As a shipper of an FOB contract or a delivered sales contract, you have a responsibility to load product that meets suitable shipping condition, and that, under normal transit, will arrive at contract destination in a merchantable condition that meets contract specifications. As a shipper you have an obligation to take appropriate steps at shipping point by loading the product in a proper manner which requires among other requirements that both product and trailer are properly pre-cooled.
Ten key items to consider on your check list are:
- Product properly pre-cooled
- Trailer pre-cooled and the TRU is set at the proper transit temperature, including continuous mode of operation for the refrigeration unit
- Trailer is clean, properly equipped with proper chute, and unit operating properly
- Document location of recorder device on the bill of lading
- Document pulp temperatures of product on bill of lading and have driver initial
- Bill of lading indicates the proper temperature at which product is to be transported
- When loading your product in a refrigerated trailer, remember to allow for proper air flow.
- Stabilize the load to prevent shifting in transit i.e. load locks, air bags…
- Cartons should not be touching the air chute
- It is preferred that cartons not be stacked directly on the floor
To assist you in determining whether your are taking all necessary precautions, I have linked to my blog a check list developed by the North American Produce Transportation Working Group (http://www.naptwg.org/). Following these best practices will document that you loaded the product in an appropriate manner. Should your product arrive at contract destination reflecting temperatures either too high or too low from the stated temperature range on the bill of lading, your documentation (USDA or CFIA inspections) and (recording unit and downloads) will provide the best initial evidence to begin the process to determine if there is a transportation claim.
Please contact my office at 949 885-2269 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.