How To Ship Seafood Safely?

How To Ship Seafood Safely?

Seafood is extremely healthy for the human body since it is rich in protein, micro- and macro-elements, as well as has high nutritional value. It’s recommended to consume seafood at least once a week to enrich the organism with vital elements. However, not everyone is lucky to live next to the sea and enjoy fresh seafood. This fact raises the need to ship fish and seafood to different parts of the world.

Seafood shipping is an important question since sometimes, it can take several weeks or even months. It’s important to preserve the required environmental conditions to guarantee its freshness throughout the way to consumer counters. Any violation of storage conditions can lead to premature spoilage, bacterial growth, and food poisoning. This is why it’s vital to monitor proper shipping conditions when transporting seafood.

In the article, we’re going to consider how to pack frozen fish for shipping. Our experts outline the key requirements and explain tricky points to guarantee safe and durable storage of seafood on the road.

Main Challenges of Shipping Seafood

The main difficulty of seafood shipping is related to the need to create and maintain optimal conditions for freshness preservation. The following challenges are the most common for the industry:

  1. Fermentation. Under the influence of environmental factors (temperature, humidity, etc.), fish and seafood may change taste, aroma, and nutritional value. For instance, it can go rancid, spoiled, or even poisonous.
  2. Bacterial growth. The breach of maintenance of the required climate conditions in packages leads to the growth of bacteria that can lead to spoilage or poisoning.
  3. Inadequate record-keeping. Poorly coordinated recording impedes and hardens transportation, reducing traceability.
  4. Cold storage problems. The maintenance of optimal temperature stands as the main criterion for long-term shipment. Seafood is delivered in a cold climate.
  5. Lack of tracking. Poorly managed and organized shipment without tracking leads to multiple impedes on the road, which slows down transportation. Economically and time-consuming insufficient routes are developed, which prolongs delivery.
  6. Moisture loss. An excessive pace of losing liquid results in making products freezer burn.

It’s vital to keep in mind these points to guarantee quick and effective transportation so that consumers get fresh and tasty food to their counters.

How to Pack Seafood for Shipping?

To choose the best packaging for wrapping seafood and fish, it’s necessary to realize what physical properties it should possess. High-quality frozen fish packaging must satisfy the next requirement:

  1. Since seafood is wet, wrappers should be highly resistant to moisture impact and prevent leakage.
  2. Thick packages are preferable to guarantee high puncture resistance and possess high barrier properties.
  3. They must preserve the optimal climate inside packaging, insulating the content from external environmental impacts.
  4. Wrappers must prevent smell penetration.
  5. Since fish is transported in a frozen form, covers should not deteriorate under the influence of low temperatures

Judging by these parameters, plastic covers are the best choice. Plastic bags are characterized by the highest barrier properties, creating the required climate inside cover and preventing the content from any contact with the environment. A vacuum seal and a shipping tape are used to improve product safety and reserve quality. Such covers satisfy all the above-mentioned requirements and are sustainable, which is crucial for the modern industry. For better convenience, packages are equipped with zip-ties and handlers.

Note that to create the required environment inside packages, different tricks are used. Packaging companies tend to use the following solutions:

  • dry ice;
  • gel ice packs;
  • gel packs;
  • insulated container lid;
  • outer corrugated box;
  • insulated boxes;
  • absorbent towel.

These options allow for increasing the barrier properties of packaging and preserving the climate better. Thus, they improve the quality and serviceability of wrappers.

Frozen Seafood Shipping Process

Seafood undergoes a long way from the moment it is caught on a fishing boat to the moment when it appears on the consumer counter. The process comprises the net steps:

  1. Find a trusted carrier. The carrier should provide a quote to guarantee its legal activity.
  2. Hire a competent freight forwarder to ensure proper management of the freight process.
  3. Submit a purchase order to inform the forwarder about the intention to ship products.
  4. Turn to a servicing bank and ask for a letter of credit. This step is required to provide a supplier with a commercial invoice.
  5. Check whether the carrier got all the required documents prepared. These include an export declaration, certificate of origin, etc.

It’s advisable to organize shipment in advance to take extra time for unforeseen delays, customs issues, or whatever. Once a ship arrives at a port, an insulated container is unpacked, and consignments are sent to buyers.

Guidelines for Securely Transporting Seafood

If you want to find the best way to ship frozen fish, take into account the following tips. They help minimize the risk of food spoilage during transit and preserve its fresh condition.

  1. Draw due attention to the temperature regime in insulated containers. When the temperature is –20 degrees, fish remain fresh for up to 8 months, while if the temperature rises above zero, the storage time shortens to just 1 month. Make sure to use high-power refrigerators and freezers to maintain the optimal temperature level.
  2. Consider the type of seafood and fish to select optimal packaging materials. Some species require skin sealing, while others can be transported in bags.
  3. Make sure to develop time- and cost-effective shipping routes to reduce the delivery time (and expenses) and preserve fish freshness.
  4. Insure consignments from breakage and loss on the road. No one can guarantee 100% safety of consignments when we deal with the ocean.
  5. Make sure to design packages and labels correctly to appeal to consumers and manage their behavior. Specialized companies help develop custom packaging designs.

Seafood shipping is a complicated and time-consuming process. Moreover, if you consider the specifics of the transported product, you have to comply with strict requirements for transportation to guarantee the delivery of fresh seafood and prevent spoilage. While the modern packaging industry offers a wide list of wrappers, plastic covers are the best solution for packing fish and seafood due to their physical properties and highly resistant barrier.