Just as the DRC Trading Standards set out the rights and responsibilities of buyers, brokers and sellers of fresh produce, the DRC Transportation Standards set out the fresh produce specific rights and responsibilities of trucks, transportation intermediaries, shippers, and receivers.

For some time, the DRC Transportation Standards have been viewed as more of a “suggestion” than as a vital part of product movement along the supply chain. Those days are over.  Food Safety and Preventative Control Plans (PCP) have focused attention on the supply chain, including the loading and unloading of produce.

Section 7 addresses loading the conveyance.  For years the driver and the shipper had responsibilities for loading the conveyance. Documentation of pulp temperatures, reefer set points and condition of the conveyance should now be part of a shipper’s PCP.

Similarly, Section 9 addresses the documentation of temperatures and the condition of the load.  These requirements should also be reflected in the receiver’s PCP.  That plan should include procedures to address and correct those issues.

Placing seals or locks on trailer doors is nothing new and is discussed in Section 7.   Not that many years ago a seal’s primary use was protecting against theft, or that other unapproved cargo was not placed on board. Breaking that seal without authorization could result in rejection and give rise to contamination concerns. Today, breaking a seal may raise Food Safety concerns which could lead to a dispute.

DRC’s Transportation Standards are designed to be the default standards between members, and they are compatible with today’s business practices.  Parties are free to agree on other transportation terms and we are cognisant that sovereign laws may come into effect in international transactions. When making other arrangements be prepared for DRC to ask if the terms were “DUA” (discussed, understood, and agreed).