Fresh fruit and vegetables are highly perishable and are subject to a multitude of product related domestic and international laws while exempt from most transportation related economic and regulatory requirements. “Just in time” shipping often negates the possibility of using trusted trader programs and threatens compliance with newly implemented cross border advance information programs. Lack of communication, combined with the lack of awareness of rights and responsibilities throughout the fresh produce supply chain can undermine productivity.
The environment for finding trucks to haul fresh produce is highly competitive due to factors such as driver or truck availability. Trucking companies and their drivers will show preference for suppliers and receivers that pay well, pay on time, are efficient in loading and unloading, and treat drivers courteously.
The North American Produce Transportation Working Group (NAPTWG), representing produce transportation stakeholders from associations and industry groups across North America, have released the new North American Produce Transportation Guidelines. The document is available free of charge to the produce industry and carriers at www.naptwg.org.