You’ve got loads of watermelons, that big, green, juicy fruit that many love eating, especially on a hot summer day. But watermelon can be a fickle produce to get from the field to the market, which can put growers in a bind. This will naturally make you wonder — how are watermelons transported? This can be a bit of a delicate process and one you could stand to be well versed on in order to make it work.
Knowing the answer to the question how are watermelons shipped doesn’t have to be a daunting search. If you pay attention to practices in keeping them at the correct temperature and make sure to pair with a third-party logistics (3PL) company that follows guidelines for providing a safe, cool truck for your produce, you’ll be in good shape.
Watermelon is considered a healthy, delicious food, with its red flesh enjoyed by many people all over the world. A serving size, which is 2 cups of cut-up fruit, is low in calories and carbohydrates while also being a good source of vitamin C. It is drought resistant and thrives in warmer climates. People even drink watermelon juice as a tasty, nutritious treat.
While a seasonal fruit in many parts of the world, watermelon plants are considered a year-round fruit for Americans due to our access to supplies in Mexico and Central America during the winter. Since that is true, it’s essential to know how to properly prepare watermelons for shipment.
Watermelons are large yet fragile fruits that need careful handling in order to avoid damaging them. From the field, watermelons are usually placed into large open-bed trucks to be taken to a staging area. The fruit is best if handled as little as possible, with a dry outside that is free from dirt. Also, it is best that the fruit is not harvested in the morning for this very reason, when moisture in the ground and on the watermelon will most likely be at its highest point.
If the watermelon is going to be shipped in the back of an 18-wheeler, it’s good to box them in sturdy corrugated cardboard boxes in manageable amounts so that they are insulated from damage and not heavily stacked inside the boxes on top of one another. This will prevent the outer rind from being cracked or split open, which would make it unsightly at best and ruin the flesh inside at worst.
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Like many plants, fruit thrives under a specific set of circumstances. According to the Louisiana State University AgCenter, watermelon does best when kept between 45 to 50 degrees fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 85 to 95 percent. These ranges are for storage and transportation, which means that a refrigerated truck would be your best method for freight shipping the watermelons.
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Above 50 degrees, the watermelons can attract pathogens that cause disease or that can otherwise damage the produce and make it unsuitable for sale. Below 45 degrees and the watermelon can suffer freezing damage. If the watermelon is kept outside of this range, another by-product is its shelf life will be reduced and the product will also lose its trademark sweetness.
The humidity of the environment the watermelons are kept in can also play a factor in them staying in optimal condition. If kept below 85 percent relative humidity during shipping, the fruit can dry out with the rind shriveling and becoming aesthetically displeasing — which would pose a problem for a fruit with the word water in its name.
Furthermore, as the owner of the produce, there are a few things you should look for when picking a freight shipping company in regard to the condition of the trucks. You should make sure that the trucks being used to transport your watermelons are well-maintained, clean and dry. The trucks shouldn’t transport other commodities like soil, chemicals or animal products that could potentially contaminate your produce.
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The trucks should also be free of pests and have been washed with water between the temperatures of 140 to 160 degrees fahrenheit and sanitized for a food-grade chemical for a sterile environment. If you follow these guidelines when preparing your items for shipment and picking the right company to transport your goods, you should be in tip-top shape to get your watermelons to market.
Now that you have a firm answer to the question of how are watermelons transported, you can make the decision to partner with the best in the business in R+L Global Logistics. We know how sensitive your large fruit is and we have the tools to help you freight ship them anywhere in the United States.
We are well versed that watermelons are sensitive to both temperature and humidity, and R+L Global Logistics can put you in the refrigerated truck the fruit needs to arrive at retailers in the optimal freshness range your customers have come to expect.
On top of offering climate-controlled trucking options, we can also hook you up with expedited shipping freight quote if you need your watermelons transported in less time than normal. Depending on the length of the shipping route, R+L Global Logistics could shave a day or two off the time of a normal freight hauling transaction.
You’ll be happy you chose R+L Global Logistics when you realize our dedication to timely shipments — our 99.5 percent on-time delivery rate speaks to that commitment. We add additional value in the form of our outstanding customer service and our real-time freight visibility on every load so you know the exact point your freight is at during any part of the trip.
So when you’re ready to transport watermelons, give R+L Global Logistics a call at 866.353.7178 for a free freight quote and learn more about the difference in choosing us as your freight shipping partner.
R+L Global Logistics
315 NE 14th St., Ocala, FL 34470