A Q&A on shipping refrigerated food from Eastern Canada to Western Canada and the US East Coast
With Canada Day and American Independence Day fresh at our heels, we thought it made sense to acknowledge the world’s longest border—and discuss our expertise in shipping fresh food across it.
Last month we talked about VersaCold’s premium shipping service, Coastal Pacific Xpress (CPX), and why CPX should be your first choice for moving temperature-sensitive food from the United States to Canada. But the roads go both ways, so we’re following up this month to highlight CPX’s expertise in delivering highly expedited shipping from the True North to the Home of the Brave.
CPX is a Surrey, BC-based division of VersaCold Logistics Services, and while it still services the western half of Canada and the US, CPX is no longer as exclusively “Pacific” as it once was.
Since merging with VersaCold in 2016, CPX has been able to expand its network, with full capabilities to offer this premium service to companies in the East, as well as those on the West Coast with operations and needs in the East. We recently sat down with Zoran Maksimovic, Vice President of Operations at CPX, to discuss what this has meant for shipping highly sought after, specialized foods like fresh fish, seafood and produce along the Eastern Seaboard.
Q: How has CPX been able to move from the West Coast to the East Coast?
ZM: VersaCold has long offered services from coast to coast, and CPX is now offering similar coverage. We’ve been able to bring our expertise from the West Coast to the East with our existing customers and for potential new customers as well. No matter if it’s to ship product down the US East Coast, into the heartland or across Canada, we can serve those routes.
Q: Why do Eastern Canadian companies require this premium shipping service?
ZM: There’s a high demand for Canadian perishable food products—including fish, seafood and produce—along the American East Coast and beyond. For these very temperature-sensitive products, we run a highly expedited service that ensures product arrives at its destination fresh and with the longest shelf life. It’s extremely important to work within the timelines our customers require in order to ensure the products are always fresh when they arrive.
Q: How do you manage the time-sensitivity and ensure freshness?
ZM: Our entire system is built around non-stop service. We use sleeper teams all throughout the US and Canada, with one driver behind the wheel while the other is sleeping. That means the truck runs 24 hours a day. Plus, with our fleet (700 refrigerated units), our technology (three-way multi-temperature trailers no older than 36 months, equipped with satellite communications) and our dispatch, we are truly open 24/7/365. So that’s exactly what we now offer throughout the East Coast to get the product onto the shelf as fast as possible.
Q: Where does CPX typically ship in the American East, now that you have a presence there?
ZM: All major cities down the East Coast. Some of our prime cities include Boston, New York and Miami, but we ship to many others as well. We also ship inland to key markets, such as Chicago.
Q: VersaCold’s signature to its customers is Your food matters™. How does CPX live up to this statement with regard to shipping highly perishable food, including seafood and produce, from Canada to the US?
ZM: It’s important to make sure that, even with different types of perishable food, they are being shipped at the best possible temperatures. With our trailers, we can ship food at three distinct temperatures. For example, in one compartment we’ll have fresh fish, like halibut or salmon (at 28° F), in a second we’ll have frozen fish (at -20° F), and in a third we’ll have live shellfish and oysters (at 34° F)—that’s what we do daily. This service also comes in handy with produce, since items like potatoes need to be stored at a different temperature than, say, berries.
Q: How do your trailers accommodate different temperatures?
ZM: Each trailer has three refrigeration units that can be set to varying temperatures, as well as two cold walls that can be moved to segregate different products. Many transportation providers only have one reefer unit and a blended temperature. Our multi-temperature system keeps food at its ideal temperature to ensure prolonged safety, quality and freshness.
Q: What makes CPX an expert in cross-border shipping?
ZM: First of all, our experience. We’ve been shipping across the border in the West since 1986. But we have specialized staff that are working all the time to proactively compile paperwork, clear the shipments, and ship the goods to the United States. These people are trained specifically for cross-border shipping and receive constant training. We also work closely with customs brokers to make sure we are as efficient as possible and avoid getting held up too long at the border.
Q: What’s the biggest difference for CPX since becoming a division of VersaCold?
ZM: The merger has really allowed us to focus on our customer service and food safety. CPX can now tap into a larger network of temperature-sensitive, food-focused logistics assets and expertise. Together with VersaCold, we’re able to cover any customer needs all over Canada and the US.
As a North American leader in refrigerated food transportation services, CPX continues to focus on premium service, expedited delivery and custom solutions, while expanding their transportation and warehousing network all over the United States and Canada—and meeting all customer needs.
If you’d like to partner with a leading provider of food-focused logistics from the United States to Canada, please
contact us at Sales@VersaCold.com or 1-888-563-2653.