How to Ship Food 

Shipping food presents a unique set of challenges to businesses. With most freight, shippers must balance cost with pick-up and drop-off dates and carrier quality. But in terms of shipping food, two other factors weigh heavily in their carrier decision: keeping the product safe for consumers during transit time and maintaining temperature control. 

Following strict deadlines helps to prevent food spoilage. If shippers use an unreliable LTL carrier that suffers frequent delays or lost shipments, they increase the risks of food expiry. Grocers and other food sellers won’t put bad products on shelves, and they won’t continue to work with businesses that can’t keep shelves stocked. 

Temperature control is critical to most food shipments. While some products can withstand high fluctuations in temperature, there is a limit to what shipping conditions are safe and legal. Shippers should ensure their carriers are fully compliant with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA)

To arrange shipping food according to all the requirements, it is crucial to pay close attention to the level of carriers’ capacity. When trying to select a suitable freight shipping service, follow a short must-have checklist. Reliable carriers should:

  1. Fall within budget 
  2. Meet pick-up date 
  3. Meet drop-off date 
  4. Be reputable and of the highest quality 
  5. Keep food safe through consistent, tight transit times 
  6. Ensure a temperature-controlled journey 
  7. Comply with the FDA FMSA 

To meet all these needs, businesses often turn to online freight marketplaces like GoShip to find the right carrier. 

By leveraging a freight marketplace, food shippers get a clear read on the shipping costs and transit times and can select the right fit for their freight. GoShip offers you to get a free quote within seconds. 

Food Shipping Services

When it comes to transporting food and beverages, merchants are confronted with many challenges. For example, compliance with strict delivery deadlines preserves food quality and allows to stock the grocery stores long before the products’ expiration date. Getting ahead of planned shipping is crucial to strengthening your food supply chain because of these strict deadlines. 

Food and beverages that are perishable are shipped on even stricter deadlines and cannot survive any disruptions in the supply chain. Perishable goods are also heavily dependent on temperature-controlled transport, also known as refrigerated or reefer vans. GoShip can help implement consistent and dependable solutions for frozen foods, meats, dairy, baked goods, and other perishable products at optimal shipping costs.

Shipping Frozen Food 

Shipping frozen foods can seem quite complicated, but with the right carriers, the process gets simple and easy. There are three main things that you must take care of when shipping frozen foods.

Plan Ahead

Planning is critical when shipping this type of food. Refrigerated trucks are in high demand, but with a proper shipping strategy in place, shipping frozen foods can be a smooth process. By planning your shipping accordingly, you can give yourself the proper amount of time to package your frozen goods, which is a major step in this process. 

Choose the Right Packaging 

If your goods aren’t packaged properly, the food might not stay frozen and can potentially spoil. Refrigerated trucks will keep the temperature and humidity within range, but the time before and after loading requires extra protection in case of outages at your facility or the shipment’s destination. You want to make sure the food you are shipping is fresh and unspoiled when it arrives at its destination, so packaging it properly is important. Consider applying additional ice packs to maintain the required temperature in case the reefer truck system stops working.

Book a Suitable Carrier

At GoShip, we can help you plan a fast and easy shipping process with one of our many reliable, pre-vetted carriers to help make sure your frozen foods arrive on time and in perfect condition. Visit our food and beverage page to learn more about how GoShip can help you safely ship your frozen foods, or fill out our Get a Quote form and see which providers best suit your shipping needs. 

Shipping Perishables 

Shipping perishables, or foods prone to spoil or decay after a short length of time, comes down to planning. From the moment the item comes into existence, it has a limited amount of time before it becomes unsellable. Your task is to move it as quickly and safely as possible from your facility to a place where consumers can use it, usually a grocery store or retail distribution point. 

It might be helpful to break your shipment of perishable goods into three parts: packaging, transit, and warehousing. 

Packaging

When it comes to packaging, preparation goes a long way. Outside of the product packaging itself, you’ll often want to include some form of coolant such as dry ice packs. Around that, you’ll want an insulated container to maintain the temperature the coolant is generating. You may also think about packing your perishables into bubble wrap. And around that, you’ll want an outer container that can weather the shipping process, such as a cardboard box. 

