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What are your thoughts on incoming product delivered on mixed loads?


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#1 Paul77

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 10:37 AM

Hi All,

I'd be interested on your views on this, it's been irritating me for some while but I'm not sure if I'm being over cautious?

We only deal with sealed product, no production and we are a regional wholesaler.

A lot of our inbound product is comes in on general haulage which are by nature mixed loads, this can include a wide range of goods such as chemicals and sometimes plant matter.

I have attached a couple of pictures for your perusal ******photos removed****** and I would be interested in your comments.

We are BRC S&D certified.

 

Regards,

Paul

ps this site is a mine of great info and I reference it in all my audits.


Edited by Simon, 07 March 2020 - 09:58 AM.


#2 QAGB

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 01:59 PM

Hi Paul,

 

Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but if I were you, I wouldn't put pictures of labeled product in the forums. You never know what other companies are represented - and may not appreciate the pics.

 

However, just looking at the S&D standard - I might reference clause 7.1.2 "There shall be a procedure for inspection of loads on arrival to ensure that products are free from pest infestation, contamination or damage and are in satisfactory condition".

 

Based on the pictures - I can definitely see a plant in the background. The product itself does look pretty clean, but the plant is definiitely a potential harborage point of pests, and could potentially cause issue with your products. Chemicals could do the same as well.



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#3 Paul77

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 02:32 PM

Hi Paul,

 

Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but if I were you, I wouldn't put pictures of labeled product in the forums. You never know what other companies are represented - and may not appreciate the pics.

 

However, just looking at the S&D standard - I might reference clause 7.1.2 "There shall be a procedure for inspection of loads on arrival to ensure that products are free from pest infestation, contamination or damage and are in satisfactory condition".

 

Based on the pictures - I can definitely see a plant in the background. The product itself does look pretty clean, but the plant is definiitely a potential harborage point of pests, and could potentially cause issue with your products. Chemicals could do the same as well.

I did consider the picture issue but as this was deemed to be an acceptable delivery at the time I thought I'd live dangerously.

We do inspect loads on arrival but within reason, we can't split down pallets and inspect every box (Unless we have reason to suspect an issue)

I suppose I'm coming at this more from the supplier side in that once they dispatch their product and it goes into the haulage network they have no idea where it's been or how it's been treated/handled.

It seems odd that ourselves and manufacturers are highly regulated, spend vast amounts of money on food safety and certification but the bit in between (transport) is virtually ignored.

 

Paul
 



#4 QAGB

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 03:28 PM

That's a good point. It really seems as though once our products have been distributed to channels outside of our controls, we don't really have any way of controlling transportation from that point forward.

 

I understand your concerns, and the only thing I could think of is to discuss this with the supplier (or possibly last point of distribution to your site), and see if there's anything that can be done to help this situation.

 

I can say that I've seen mixed load receipts before, but never with a plant inside the load. In my facility, we would not receive loads like this nor would we allow LTL trailer pickups to attempt to haul our product with items like this on it.

 

However, as you point out, we can't control what the truck does after it leaves our facility, which I've always thought to be concerning. I never figured out a straight answer to that situation.



#5 SQFconsultant

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 03:41 PM

Hi Paul,

 

Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but if I were you, I wouldn't put pictures of labeled product in the forums. You never know what other companies are represented - and may not appreciate the pics.

 

However, just looking at the S&D standard - I might reference clause 7.1.2 "There shall be a procedure for inspection of loads on arrival to ensure that products are free from pest infestation, contamination or damage and are in satisfactory condition".

 

Based on the pictures - I can definitely see a plant in the background. The product itself does look pretty clean, but the plant is definiitely a potential harborage point of pests, and could potentially cause issue with your products. Chemicals could do the same as well.

 

I have a client that is BRC certified and SQF certified - the trailer contents are checked prior to backing up to the dock and thus allowing pests, etc from entering the facility.  If the trailer is a mixed load and many are they require a full fumigation of the trailer prior to off-load and may or may not even accept a load even after the fumigation.

 

I also agree with QAGB, I would not put pictures of labeled product/brands on this forum, we have a client that saw someone do this and it can cause all sorts of bad to happen.


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
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#6 QAGB

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 03:49 PM

If you have Organic Certifications, fumigation is a bit tricky.

