Besides the usual difficulties of the seafood industry, (overfishing, loss of ocean floor, and harsh work conditions), shipping fresh fish and bulk seafood is challenging. As a wholesale seafood distribution business owner, it is critical that you know how to ship seafood, fresh or frozen.
Wholesale seafood plays a vital role in the global food supply chain. The constraints of time and temperature make it difficult to set up a seafood distribution business and convey fresh products. Seafood is spoilage-prone, and this makes shipping fresh fish even more difficult.
Key Takeaway: You can start a wholesale seafood shipping business without much trouble if you have a good understanding of your high-demand products, the delivery method, and the appropriate eCommerce packaging procedures. To manage the cold chain and maintain the optimal temperature for the fish, it is crucial to adhere to the appropriate laws and regulations.
If you need help learning how to ship frozen or fresh seafood then this article is for you. You can transform your seafood wholesale distribution business or even launch a new seafood shipping business with these 7 expert tips on shipping fresh fish.
So, how do you ship frozen food? Let’s find out!
7 Tips on How to Ship Fresh Seafood
In order to lengthen the time that seafood can be stored, it must be frozen or kept in a cold atmosphere. It can be challenging to maintain a lower temperature when the seafood goes through several packing operations.
Food transportation procedures might differ significantly from one product to another. There is just one chance to get this right when shipping frozen food.
If the seafood is frozen, choosing the wrong packaging material could cause it to defrost before reaching its destination or cause it to spoil before it gets there. Frozen seafood must be shipped correctly to prevent financial loss and maintain customer satisfaction.
However, here are some packaging tips for shipping fresh fish and seafood.
- Use Appropriate Storage Strategies
Make careful to rinse your fresh fish in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels before storing it. By ridding it of any impurities, this preserves the fish's freshness after a prolonged transit. Clean fish should be arranged on a cake rack so that they don't overlap in order to avoid this problem. The cake rack should then be set in a shallow pan.
Crushed ice should be added to the pan if the fish needs to be kept for more than 24 hours. Place the racks in a refrigerator and cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap. Ensure that the refrigerator has been used to thaw any fish and seafood.
- Recognize the Benefits of Low Temperature
The temperature of the environment in which frozen fish is stored affects how long it can be stored. For instance, white fish that is frozen shortly after being caught and kept at a negative 20 degree temperature for eight months is in excellent condition. On the other hand, it only lasts a month in top condition when kept at 15 degrees.
When transferring seafood, for example, from coast to coast, it can be challenging to keep the seafood at low temperatures. Keep the fish adequately frozen and preserved while in transit by monitoring its temperature continuously.
To monitor the temperature in the container boxes, you must use highly accurate thermometers. Customers’ experience of your product can be significantly improved by exercising a little care when it comes to temperature.
- Take The Container Design Into Account
Even with time spent at receiving ports, trips to deliver frozen fish rarely take longer than 30 hours. The majority of seafood is shipped out in less than 24 hours. Seafood must be delivered in containers that maintain a temperature that is no greater than zero degrees, ideally below five degrees.
To reach and keep such low temperatures, the container needs to have at least five inches of insulating material. Utilize materials with minimal heat leakage to avoid moisture infiltration.
The outer layer of these containers should be made of a strong and acceptable metal, such as aluminum. You can use thermal air pockets or Styrofoam for the inner lining.
- Follow the Recommended Storage Procedure
Different techniques will be used for various seafood. You should get knowledgeable on how to properly store your shipment.
For instance, clams and mussels are kept in shallow pans without any water. Simply place a moist paper towel over the shellfish and refrigerate. Similar to this, immediately after receiving a fresh batch of fish, rinse them in cold water to maintain their freshness and get rid of any impurities or pathogens.
Put the fish in shallow pans after completely patting them dry with towels. If the commute will take longer than 24 hours, wrap the fish in plastic and cover it with ice. Thaw the fish in the refrigerator.
The storage life of your seafood can be significantly extended by using the right techniques for storage and seafood transfer.
- Comprehend Perishable Shipments Regulations
Knowing the rules for carrying things like frozen fish and shellfish is crucial to food safety. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) defines a package as perishable if its contents would degrade over a certain period of time when exposed to unfavorable climatic conditions, such as humidity or severe temperatures. Therefore, perishable products laws would apply to fish and seafood.
The Critical Control Point (CCP) and food safety management systems allows for the identification and management of biological, physical, and chemical risks. Measuring includes all procedures pertaining to shipping and handling in aquaculture fisheries as well as developing or manufacturing seafood for distribution or consumption.
- Obtain Appropriate Packaging Boxes
When looking for the ideal packaging for your fresh seafood, you will run upon foam, wax, and plastic boxes. You must take into account a number of various variables while selecting the best seafood delivery service.
Wax boxes are the better choice if you plan to load your frozen seafood with ice and are concerned about the humidity. When you are shipping frozen seafood and dry ice, Styrofoam boxes are preferable.
Depending on the size or cut of the fish you are transporting, the package you choose can change. As you can see, choosing the right packaging box for your products requires careful consideration of your products.
- Choose the Best Shipping Route
It's time to look more closely at shipping possibilities after the packaging has been handled effectively. Timely shipping is essential, especially if refrigerants are being used.
To reduce transit time, perishables need to be transported as soon as possible. Frozen seafood should ideally arrive at their destination in less than two days. Plan your shipments at the beginning of the week. The packages won't be trapped somewhere during the weekend in this way.
You should have fulfillment and distribution warehouse centers on both coasts when distributing nationally. By doing this, your shipping costs can be kept low enough to be profitable so that you can ship 2-day ground. The costs of shipping by air make it impractical.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shipping Fresh Fish
Here are some common questions about shipping fresh fish.
How do you Package Fish for Shipping?
Make sure to use plastic bags made exclusively for carrying fish; they should have flat bottoms when packed and be at least 3 mils thick (and ideally 4 or more mils). Use fish shipping containers that have exterior boxes made of durable cardboard and inner boxes made of Styrofoam that precisely fit within.
How Much Does it Cost to Ship Frozen Fish?
Shipping frozen food, shipping frozen meat, and fish packages typically costs between $30 and $150 for most businesses and goods. Depending on how much frozen food you're shipping, where it's going, how heavy the package is, and which shipping service you use, your ultimate shipping cost will vary. For more details, check out our blog on how much to overnight a package.
How Long Does Dry Ice Last for Shipping?
1-pound bag of dry ice can last for 12 to 24 hours inside a styrofoam box. Styrofoam boxes are typically used to convey goods that need to be kept cold and insulated. If you placed two of these bags inside the shipping box, the dry ice would last for 18 to 36 hours before evaporating.
Shipping the Right Way
Delivering frozen food successfully necessitates the proper packaging and an efficient warehouse management process flow. Make sure the conditions at your warehouse are conducive to enable simple packaging, shipping and handling processes.
It's not simple to manage logistics for wholesale seafood. However, it can be simplified by using route planning software and implementing route optimization solutions. For wholesale food distributors, BlueCart provides the best solution for delivery route optimization.
In addition, BlueCart offers wholesalers an all-in-one eCommerce solution to streamline wholesale distribution management. BlueCart's wholesale inventory management and wholesale distribution management software will help you optimize your seafood business and improve your B2B sales processes. Making BlueCart the ultimate tool for all wholesalers.