Transit

Transit will often occur on a refrigerated truck, also called reefer shipping. Refrigerated trucks have built-in climate control to maintain a constant temperature regardless of location. For example, if you’re moving chicken, you’ll want to keep the chicken at 40 degrees F or lower. While your packaging can help with that lift, a truck driving across Arizona in July will be hard-pressed to keep the temperatures low without climate control. 

Warehousing

Finally, proper warehousing is critical. Every stop for your perishable between pickup and delivery should be at a facility designed to keep perishables safe. By planning your packaging methods, selecting a trusted carrier, leading warehousing operations, you can ship perishables quickly and safely.

Shipping Meat 

Food quality and extreme delivery deadlines are just some of the many challenges food and beverage retailers are facing. Fast and planned shipping is what can help strengthen your entire business mechanism. Perishable products like meat require thorough supply chain planning that cannot survive any disruptions.

With logistics playing such a large role in transporting temperature-sensitive shipments, GoShip can provide you with consistent and workable solutions for shipping meat and other perishables. 

Refrigerated trucks have special protection from sun and rain apart from in-built refrigeration systems. Also, there is a strict compliance policy for reefer carriers, so it is a safe and reliable way to ship meat. GoShip offers free refrigerated shipping rates for your meat supply chain! 

Shipping Fruits & Vegetables 

Shipping fresh fruits and vegetables requires careful planning and near-perfect execution to have products arrive fresh and edible. Keeping the fresh produce at a safe temperature for the entirety of the journey is your major focus. While some fruits and vegetables may travel fine without a climate-controlled truck, you will often want to consider refrigerated trucks to move your freight. Not only are fruit and vegetables susceptible to temperature, but humidity as well, as condensation can build up on your fresh produce and cause premature aging.  

Packaging is also a huge factor in the safety of your fruits and vegetables. Your produce should be carefully packaged and padded to prevent damage. Leverage moisture-wicking bags to help keep your produce dry. You should plan for your perishable goods to be able to survive 24-36 hours and stay under 40 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the trip. 

GoShip can bridge you to the right shipper that provides safe and quick end-to-end temperature control for shipping your product at a great price! 

Shipping Dairy

Over the past year, grocery e-commerce has become the most popular means of food shopping, prompting dairy shippers to strengthen their supply chains.

When shipping dairy products, it is important to select a reliable carrier. Dairy goods are tricky, with a proclivity to spoil fast and needing delicate packaging. GoShip is one of the best options since you can select a carrier that sets your products’ quality as their top priority. 

Shipping Liquids 

When shipping liquids, the key difference comes down to adhering to best practices for packaging and carrier selection. 

Liquids should always be packaged in waterproof containers to avoid spillage. For products that can be moved in a wide range of temperatures, sealed containers help prevent spoilage through fluctuations in humidity that naturally occur during transit. Shippers often include a waterproof liner within their shipping container to err on the side of caution. 

Your shipping container should be clearly labeled that it carries liquids, with a notice on all sides and clear indicators of which side should face up. While you likely trust your packaging manufacturer, there is no need to take on additional risks. 

Finally, you should make sure that you are falling on the right side of any carrier agreement and local laws. Many carriers will have specific requirements depending on the contents of your liquid shipment, and most governments have laws on how certain liquids, like alcohol, are shipped. 

Safest Way to Ship Liquids 

Shipping liquids require enhanced safety and planning because many liquids are potentially inflammable and considered dangerous goods. Before shipping liquids, make sure the carrier accepts liquids in the first place, and then provide proper packaging. It’s most safe when a product is double sealed, put in waterproof packaging, and only after that is placed in the box, crate, or other storage. 

When looking for a carrier, make sure the company is compliant with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Let GoShip help deliver liquids and beverages straight to your customer’s table with our advanced transportation solutions, carrier network, tracking capabilities, and decades of experience in shipping food and beverage products. 

Can you ship liquids to Canada? 

Yes, you can ship liquids to Canada, although there are several prohibited liquids that you are unable to ship, including (but not limited to) gasoline, nail polish, remover, perfumes that contain alcohol, alcoholic beverages, poisons, and flammable or explosive liquids. 