 

I would outright reject an incoming receipt with contaminants, as well as rejecting an LTL looking to load our product which is carrying potential taints. The problem occurs downstream, where we don't have control over transportation. For example - a pristine LTL comes in, picks up our goods, then goes somewhere else and picks up a giant plant. They drop off the giant plant somewhere, and the customer gets our goods not knowing there was a plant with potential pest harborage. To add more complexity - say this truck drops off our goods at a DC before it even gets to the end customer. No one ever knew there was a plant on the initial LTL. 

 

We made our outsourced trucking companies sign agreements, but that doesn't mean they really follow them. Even worse, if it is the customer's assigned LTL which would have no agreements with us.


Edited by QAGB, 06 March 2020 - 03:51 PM.


#7 Paul77

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 03:57 PM

This is not uncommon here, a lot of pallet freight goes via pallet networks and sub-contractors.

It would not be unusual for a single pallet consignment to arrive via several different DC's and several hauliers.

It is also very common for the transport to be curtainsiders here which are not pestproof in my book.

This is common across the industry in the uk.

 

ps: I can't work out how to edit the OP I am now getting paranoid!!



#8 QAGB

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 03:59 PM

This is not uncommon here, a lot of pallet freight goes via pallet networks and sub-contractors.

It would not be unusual for a single pallet consignment to arrive via several different DC's and several hauliers.

It is also very common for the transport to be curtainsiders here which are not pestproof in my book.

This is common across the industry in the uk.

 

ps: I can't work out how to edit the OP I am now getting paranoid!!

 

 

Maybe some other folks in the UK have some answers for you on how they have dealt with it. 

 

Also - possible Simon can help you out with the editing piece. :)



#9 pHruit

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 05:05 PM

This is not uncommon here, a lot of pallet freight goes via pallet networks and sub-contractors.

It would not be unusual for a single pallet consignment to arrive via several different DC's and several hauliers.

It is also very common for the transport to be curtainsiders here which are not pestproof in my book.

This is common across the industry in the uk.

 

I can absolutely confirm this to be the case. It's partly/mostly a price thing, and partly a practicality thing.

If you want to order less than a full load, you could commission a van or truck to deliver it direct to destination at a cost of £hundreds, or you could send it via one of the numerous pallet network systems for potentially under £50. This can make a very significant difference to the per kg / per unit price of the product once delivered.

Unless you are based extremely close to the delivery point, the vehicle on which you load the product will almost certainly be a different one to that which delivers it to the recipient, and indeed it's probably operated by a completely different business to the one that the supplier actually pays - many of these networks are lots of independent members who collaborate through one system as it benefits them all. In some cases such a delivery can change hands via 5-10 different "hubs" on its way across the country, all of which could be handling pretty much anything.

There are a few more food-centric groupage systems/networks, but they're more expensive, less flexible, capacity is more limited (to the extent that in some regions you'll often have to be able to put a huge amount through them such that you can tempt them to run more vehicles, or they simply won't deal with you), and it still doesn't guarantee an absence of potential contaminants - e.g. a lot of sites don't like glass or specific allergens on the vehicle, but food-only services can often be carrying drinks products in glass or packets of peanuts etc.

 

The thing that always strikes me as rather incongruous is the mismatch between this side of the supply chain, and the often very stringent requirements (slowly tending towards "vehicles must not be driven by anyone whose second cousin's ex girlfriend once saw a photograph of a man looking at a peanut") that go with it, as compared to those on the final leg of the retail distribution journey. Look at the delivery of finished goods as they arrive with the retailer - mixed loads on roll cages with ambient vehicles carrying food along with a delectable assortment of household cleaning products, toiletries, cosmetics, and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Or fresh produce in open cases on lorries with houseplants and flowers. Or chilled cages of meat products, often poorly wrapped or prone to damage/leaking, directly next to cases of finished chilled RTE goods.

 

In your position I think you have two possible approaches, and it's probably worth exploring both of them.

1) Talk to your suppliers about delivery options. They should be able to find alternative services, but equally these are likely to have a cost that someone has to cover.

2) Risk assessment. What is the actual potential for contamination, for the products you're handling? Are these all sealed such that neither liquid nor solid contaminants can actually contact the food itself? Does your goods-in inspection really detect all potential contaminants that could actually cause a food safety risk? Obviously taking such an approach is far from ideal and can very difficult to defend at audit, but presumably your suppliers have done just that, so the first stage is probably to point the question at them - can they share their risk assessment / evidence that the delivery method doesn't pose a risk to the products with which they supply you?



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