4 things to consider when choosing a shipping container for your fruit

Are you about to begin shipping fruit to customers? There are numerous important considerations when shipping delicate, perishable items such as these. Never forget that excellent shipping is absolutely crucial to your product’s success. Your fruit may leave the grove, orchard, field, or packinghouse in perfect condition, but if it arrives to the customer bruised, damaged, or rotten, all your hard work will have been wasted. Remember, your customers chose your business for a reason, perhaps because the fruit you offer is unavailable or of poor quality in their area. Don’t disappoint them by providing a product that does not deliver the taste, aroma, and texture they expect.


So, what should you consider when choosing a shipping container for your fruit? Your container should:


  1. Be strong: It is of crucial importance that the fruit not be crushed or damaged in transit. Even if the fruit survives a damaged package, the impression given by a package that arrives crushed, torn, or mangled is not one you want to give. Packaging must allow for stacking and palletizing and, in the case of export, must be designed to accommodate the air shipping process, which has special requirements. Consult with the freight companies you will be using to learn about their requirements, keeping in mind that these are likely to vary by country.

  2. Allow for ventilation: In most cases, fruit needs air so that carbon dioxide does not accumulate in excess. Depending on the fruit in question, packaging can be engineered to allow for various mixes of air flow. The technology in this area is changing all the time, so be sure to keep current with this as the years go by.

  3. Contain the fruit effectively and efficiently: While you must protect the fruit, you do not want to be inefficient or waste space or materials. This adds cost on your end and increases what you must charge the consumer. It also increases waste, a growing concern. You’ll want to consider making your packing recyclable or biodegradable.

  4. Identify the product and shipper: Don’t forget that your packaging also serves a crucial marketing function. Eye-catching graphics or logos that identify your company or concern “sell” you not only to the end customer, but to others who see your product in transit. They’re really necessary these days. You will also need to provide the necessary identifying information about your product, such as country of origin, size, weight, grade, and so on. Requirements are likely to vary, so be sure to check with the countries you are doing business with before beginning manufacturing.


You will soon learn that depending on your product, there are a wealth of different materials and options available. For instance, common packaging materials for fruit may include corrugated fiberboard (this may need to be specially treated to resist moisture), recycled pulp, tissue paper, plastic bags, mesh bags, plastic shrink wrap, and rigid plastic packaging, such as plastic clamshells (these may be disposable or recyclable or biodegradable). All these materials have advantages and disadvantages, and you may wish to study the shipping practices of other companies who are working in the same space as your firm in order to learn more about best practices. Perhaps you’d even like to place several orders from competitors to see for yourself in what condition the fruit arrives in.

While choosing packing materials and processes is a complex decision, it’s also an absolutely crucial element of your process and central to your success as a fruit shipping concern. These requirements should help you get started on the process to choosing packaging for your fruit that will protect it and keep it in top condition, while also containing it, efficiently marketing it, and providing necessary information to your customers.

The following article has been submitted by Carol Williams from orangesonline.com – experienced fruit shippers from Florida.

Sectors: Food & Drink and Fruit & Vegetables
Export Action Plan