The transportation of perishable goods has been a challenge which has plagued mankind for thousands of years. From early civilizations storing food and water, to the invention of the wheel, ocean liners, and the ability to instantly communicate with anyone across the world, and you begin to see the evolution of the shipping industry. Ever since humans began settling in permanent locations, there has been a need to efficiently transport items such as food, water, medicine, and cosmetics. For many years, the ability to transport perishable goods was a luxury afforded only to those who were willing to pay the hefty price for overnight, and expedited shipping. Expensive pricing has proven to be a significant barrier for consumers wishing to purchase goods that are temperature-sensitive, or have a short shelf-life.
Fast-forward to our current business environment, where advances in technology and transportation have given consumers the ability to get what they want, when they want it, regardless of location. These improvements have given birth to multiple new industries, one of the biggest being 3rd Party Logistics (3PL). If you’re unfamiliar with the 3PL industry, please check out our article, What the 3PL is Order Fulfillment?! Some 3rd Party Logistics Providers, such as eGourmet Solutions Inc. are experts in the storage, order-fulfillment, and shipping of perishable and temperature-sensitive products.
3PLs that specialize in working with perishable goods are especially valuable to the global economy right now for a few reasons.
- These companies create A LOT of jobs: Aside from the in-house jobs generated by these companies, they also create jobs for other industries. For example, food, pharmaceutical, and beauty-product providers are able to increase their distribution capability, which turns into more sales, and more jobs for the respective companies.
- They create business opportunities: As a result of the high volume of shipping that 3rd Party Logistics companies do, they benefit from significant discounts from shipping providers. Those discounts are then passed down to the 3PLs’ clients which save them money and allow them to continue doing business. Some companies wouldn’t even be financially viable without the relationship with their logistics provider.
- They create new and innovative shipping methods: Up until recently, one or two-day air shipping used to be the only way to transport perishable goods over long distances. 3PL providers have developed methods of shipping temperature sensitive products using regular ground shipping (without a refrigerated trailer) which is much cheaper for both the producer and consumer.
More small businesses are able to operate today, thanks to the progress made in the fields of technology and transportation. If you want to enjoy your favorite sandwich from that cute little deli you visited on vacation, you can just hop over to Goldbely, or Williams-Sonoma and BAM! It’s at your door. If you want to order that mascara you saw in the French boutique, no problem, Amazon will have it to you in two days. Now for our finale we’ll send some lifesaving vaccine, overseas to a community in desperate need. Pretty cool, right?
How have the improvements in perishable shipping affected your life?