Keeping Your Cool: The Seafood Exporter’s Guide to Shipping Products Overseas
Did you know seafood exports make up 8% of the GDP for most Caribbean islands? Did you also know fish and seafood companies employ about 182,000 people in the CARIOM region – which includes 20 Caribbean countries?
Seafood exports play a huge role in the success of these economies.
Similarly, the United States exports $5.1 billion in fish and seafood every year and is now the 4th largest supplier of fish and seafood products worldwide.
So, whether you’re shipping seafood from El Savadore , Managua, San Pedro Lupis, Belize or Mexico fish capitals or the Caribbean countries of Grenada, Haiti, Suriname, Trinidad, or Guyana , here are some important shipment factors to consider.
Time is of the Essence
Imagine a seafood specialty restaurant is waiting for your crate of lobster, but a backlog at the airport is threatening your supply. Not only will that delay damage your product; it could cost you a customer.
Or imagine you’re shipping conch from Guyana to New York, and the restaurant buying your product wants to suddenly double their order, but the freight company you work with doesn’t have the capacity for the order.
So, you have to hire a second company to ship your product and make sure the new order gets there on time. Sound familiar?
Not only does your product have to stay fresh – it has to reach its destination on time. If you can say “Yes” to any business who wants your supply, you can do more business.
Seafood exporters need both shipment quality and flexibility to thrive in the global marketplace.
By Air or By Sea?
Thanks to air traffic controllers and tighter schedules, air freight is usually the faster option.
Choosing between air and sea shipments can also be a matter of taste, rather than price. Some perishable items are said to have a different taste if they are shipped by sea than by air. (We’ll let you be the judge of that one!)
Following the Cold Chain
One challenge every seafood exporter faces is maintaining their delivery cold chain. Not only does temperature impact the quality of your product – it also ensures your seafood is safe to eat once it arrives.
Seafood exporters should avoid bacterial contamination at all cost. Once live fish or seafood has bacterial growth, it can lead to serious illness or even death.
Some factors we consider when shipping your seafood include:
- The product’s initial temperature
- The weight (or mass) of the product
- The packaging system, or insulation, used
Other considerations, like chilling the product prior to packing, will help to slow bacterial growth. Also, computerized cold chain management will ensure your product is shipped at its ideal temperature the whole way through.
Transporting shrimp is a lot different than transporting flowers, and your freight company better know the difference when your sales and reputation are on the line.
Seafood exporters from around the globe trust Amerijet to get their products to their destination, safely and on time.
We are ready and eager to do the same thing for you!
If you have any questions about cold chain management or shipping by air or sea, give us a call at 1-800-927-6059.