7 Tips to Reduce Food Loss and Shrink When Shipping Fresh Produce

7 Tips  Reduce Food Loss and Shrink When Shipping Fresh Produce

When it comes to exporting fresh produce from India to different countries, suppliers and distributors have a major concern about reducing food waste and shrinkage. Due to improper handling, insufficient storage, and inefficient modes of transport, food waste can incur a heavy loss per year. Not only does this lead to economic growth, but it also aggravates food security and the environment. Best practices can be implemented to lessen food waste and ensure that high-quality fresh produce is delivered to consumers. By focusing on improved logistics, packaging innovations, and sustainable practices, stakeholders can contribute to a more resilient and sustainable food supply chain.

7 steps to reduce food waste and shrinkage

Know the Cause of Your Food Loss

The food storage department finds it difficult to address issues relating to food waste. There are many reasons for this critical concern, and one of them is the invisibility of the food supply chain. A reliable supply chain can help assess the loss of food in your facilities.

Reducing food loss in fresh produce cargo involves identifying root causes like varying ingredient expiration dates and supplier-related issues such as late shipment or hygienic concerns. Addressing these factors through proper supply chain management can significantly minimize losses and ensure consumers receive the produce in optimal condition.

In each stage of the supply chain, the causes of food spoilage are as follows:

  • Overproduction
  • Not Organized Storage Process
  • Wrong Harvesting Time
  • Deterioration
  • Not Meeting Goods Requirements Like Weight, Capacity, and Shape
  • Fungal Growth
  • Damaged Packaging

Reefer Container Temperature for Fresh Produce

When it comes to transporting fresh produce from farms to storage units, it involves a long process. You need to set a consistent temperature to preserve the perishable fruits and vegetables. If the goods are maintained above the required temperature, the designated company can face allegations of unsafe food export. The smart reefer containers will help you store and export perishable goods that are being shipped. And with the right amount of fresh produce loaded into the container, it can significantly reduce food shrinkage and food waste.

Fresh produce has a limited shelf life, so it's important to handle the export process swiftly. Their freshness is influenced by various factors such as handling, humidity, and temperature. The various restrictions in every nation add to the complexity of global supply networks. That's why it's necessary for the fresh produce companies to provide a temperature-controlled environment to protect the integrity of the perishable goods.

Collaborate with a Reliable Supplier

When it involves shipping fresh produce, you need to build a relationship with trusted supply chain partners. A culture where exchanging best practices and resolving issues is the norm rather than the exception can be established by stakeholders through the promotion of open communication channels. This enduring effort among growers, packers, distributors, and retailers plays a vital role in achieving shared goals related to minimizing food loss and enhancing overall efficiency in the supply chain.

First Expiration, First Out (FEFO) is the typical procedure in food inventory management. This means that you handle things per the expiration dates, making sure that the perishable goods with the earliest dates are shipped first. As a warehouse in the supply chain, you need to apply FEFO, from receiving goods with specific lead times from suppliers to scheduling deliveries to your customers. This keeps intact the food quality, less shrinkage and food loss.

Strict Regulations and Compliance

You need to abide by international legal standards to export fresh produce globally. Different locations have diverse regulations for shipping fresh produce that are required to maintain food safety, food quality, and accurate labeling specifications. Non-compliance can lead to heavy fines and can also have major repercussions for your business.

Wrong harvest methods

Harvesting the fresh produce at the wrong time can degrade your food quality and increase heavy food loss. Surface abrasions can cause water loss in fresh produce, while bruising can lead to high production of ethylene. This speeds up the ripening process, minimizing storage time, and resulting in damaged fruits and vegetables. You need to consider factors such as proper handling, grading, sorting, and efficient packing solutions to save your fresh produce.

Storage and Ripening

A number of crucial processes are involved in the storage and ripening of fruits and vegetables. Weight loss during storage can be minimized by precooling by up to 6%. Prematurely picked fruits, such as apples, are stored in controlled settings until they reach their full ripeness. Temperature, humidity, and levels of carbon dioxide, ethylene, and oxygen need to be monitored throughout the storage to get the best ripe result. These methods can help you ship the exact amount of fresh produce without any loss.

Control Pest Infestation

Pests are vulnerable to loading docks, open storage, and warehouses. Additionally, pests may infiltrate delivery trucks and containers. These pests, which include rodents and insects, pose a risk to public health and can contaminate expensive fresh produce goods that are being exported. Pest-borne illnesses can have a direct impact on the quality and marketability of perishable goods. Even a minor discoloration of the fresh produce can lose its appeal, thereby affecting international trade. Furthermore, degraded food quality can result in recalls and legal cases, hampering businesses in the supply chain.

In the shipping business, eradicating pests effectively requires a comprehensive strategy. To quickly detect any indications of pests, it begins with stringent inspection and monitoring procedures throughout shipments, containers, and storage spaces. It is essential to uphold strict hygiene standards, making sure that trucks, loading docks, and warehouses stick to a hygienic environment. In addition, proper sanitization and pest control products can keep the pests at bay. With the following practices, you can reduce food loss while shipping fresh produce to other ports.


Implementing these tips involves using best practices and working together across all stages of shipping fresh produce. By focusing on quality, efficiency, and abiding by food standards, exporters can greatly reduce food loss and shrinkage. This not only helps businesses by boosting profits and pleasing customers but also supports global trade for food security and environmental sustainability.

Citrus Freight has made a significant contribution to the export of fresh produce globally. With effective reefer containers and supply chain management, Citrus stands today as one of the most prominent reefer container booking platforms .

At Citrus Freight, you can ship your fresh produce without a second thought!