Thanks to COVID-19 and on-demand delivery services, online shopping has quickly become a huge part of everyday life for a large number of consumers in the UK. Customers have since diversified and found new, innovative routes to market essentials; now opting to buy fresh produce and perishable foods online instead of shopping in-store. Find out more about how COVID-19 has impacted parcel deliveries on our latest blog here.

Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a huge boom in retail website traffic worldwide, with website page visits reaching 21.96 billion by June 2020 – a drastic increase from 16.07 billion in January 2020 (Statista 2020 COVID-19 Ecommerce Statistics). From local florists and cake shops to successful cocktail bars, many businesses are smart enough to quickly move their services online. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that now is the time to seriously consider perishable shipping solutions if you haven’t already.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that, when shipping perishable food, there are a few challenges that every business will face. From extreme temperatures and staleness to humidity, there are many things to consider

In this guide, we’re taking a look at the process of shipping perishable goods and what every small or large business should be taking into consideration.

Firstly, what is considered a perishable item?

Put simply, perishable items are products that will deteriorate over time if left in the wrong environment or packaging. This is why it’s incredibly important that they are handled professionally and kept in the correct conditions– especially when shipping is concerned. Here are a few main examples of perishable items:

• Flowers

• Beverages

• Meat

• Seafood

• Dairy products

• Fruit and vegetables

• Pharmaceutical products

• Chemicals

If you’re unsure which of our delivery services will be best suited for your perishable items, then get in touch with our team to discuss your exact delivery requirements.

Logistic solutions for shipping perishable items: How it works

Whenever shipping perishables is concerned, there are many factors that could potentially go wrong. Long shipping times and bad handling will only lead to spoilt food and unnecessary waste, or even the worst-case scenario of food poisoning or illness. This is why, if you’re considering shipping perishable items, it’s so important to make sure that everything is taken into consideration to maintain and control quality of the items. Hiring professionals to do this will only give you the peace of mind that every package you dispatch is being handled the right way.

Here at Priority Express, we offer a range of delivery services that can be tailored to your exact requirements as a business. Our perishable consignments are identified and prioritised at each step of the journey using unique labels. We also ensure that bookings have the right instructions for our delivery drivers to ensure deliveries are made on time and in perfect condition.

How do you ship perishable goods?

1. Plan Ahead – it might seem obvious, but a good place to start would be to make sure that you can actually send the perishable item with your courier. If you’re unsure whether your goods are restricted or not with our services, find out our regulations and requirements here.

2. Choose the Right Packaging - When preparing your perishable items for delivery, one of the most important things to consider is how you will maintain the quality of goods throughout the shipping process.

It’s as simple as this; high quality packaging will ensure items arrive in excellent condition, and bad quality packaging will result in spoilt goods and unhappy customers.

There are a variety of creative packaging solutions to choose from to ensure temperatures are controlled and the goods are kept intact. Here are three packaging ideas for shipping your perishable goods:

• Temperature regulation – for products that need to be kept chilled, we would recommend using corrugated carboard containers with frozen gel bags to maintain to right temperature during shipping. Another option is dry ice, which will keep your packaging dry (unlike gel packs).

• Plastic bags or wrapping paper – if you’re looking for packaging on the more affordable side, then this is a great inexpensive option for transporting perishable items or food.

• Shipping containers – if your goods need to be kept at a set temperature, then we would recommend using a standard cardboard box with an insulated layer for maintaining heat.

3. Communication Is Key – Now that you have your packaging organised, it’s important that you communicate with your courier the exact description of what the perishable items are, what your specific requirements are, and how the items should be handled. This will allow your courier to take the correct precautions when handling your goods.

4. Consider the Most Suitable Shipping Option – If you’re looking to start shipping perishable goods, we highly recommend the below Priority Express services as the most practical shipping solution for this:

Overnight Delivery - Next day parcel and package delivery across the UK is an excellent choice for perishable delivery, as a quick delivery will maintain produce quality and freshness. It will also allow you to meet your deadlines within your budget, ensuring your parcel is delivered safely and in-time to your customers.

Find out more about our overnight delivery service here.

Special Delivery - Our special delivery service covers a wide variety of perishable items, from pallets to order fulfilment. We can discuss a tailored approach to delivering you the perfect solution.

Plus, you also have the advantage of mass mailing and distribution, where we offer bulk postage rates for large orders. We can arrange collection from your business address to UK or overseas addresses, as either a one-off mail drop or as a regular service.

To learn more about our special delivery services, click here.

Let Priority Express Handle the Shipping

Although it might seem like the most cost-effective option to cut out a courier for your business’ shipping solutions, having a trusted courier will reduce both stress and time in the long run – resulting in more time for you to focus on other important areas of your business.

Priority Express has been a cornerstone for many SME’s that want to move their perishable businesses online, providing advice on:

• Packaging

• Delivery service and solutions  

• E-commerce

• I.T integrations

With our state-of-the-art booking and tracking system, you will also have the peace of mind that you can track exactly where your deliveries are at all times.

If you, like many other businesses, are thinking about expanding and moving your perishable business online, then contact us today to discuss the best perishable shipping solutions for your business.

Posted on:

Tuesday, February 9, 2021