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Shipper Best Practices

Below is a synopsis of the North American Transportation Working Group Best Practices document. It is a concise list of the best practices and checklist to be utilized by Shippers of fresh produce. 


  • To the extent practical, shipper should utilize an appointment scheduling process.
  • Appointment scheduling should consider driver’s available hours of service, scheduled delivery date and time, product availability.

Terms of Sale

  • Buyer will inform shipper of final destination and delivery date and additional pickups or delivers.
  • Unless specified otherwise, the standard receiving default is “no grade” with Good Arrival Guidelines applicable to FOB sales.

Loading & Transportation

  • Shippers arranging transportation will be responsible for providing the carrier with best practice requirements and expectations.
  • Shipper must allow time and provide space for the operator to take pulp temperatures and case counts. Shipper will maintain accurate records for handling of product, from receipt through the loading process. Product temperature will be maintained per bill of lading.
  • Temperature recording devices are placed in trailers per receiver’s instructions. Pallet containing recorder will be identified with a pallet tag designating location and location noted on BOL.
  • Shipper will load pallets in a stable and secure method adhering to DOT weight restrictions and regulations, in accordance with operator’s requests.


  • Federal inspections (CFIA/USDA) are required to support claims of poor quality or temperature abuse.
  • Carrier will notify shipper, as soon as practical, of any delays or rejections by receiver.
  • Shipper will manage the option of diverting product as necessary. Dependent upon claim, carrier may be compensated for transporting the product to new receiver or a new carrier may be provided.

The Shipper Synopsis was originally developed by the North American Produce Transportation Working Group and updated by the United Fresh Produce Association Supply Chain Logistics Council.

This guidance represents the collective thinking of associations and the Council. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person or company and does not operate to bind members of any association which has endorsed the document, nor those with whom they do business.

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