International and multimodal transportation of perishable goods
From Supply Chain Management Encyclopedia
Brief Characteristics of Water, Automobile and Other Types of Transport for Perishable Goods Transportation
The elements of continuous cold chain are water (river and sea), automobile, air and piping modes of transport. Sea transport is widely used in the transportation of perishable goods. Refrigerator vessels are used as part of sea transport fleet and fishing industry fleet.
Transport refrigerator vessels are divided into universal and specialized. Universal vehicles can be used for the transportation of perishable goods both in cooled and frozen state. The range of temperatures in such vessels differs from -30 to 15°С. Specialized refrigerator vehicles are used for the transportation of certain types of cargo with set temperature regimes: for example, for carrying bananas. Specialized vessels are divided into high-temperature vessels for the transportation of fruit, vegetables, eggs and cooled salted fish, and low temperature for the transportation of frozen products of the products to be frozen in the course of transportation.
Beside refrigerator vessels multi-target vessels are also used for the transportation of perishable goods provided such vessels have refrigerator capacities that amount up to 40% of the total vessel capacity. Such vessels are usually used specifically for the transportation of valuable cargo and in addition transfer perishable goods. Refrigerator vessels of fish industry fleet fulfill different functions. Industrial refrigerators, floating bases and factories, as well as fishing refrigerating vessels (big, medium-sized and small trawlers) can be used in the fishing areas to process, freeze and prepare the products of fishing for the transportation by refrigerator vessels to de-loading refrigerators located in sea ports, or to the de-loading units of railroad refrigeration nods.
There are also production and transportation vessels that are sued to process the fishing products following a certain technology and then to freeze them. After that the products are taken by such vehicles to sea ports. Special container carrying vessels with powerful refrigeration installations used to cool the containers along the way are used for the transportation of isothermal containers. The system of ship holds cooling can be direct (evaporators of cooling machinery have direct access to the holds), brine (the batteries are filled with the brine cooled in refrigeration equipment) or air (cooled air circulation is established in the hold). River (lake) refrigerator vessels have the capacity of approximately 2,000 tons and their length amounts to 100 m.
There are vegetables carrying vessels that are used for transportation of the products, for example, from lower parts of Volga to Moscow or Saint-Petersburg. Such vessels can carry the cargo also in boxing or on palettes. Automobile refrigerators enable the transportation of perishable goods along practically any distances. Average distance of transportation of perishable goods by highway automobile refrigerators amounts to 2,300 km, that is approximately ten times more than the indices of the pre-reform period. The efficiency of direct automobile transportation of perishable goods along considerable distances is determined by high speed of delivery and the absence of intermediary, de-loading and warehouse operations.
Automobile refrigerators are divided into caravans and auto refrigerators. The first have good heat insulation and work in accordance with thermos principle. In certain cases containers with dry ice are placed in the caravans for partial heat compensation. In winter time the caravans can be heated. The caravans can have a back door or a back and a side one. Body heat insulation is mainly constructed from foam plastic with the density of 70 to 1,000 mm. Some cars are also provided with floor grating. Auto refrigerators are divided into those cooled by means of independent refrigerator units, liquefied gas, accumulator devices or dry ice. Refrigeration systems of refrigerator automobiles should comply with the same requirements as refrigerator wagons. In accordance with the types of chassis automobile refrigerators are divided into caravans and road trains. In the first case the cabin and the body are situated on the same chassis and in the second case a two-axis semi-trailer is attached to the carrier or a caravan. Refrigerator equipment is usually places in the front part of the vehicle over the driver’s cabin. Air cooling transport is used for the transportation of fresh berries, vegetables, fruit, flowers and other products with limited transportation terms. The cargo is cooled by cold outside air or cooling machinery. Piping refrigerator vehicles are used for the delivery of milk from milk farms to the factories that produce butter and cheese. The piping is produced from special plastic. In mountain areas the milk piping works in accordance with free-run principle and in plan areas – under the pressure of compacted purified air (forcing milk piping).
Organization and Conditions of Transportation of Perishable Goods in Mixed Communication
Different types of highway vehicles are often used in CFC for the delivery of perishable goods. Such transportation is called mixed (multi-modal). IN case of multi-modal transportation the owners of the cargo draw up all required documents for each type of transport and specify the terms of delivery. Unlike mixed transportation direct inter-modal transportation is drawn up a single transportation document for and the owners of the cargo do not participate in de-loading operations from one type of transport to another. A quality certificate or a quality statement with the specification of the conditions of storage by different types of transport and the general term of cargo transportation is enclosed to the main set of transportation documents. It is reasonable to submit perishable goods for mixed transportation in packed form to reduce the expenses for de-loading operations. However not all types of the goods can be delivered for direct mixed transportation due to the incompliance of regulation parameters for different modes of transport. Direct mixed railroad and automobile transportation of perishable goods is not carried out. Transportation regulations for direct mixed railroad and water communication allow the transportation of: conserved products of all types, rennet, melted and pickled cheese, salted, dried and smoked fish products, wine, champagne, drinks, mineral water, potatoes, beetroot and other tuberous vegetables (packed), fruit and other cargo with travel time amounting to more than 20 days. The best variant of delivery for perishable goods by means of several transportation modes is the use of isothermal containers.
Organization and Conditions of Perishable Goods Transportation in International Communication
Imported goods are delivered to Russia and exported goods are transferred from Russia through border railway stations, sea and river ports. The following modes of transport can be organized for these types of transportation:
- Direct railway transportation – one party delivers the products to a border station in wagons and then the cargo is de-loaded to the wagons on the other side of the border or is transferred across the border in the same wagons;
- Water and railroad in case the goods from one side are delivered to the port by sea or river transport and are de-loaded to the wagons of the other party, or vice versa;
- Direct ferry and railroad transportation in case the products are delivered by railroad transport and cross water obstacles on ferries;
- Automobile and railroad – one party delivers the goods to the border station on automobile refrigerators and the goods are de-loaded to the wagons of the other party, or vice versa.
In international transportation all perishable goods are transferred on the ground of Agreement on international goods transport by rail (AIGTR) that is signed by member states. The terms of delivery and the rates of natural loss are strictly regulated by AIGTR. The carries should deliver the goods to the receiver after a check disregarding the fact what seal (Russian or international) the goods are sealed with. In case a loss in the goods mass is detected and such a loss exceeds the rate of natural loss the carrier should draw up a commercial act. Packed goods in intact boxing and with equal standard mass are transferred to the received without re-weighing. Almost all perishable goods can be transported following AIGRT. The conditions of transportation and the nature of rolling equipment are determined by the sender that should secure the compliance with the Rules of transportation not only within the borders of their own country but also in the receiver’s country. In case the transported perishable goods are of plant nature the occurrence of dangerous pests and diseases, that is why specific attention is give to a phyto-sanitary (quarantine) certificate issued by the sending country. This document certifies that the transported goods have no pests or diseases. An import quarantine certificate is issued by State quarantine inspectorate after the check of the goods state. The process of quarantine check is determined by specific documents and order.