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Specialized containers and refrigerated facilities make this sometimes messy business come up smelling like roses.
The big, red-haired cargo handler at Boston's Logan Airport flashed a gap-tooth grin and joked, "Them lobsters gonna swim all the way to Phoenix for supper tonight." The big guy was right on all counts: The Maine lobsters would, indeed, be swimming toward Arizona within an hour or two, albeit in a live-seafood container onboard a 767.
There is nothing new about the shipping process; it has been around for years. But, while little has changed in the actual harvesting, shipping and serving of seafood, it is well worth noting some of the business to make it faster, easier and less costly.
Dan Lyons, vice president of Southland Container of Baltimore, said, "Because of our proximity to the mid-Atlantic seafood industry, we have served, learned from and grown with that market through the years. As a result, we have been able to develop an entire family of seafood containers; everything from tuna packs for shipping whole tuna right off the boat to small containers for shipping seafood samples." Lyons added that he has a customer on the East Coast who does a big business packaging seafood samples for various marketers and shipping the samples around the world to customers and prospective customers. Many of these destinations are located on the other side of the globe, and lots of important business hinges on the appearance and flavor of the samples upon arrival. "The sample container plays an important role in turning a sample presentation into a firm order for business," he said.
Prevent against leakage
While the business of transporting seafood remains profitable for most carriers, a common problem is the threat of having expensive aircraft attacked by corrosive liquids associated with the shipment of that commodity. "The damage that occurs as the result of corrosive moisture reaching the metal belly of an aircraft can cost hundreds of thousands--even millions--of dollars to repair," said Challenge Air Cargo President Bill Spohrer. "There is a running dialog between airlines and shippers making sure that shippers' products are packed correctly to avoid leakage. There are prescribed methods for doing it, and we circulate packing instructions, …