Air transports a vast range of commodities both locally and internationally, specially with our Shipping Company in Chicago. Different types of cargo have various storage, transportation, and handling needs. How can forwarders and airlines maintain the temperature of these commodities so that they arrive safely and intact, given that each cargo requires particular consideration?

Temperature-Controlled Goods: 

Temperature-controlled or perishable commodities are items that will spoil if not kept at a specified temperature or in a controlled environment. Fresh meat, frozen food, prescription medications, and flowers are all examples of perishable items.

Despite the cheap worth of some of these commodities, they have a high air shipping rate. The shelf life of many of these items is brief. As a result, air travel, especially over large distances, is a good option for getting people to their destination faster. A single flight also makes it simpler to manage temperature (or other parameters) than many land or maritime journeys.

Different perishable items have storage and handling needs, making things more difficult for air freight carriers. Fresh meat, for example, needs to be kept at a different temperature than pharmaceuticals. So, what happens when fresh meat and narcotics are transported on the same international flight?

Unit Load Devices for transporting perishable items: 

A unit load device (ULD) is a metal cargo container intended for air transportation of perishable commodities. Perishable products are put inside a standard-sized cargo container known as Unit Load Devices onboard the airplane (ULD). The ULDs are made to fit into the hold and stay put. For various aircraft, there are a variety of sizes available. Many are interchangeable, allowing for easy switching between planes. 

ULDs keep perishable foods fresh by maintaining a temperature range. Some make use of electricity, while others make use of dry ice. The temperature range for most ULDs is -20 to 20 degrees Celsius.

These are, after all, essentially full metal containers, whether used for luggage or regular freight. However, the same sized containers are customized to store temperature-controlled commodities refrigerated or frozen. Either electricity or dry ice can be used to accomplish this.

One of the core suppliers of these containers is Envirotainer. It claims to have over 6000 containers in circulation, and it provides a choice of container sizes. Temperature ranges between -20 and 20 degrees Celsius in standard containers. The majority of the cooling is done with a battery and dry ice.

Considering the Entire Supply Chain: 

Airfreight is simply one aspect of the supply chain, and while ULDs keep perishable items safe throughout a trip, it is only one part of the supply chain. Supply chain management must safely store and handle perishable items before and after the trip. These are some of the factors to consider:

  • Getting perishable commodities ready for air freight
  • Getting perishable items to and from the airport
  • Perishable commodities storage at the airport
  • Adjusting potential delays, loading, and unloading of the aircraft
  • Allowing for customs clearance and making accommodations

Custom Clearance and Perishable Goods: 

If you’re sending items internationally via air, you’ll additionally need to think about customs clearance. The length of time your goods must be kept in a temperature-controlled environment and how you pack them will be affected by the international customs process.

Importing and exporting food and medications are regulated in many nations. Find a freight forwarder that offers customs clearance services to ensure that you know the requirements and have all the necessary paperwork to expedite the customs process.

Additionally, while packing perishable items, be sure you can keep them at the proper temperature throughout the shipping procedure. It includes making arrangements for the items to be opened and inspected by Customs. So come check us out!

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