Depending on what you are shipping, even if it’s not prohibited, you may need a permit to ship it north of the border. To see if the item you wish to ship is prohibited or requires a permit, check out Canada’s shipping guidances

Shipping Alcohol 

Shipping a liquid like alcohol can be a simple and easy process if you know all the specific rules within each state about where you can and cannot ship alcohol. Alcohol is prohibited in a multitude of cities, towns, and even countries, so knowing where alcohol is legal is important.

Along with where alcohol is legal, making sure the alcohol is packed correctly is important. Since alcohol often comes in glass bottles, they are more delicate than plastic items, which means you must package your alcohol properly, so it does not get damaged throughout the shipment.  

Shipping alcohol directly to consumers likely has legal constraints. For example, it is illegal to ship alcohol directly to consumers in Texas, but Connecticut has some legal allowances. Before shipping alcohol directly to consumers, consult state and federal laws because there are likely some constraints to which you’ll need to adhere.  

Shipping alcohol tends to be more expensive than shipping most similarly sized items, so finding a reliable carrier that is affordable and trustworthy is a necessity. Using an online freight marketplace, like GoShip, allows you to run through a large list of pre-vetted carriers to find the right fit for your freight.  

Overall, shipping alcohol can be an easy process if you make sure you:

  • Package your alcohol correctly.
  • Operate within legal means to ship alcohol to its destination.
  • Choose the right carrier to ship your alcohol. 

Shipping Beer 

Shipping beer legally still isn’t too easy. While you should follow the best practices for packaging and carrier selection outlined elsewhere on this page, beer tends to have strict laws wrapped around how you can move it. 

Shipping beer in-state, or to and from locations within the same state, is the easiest scenario, as you only must worry about one state’s worth of legal constraints. For example, in Kentucky, you would need to know about the 11 completely dry counties and the other 56 with special circumstances. 

Once you expand to shipping beer across state lines, you must start worrying about both the origin state and the destination state. For example, you may be fine to ship from your business in Nevada directly to consumers in Nevada, but you cannot ship from your business in Nevada directly to consumers in Utah, where direct-to-consumer beer shipments are prohibited. 

To sum up, when shipping beer, it’s safe to follow the best practices for shipping liquid perishables but work in close concert with your carrier and within the confines of both origin and destination laws. 

Shipping Wine 

When it comes to shipping wine, you can experience an array of issues if unprepared. From complicated alcohol laws to heavy boxes filled with liquids, the logistics involved with shipping wine can be challenging. To legally ship wine anywhere in the country, you must be a licensed wine dealer. It is illegal for any unlicensed citizen to mail wine to another person. Additionally, shipping wine requires extreme care and protection to prevent the bottles from being damaged. Securely package the bottles so they reach the customer safely. 

Finally, shipping wine can be more expensive compared to other goods due to size, weight, required signatures, and the occasional surcharge for delivering directly to consumers instead of a traditional warehouse or facility. 

Shipping Liquor 

Safety is a primary concern when shipping spirits, so make sure to properly organize your shipping process. Many carriers accept shipments that contain alcoholic beverages, but there are some additional steps to the process. Most carriers require labeling liquor shipments and providing proper packaging for the bottles, like double-sealing, waterproof packaging, and then boxing. We recommend you completely cover the shipment in something soft to reduce the risk of glass damage and to absorb any liquid if the bottle breaks. 

Additionally, some states require you to obtain a special license for shipping alcohol. Once you meet the requirements, GoShip can help you find quotes from a wide variety of experienced carriers. Final delivery requires an adult over 21 with proper identification to sign for the package, so you’ll want tight coordination between you, the recipient, and the carrier. 

Shipping Whiskey 

Shipping whiskey is similar to shipping wine or other liquors: you need to have a license that allows you to ship alcohol and you need to operate within federal laws and the laws of both the pickup and delivery states.  

When shipping whiskey, you must be cautious with the packaging. Glass bottles need to be packaged and handled delicately. At GoShip, we offer a variety of carriers ready to handle all types of shipments. As you book a load, you can note shipments that contain fragile materials so carriers know to handle them with care.