What is Food Logistics? In truth, it is so much more than most people realize.
Specialized logistics services are unique within the supply chain for many different industries with food logistics being one of the most important in the world. Food and food ingredients must make their way to many different locations throughout their life cycle. From harvesting to processing to manufacturing and distributing, food can have an even longer logistics life cycle than many other consumer goods.
Types of Food Logistics
Not all food can be handled the same way. Food logistics involves safe processes in order to maintain food safety, security, and efficiency. Here are some of the details for different types of food.
Food ingredients can be a number of different items that go into food at a manufacturing plant. These can come in bulk, in large packages such as totes or super-sacks, or they can be bagged or boxed by weight. Food ingredients make up the largest part of food logistics and are shipped worldwide and throughout the country to be manufactured into a finished product.
Finished food goods are packaged and ready to be delivered to a restaurant, shipped to a grocery or retail store, or sent directly to a consumer. Transportation can include being shipped from the manufacturing plant to a storage facility or from a storage facility to its final delivery point. For the storage of finished foods, food safety is a top priority as the food is considered ready for consumption and therefore requires precise temperature and humidity control.
Organic food can be fresh, processed, or packaged. The main thing is that it must not contain any prohibited substances such as pesticides or preservatives. Organic food requires a very specific set of rules and certifications for transportation and storage. While these foods do not need to be completely separated from other non-organic foods, there are important procedures that must be followed in order to prevent cross-contamination.
Fresh food typically moves from being harvested to a retail setting (stores or restaurants) very quickly with little time in transit or storage. If fresh food is stored, there are typically extra processes in place to ensure food safety throughout the supply chain.
Cold Storage and Cold Food Logistics
Cold food can be either refrigerated or frozen. These foods must stay cold throughout the transportation and storage process. Keeping the cold chain intact is a top priority, and therefore they must be tracked with shipments and throughout the storage environment. Specialized trailers called “reefers” can either keep food refrigerated or frozen while in transit.
Food Logistics Certifications
It is important to perform your own audit and carefully choose your logistics partner. Food certifications are the most important and efficient way to vet a potential logistics provider to help your team. The certification process requires rigorous audits, food safety plans, continued maintenance, and a team of experts to ensure food safety.
Food certifications can include Safe Quality Food (SQF), FDA/USDA certifications, organic handlers certificates, ISO, and OSHA options. While there are other niche certifications, these cover most food logistics operations. SQF is one of the most comprehensive certifications in the industry and covers everything from manufacturing to storage.
See Murphy’s food certifications here: https://www.murphylogistics.com/about/certifications/
Why So Many Trust Murphy For Food Logistics
Think about all of the different types of food you see in grocery stores and restaurants. All of that food must be transported, stored, and distributed throughout the world. Food logistics and the food supply chain are one of the single most important industries in the world.
If you work with food and food ingredients and are looking for a logistics provider with the expertise and certifications, reach out to Murphy today. Our team of food logistics experts are ready to answer your questions and develop a custom food logistics strategy that works for your needs. Give our team the chance to prove why so many companies that work in the food industry count on Murphy for safe, reliable food logistics that exceed all standards.