By Don Ehrlich :: April 24, 2017
Blueberry shipments, known throughout the industry as “blues”, are a very precisely coordinated dance with almost no room for error whether shipped via air or ocean. Harvested at the peak of freshness in Oregon, Michigan, and across the southern U.S., blues are protected by CFI’s exacting standards and quality controls. In 2016 alone, CFI moved 882,000lbs of fresh blues by ocean service and our industry expertise can apply the same care to blues originating across the country.
For ocean cargo, CFI operates under a strict timetable spanning from pick up to destination. For example, containers are loaded in Oregon and trucked north to Tacoma or Seattle where the trucker installs a controlled atmosphere panel to effectively put the blues to sleep by controlling the oxygen and nitrogen in the container. Controlled atmosphere inhibits ripening and lasts for approximately twenty six days. In addition to the controlled atmosphere, temperatures are always maintained precisely at -0.5C (32.9F) with the vents closed, for the duration of the voyage. The containers are delivered to the port within 48 hours of pick up, leaving no room for error.
Staying informed, checking up and monitoring the move is of paramount importance to ensuring the freshest deliveries and mitigating any issues that can arise. As the transit from Seattle to Hong Kong clocks in at 24 days and the CA panel has a lifespan of under 30 days, there cannot be delays. By maintaining clear communication with the trucker, the carrier and the destination, our ocean shipments arrive with the freshest blues available. Even when blues are shipped from the Midwestern states, we are able to trans-load and protect the entire shipment for the duration of the multi-modal operation.
Though it may seem that sending blues by air to Asia would be the best and fastest way to ensure freshness and a longer shelf life, modified gas is not used for air cargo. Because the technology is so much better by ocean when we can control the climate and gasses around the blues, only the most expedited cargo ships by air. By insulating the blues and maintaining them at a rigorously monitored temperature, they can arrive without any damage or over ripening which could compromise the freshness and flavor. We ensure our turn around to tender is done immediately with no delays in delivery, packing or customs clearance.
With experienced, knowledgeable staff that is available 24/7/365 to monitor your blues, EDI capabilities and up-to-the-minute status reports, your delicate blueberries are in capable hands. Let CFI know how we can help you ship your blues away!