The Distribution Chain – The Upside to the Sanitary Transport Rule
The final FSMA Sanitary Transportation Rule will be changing the supply chain as we now know it. With increasing responsibility being placed on the business relationships between shippers, loaders, carriers, and receivers, we will be seeing contracts rewritten to spell out responsibilities for things like trailer and tanker cleanliness, temperature control and monitoring, and required documentation.
The transportation industry will be getting a taste of regulatory food safety requirements that will reverberate throughout the supply chain. The upside for the food industry is plentiful and includes:
- Distinct definitions for the role of shippers, loaders, carriers, and receivers in regard to food safety
- More defined contracts spelling out requirements and responsibilities for food safety
- Food safety policies and procedures that are developed, fully implemented and maintained
- Increased visibility to warehouse and driver responsibilities in keeping the food supply safe
- More emphasis on maintaining sanitary conditions throughout the supply chain
- Implied expectation that all stakeholders will partner to meet the requirements of the Sanitary Transport Rule
- Documentation of the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders involved in the warehousing and transportation segments of the food industry
- Emphasis on food safety training for warehousing employees and drivers
Those who have lived through the implementation of any type of regulatory change can attest to the fact that there is a fairly steep learning curve in compliance. Robust learning and development, communications, and operational excellence programs will make this curve more of a gradual incline and create an upside for all stakeholders.
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