Transporting perishables: ocean or air?

By: | Issue #652 | at 07:19 AM | Channel(s): Logistics  

Transporting perishables: ocean or air?

Some products favor air, but ocean has made advances with technology improvements


In 2014, the shipping consultancy Seabury came out with a report showing shippers were increasingly choosing ocean over air for perishables. That conclusion wasn’t a huge surprise: advances in technology made the longer and less-expensive sea voyages more feasible.
But a recent report from Transport Intelligence tells another story. That report concluded that air cargo is growing in the perishables sector, at least inbound to Europe.

How do we explain this paradox?

Crossborder sales of perishable products is one of the fastest growing segments in international trade. With millions of people around the world being lifted out of poverty, they can afford to diversify their diets with more meat, fish, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. This is especially true in lower-income countries, where demand is increasing at a 17-percent annual clip. The expansion of crossborder trade in fresh foods creates opportunities for farmers and exporters as well as the transportation and logistics services providers that move the goods.

Advances in cold chain technologies and transportation enable foods to stay fresh while moving efficiently across long distances. The use of refrigerated containers has particularly helped, accounting for more than 50 percent of glob


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Peter Buxbaum's avatar

American Journal of Transportation

More on Peter Buxbaum

Peter Buxbaum has been writing about international trade and transportation, as well as security, defense, technology, and foreign policy, for over 20 years. Besides contributing to the AJOT, Buxbaum's work has appeared in such leading publications as Fortune, Forbes, Chief Executive, Computerworld, and Jane's Defence Weekly. He was educated at Columbia University.