Your Go-To Guide for Imported Food Warehouses in Tennessee

July 3, 2024

Did you have a cup of coffee this morning or a banana? Did your dinner last night have olive oil or contain spices? We rarely think about it, but many of the most common foods in America are imported.

As one of the world’s largest food importers, the US relies on warehousing and distribution to meet diverse consumer demands. Warehouses provide storage facilities equipped to handle imported goods affected by seasonality and climate. It’s important to know how to choose a warehouse that helps your food import business meet market needs.

Foods imported to the United States have surged in the 21st century. Key considerations for storing food include temperature control, packaging, FDA notification, and FSVP adherence. R&S Logistics provides tailored assistance for food imports in Tennessee, ensuring safety and traceability through certified warehouses.

Imported Foods in the United States

The United States has been steadily increasing its imports of fruits and vegetables since the turn of the century. According to the USDA, agricultural imports into the US tallied around $148 billion in 2020. This figure surged to $194 billion by 2022.

Between 2011 and 2021, imported foods accounted for 44% of American fruit and nut intake, while vegetables sourced from abroad made up 35%. In 2020, meat imports hit a whopping $8.7 billion, mainly sourced from Canada, which sent over 70% of its beef exports our way.

How R&S Can Help with Food Imports in Tennessee

At R&S Logistics, we love food — and not just eating it! We’re here to help you support your food imports in Tennessee through our food and beverage-certified warehouses. Strategically located across the state, our facilities are designed to accommodate imported foods’ storage and handling. This way, we ensure compliance with stringent food safety and quality standards.

All of our Tennessee locations guarantee exceptional service and rapid response times tailored to the needs of the food manufacturing industry. Our food-grade warehouses: 

  • Adhere to strict sanitation protocols 
  • Maintain precise humidity control 
  • Offer comprehensive traceability measures

These factors help us safeguard the integrity of your stored food products.

With our expertise in managing goods appropriately, your food-importing business can rely on us to handle a wide range of foods. Our team has the knowledge and resources to ensure that products are handled with the utmost diligence and professionalism throughout the import process.

Shipping Considerations

At R&S Logistics, we understand that bringing imported foods into the USA requires specific safety considerations in shipping. That’s why we include:

  • Temperature control
  • Packaging
  • Prior notice
  • Documentation
  • FSVP compliance

Temperature control is essential since specific ranges are vital for maintaining safety and quality. This might include using refrigerated containers or insulated packaging with ice packs for perishable items. Similarly, packaging must align with the food product and journey duration, providing robust protection against handling, contamination, and leaks.

Prior notice to the FDA is required with importers being obligated to electronically detail shipment information within specified timeframes based on transport mode. Comprehensive documentation is indispensable, including: 

  • Bills of lading, 
  • Commercial invoices, 
  • Packing lists, and 
  • Any requisite certificates or permits contingent on food type

Certain human and animal food products may require that you comply with the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). This ensures that foreign suppliers have food safety plans meeting U.S. food and beverage standards

Additionally, it’s wise to research specific requirements or restrictions related to the imported food type. This can be done through the FDA website or consultation with experienced customs brokers versed in food imports.

Fulfillment Considerations

Like shipping, your fulfillment strategy plays a pivotal role in enhancing customer satisfaction and staying competitive in the US imported food market. We help ensure food quality and efficient delivery to your customers in Tennessee and across the country. 

For time-sensitive food items, partnering with us for fulfillment centers with fast pick-and-pack operations is essential. They ensure that your products are swiftly processed and dispatched, minimizing the time they spend in storage and maximizing freshness upon delivery.

Warehouse location is another critical factor that we offer. Strategically situating fulfillment centers closer to target markets can significantly reduce shipping times. This enhances your overall customer experience by expediting delivery and keeps shipping times as low as possible.

Exploring is also important. Depending on factors like urgency and cost considerations, different shipping methods may be necessary. Fortunately, our logistics and transportation team can determine the best form of transportation and schedule it for you. This includes rail or different types of trucking. Ground transportation might be more cost-effective, providing a balance between affordability and efficiency.

We’re the clear choice when carefully considering pick-and-pack fulfillment speed, warehouse location, and transportation options. We help your organization optimize its fulfillment operations for imported foods. This ensures timely delivery to customers and preserves the quality of the products throughout the supply chain. 

The influx of imported foods into the United States has notably increased this century. Critical aspects of importing include temperature control, packaging, FDA notification, and FSVP compliance. Efficient fulfillment strategies are essential for timely delivery and quality maintenance. We offer customized support for food imports in Tennessee, guaranteeing safety and traceability in certified warehouses.

Need assistance?

Our shipping and warehousing experts are happy to answer your questions. Get in touch to learn more about our fully customized solutions.

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