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Setting up a seafood business and shipping fresh food can be challenging due to time and temperature restrictions. But that need not be the case. Understanding your products, transport process, and right packaging techniques will help you establish a fresh seafood shipping business without any bother.
The live fish carrier market is valued at around $3 billion and is expected to grow to $3.2 billion. This means now is the best time to capitalize on the profitable shipping fresh or frozen seafood market.
If you are someone looking to start fresh seafood transporting business, this detailed shipping fresh seafood guide will help you get a head start.
Why Should You Keep Your Seafood Pre-cooled?
You don’t want to ruin your seafood (your frozen or fresh fish, for example) even before it gets onto the delivery truck. Seafood must be frozen or kept in a cold environment to extend its storage life span. And it can be difficult to maintain the lower temperature while the seafood passes through multiple packaging processes.
In the pre-cooling process, all the packing logistics are handled in a cold temperature-controlled area to prevent high temperatures from affecting the product. This area is often referred to as the cold room. The assembly area is cooled using air conditioners or cold air blowers. You can also set up a walk-in freezer for smaller operations.
What are Carrier Options for Shipping Seafood?
When buying seafood online, customers trust that they’ll get a fresh catch. FedEx, UPS, and USPS are all great carrier options to ensure the same. These are thus your best bet for shipping fresh seafood.
1. USPS for smaller perishable shipments
USPS is better suited for sending smaller perishable shipments. Furthermore, they offer the lowest prices out of the three. The delivery speed is also decent. But opt for Priority Mail Express if you want to make the most of the USPS service. As the name suggests, the delivery is made within 24 to 48 hours of placing the order.
2. FedEx and UPS for larger shipments
If you want to send larger shipments, FedEx and UPS will make it easier for you. Both of them have larger shipment options compared to USPS. Moreover, their delivery speed is faster than that of USPS. However, they have strict regulations about packaging seafood.
FedEx even mentions the temperature range for the seafood. They also mention the dimensions for the boxes that you should use to pack your fresh seafood. USP also has similar guidelines. Additionally, you need to declare the use of dry ice as a refrigerant as it is considered a hazardous item in large quantities.
3. Start your own delivery branch by utilizing a route optimization software
You are free to start your delivery branch for your seafood business if you do not like the offers from established postal companies. You can use route planner software, like Upper, to plan out your deliveries. Route planners software also shows you the fastest route to make the deliveries, which is especially useful in shipping fresh seafood.
6 Simple Steps for Shipping Fresh Seafood Safely
Let’s quickly discuss the six steps to safely ship fresh seafood.
1. Maintain low temperatures
Slight variations in temperatures can massively affect the shelf life of the seafood.
For example, fish remains fresh for almost eight months when frozen to negative 20°C after a couple of hours of catching them.
But if frozen to negative 15°C, it stays edible only for a month.
Therefore, understanding the correct freezing and storage temperature of seafood helps protect your food during transit.