In order to maintain the highest level of quality, apples must be transported at the same temperature they were at in the cold storage facility (30-32℉). Regardless of the mode of transportation, the conveyance must use thermostatically controlled temperature to prevent freezing or overheating. The truck or other container must be refrigerated and capable of holding air temperatures not to exceed 40℉. Relative humidity should be maintained around 90-95%. Apples cannot be shipped with mixed loads of commodities such as onions, cabbage, etc., because they absorb odors. They produce ethylene so they should not be shipped with products sensitive to this gas. Most apples are shipped in fiberboard boxes, loose-packed, on molded trays, or in polyethylene bags. To help protect a shipment from extreme weather situations, boxes should be stacked tightly together, in an offset pattern to reduce contact with floors and walls. Palletized loads should use center-loading to reduce contact with walls. Loads transported internationally may have additional requirements listed in the work plan documents for the specific country destination. Country work plan requirements can be found at the Northwest Horticultural Council website.
Apple Shipping Links
- WSDA Standards for Apples (Accessed: 1/19/17).
Trade Articles on Apple Shipping
- Year-end shipping reports to be required, Good Fruit Grower, August, 2014.
- Growers looking for more air cargo capacity at Sea-Tac, C. Corr, Good Fruit Grower, January, 2013.
Other Articles on Apple Shipping
- Getting it here, getting it out, C. Pratt, Wenatchee World, June, 2013.
- Produce transportation guidelines assist industry and reduce disputes, with link to the guideline document, Western Farm Press, January, 2012.