Outsourcing transportation ahead of FSMA

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FSMA puts an emphasis on proactively preventing contamination of foods from farm to table.

There are several key points for shippers and transportation companies to start thinking about in order to get ahead of the curve…

  • The shipper will be required to specify, in writing, its sanitary requirements to the carrier; such as required temperature.
  • Shipper must inspect the trailer for cleanliness, confirm sanitation, and confirm temperatures.
  • Carrier must show shipper that it has maintained appropriate temperature control during transport for food subject to temperature control requirements.
  • Carriers will also have to provide shippers information about three previous loads hauled and the intervening cleaning of those vehicles.
  • Must have competent supervisory personnel ensuring compliance and must have training with documentation.

More than ever, it will be important for shippers to align themselves with experts in the food and beverage industry to ensure compliance and to ensure they have control over their supply chain.  There are several advantages to outsourcing your transportation to a Food and Beverage focused 3PL.

  • Carrier Networks – 3PL’s leverage industry relationships with the correct carrier base. They have a stringent on-boarding protocol to ensure the correct equipment and service levels are being met.  After identifying the correct carrier base, 3PL’s are able to leverage their vast networks to help lower cost by having carriers bid on freight and commit capacity to the business.
  • Technology – A 3PL with a focus on technology will be a step ahead of the game. There are several temperature monitoring services, location monitoring services, etc. that a good 3PL focused on the Food and Beverage industry will leverage to ensure compliance to the FSMA.  3PL’s with a strong TMS are also able to leverage backhauls, increased consolidation and optimized routing which offers more control of the equipment and less opportunity for the wrong product mix to be loaded onto a trailer.
  • Risk Mitigation – Outsourcing transfers the risk of transportation to the logistics provider. It allows shippers to focus on their core business.

There are many advantages to outsourcing your transportation needs.  It will be important to start the process early to leverage the expertise and technology of your chosen provider.  The more a company can prepare now, the less issues and disruptions to your business FSMA will present.

Nick Phillips, AVP of Operations and Accoun Manangement