International Logistics Specialist Derek Richardson looks at the very topical problem of food delivery rejections and how to fight back!


Fighting back on food waste is an important issue.

The world’s biggest supermarkets have been defending their practices after a report suggested that up to half of the world’s food is thrown away. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, with one lobby group blaming the logistics industry, claiming that “produce arrives at the supermarket in poor condition which is mainly due to poor packaging or the long distance it takes to reach the destination. Trucks are often overloaded, which especially affects the quality of fresh produce, such as fruits or vegetables, which need to be stored, or in this case, transported in a specific way.”

That may have been partly true 30 years ago but not now! However, one problem I still encounter with temperature-controlled food distribution is that whenever the back of a truck is opened up for checking, more often than not someone will use an infrared thermometer.

They will aim it at a box, and get a reading which is the surface temperature. Now that temperature may be above the limit – but the core temperature of the goods inside the box is probably fine. The surface of the box heats up quicker. Result – rejection of a perfectly good delivery.

This applies even more in a hot country and with multi-drop deliveries involving lots of open, shut, open, shut… Once it has been rejected the driver has to bring it back to the factory and then it’s probably destroyed because they can’t reuse it.

The way to fight back is with your own monitoring that you can trust. Something that will disprove their pathetic cheap-and-nasty infrared surface thermometer and get your delivery accepted.

Oh yes – and make a dent in the world’s food waste at the same time!

Derek Richardson is International Sales Director at The IMC Group.

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