shippers bills of lading not only do not have pulp temperatures recorded, but also lack instructions on what temperature the product needs to be maintained at during transit. In a recent blog I encouraged you to review your bill of lading. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to add pulp temperatures and a place for the driver to sign off on those temperatures. By taking these measures it further indicates to your buyer that you as a shipper focus on details and in the long run could reduce exposure to problems or claims.This DRC decision discusses the recording of shipping point pulp temperatures. In addition to the bill of lading, I mention a loading document, which is another important document that every shipper should consider utilizing. In my next blog I will highlight some of the important aspects of a loading document along with providing a sample template.
Should you have any questions or wish for me to review your documents, please contact me at TommyO@wga.com or 949-885-2269.