Transport in the Fruit and Vegetable Sector
Logistics in fruit and vegetable processing sector is a demanding task; the resources are prone to being damaged, and react badly to temperature shifts. What is more, it is very much a seasonal market – it is not constant throughout the year, and differs with seasons. Majority of logistical processes happen during the warm months, and therefore almost all fruit and vegetables require temperature control both during transport as well as during warehousing.
t is a sector in which road transport dominates, with smaller farms possessing their own fleet of vehicles. When it comes to agroproducers, they either possess their own trucks or outsource it to a third party.
In Poland, more than 70% of total fruit production are strictly apples, followed by so-called soft fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries and currant. The transport cycle should therefore be as short as possible, and transshipments should be kept to absolute minimum. Fruit and vegetables that reach the processing plants need to be of high quality, since the quality of final product depends on it.
Prices and their fluctuations are also an important part for the producers, and it is one of those factors that you cannot fully predict or forecast. The goods have to be sold, and the producers very often sign short-time or ad-hoc agreements, trying to avoid long-time, binding contracts.
Polish farming sector is highly fragmented, and coordination of the supply chain is not an easy task. The whole process of production can be unstable strictly because of that – too many subcontractors who deliver their fruit and vegetables directly to the processing plants. It is also a highly regionalized enterprise, and local processing plants very often take advantage of the surrounding farms only.
As the company grows, the necessity of having an expediting and transport companies grows as well, and that is why road transport is utilized so often. Even micro-enterprises use outsourcing when the company gets bigger, not being able to keep up with the demand by using their fleet of vehicles only.
Therefore, transport companies’ duty is to ensure the coordination of deliveries by utilizing modern vehicles and their expeditors’ knowledge and professionalism and high-quality service.