If you live on an island in the Caribbean, you know that most of your food is shipped in and distributed by local food distributors and/or supermarkets. The products that are shipped most likely come weekly in 20’ or 40’ containers brought over on a cargo ship. Each container is kept at a specified temperature depending on the contents of the container. Once the product clears the port, the container is brought to a food distribution warehouse or to a supermarket on island for off-loading. If the establishment is large enough (a large resort, for example), they may have their container brought directly to their property to be off loaded.
But what if the product is not brought over in temperature controlled containers? Or what if the product is dropped dockside or loaded into non-refrigerated vans or trucks? Who is insuring that all local fees/duties/taxes are being paid on your behalf so there are no problems in the future? Further, once the product is delivered to the food distribution company, where is it stored? Is the product stored in correct temperature zones? Let’s take this one step further….how does the product get from the food distribution warehouse to the end user, the customer? Are non-temperature controlled vans, trucks, or personal vehicles used? These are all important questions that should be asked and answered.
Another thought, if you are a food distributor on island, you may be sourcing various product lines from multiple suppliers and doing direct shipments from the states with either FCL’s or LCL’s. A broad line AND full service food distributor could save you time AND money. Are your suppliers “export only” from the states or is Caribbean distribution a small portion of their business? These questions are important ones that could be affecting your bottom line.
Merchants Market Group and its subsidiaries have serviced the Caribbean as a leading food distributor for over 50 years. They know the Caribbean and they are logistics experts in food service. Call them to help you with all of your needs. Visit their website at www.merchantsmarket.com or call (561) 844-7000.
Photo Credit: Zemi Beach House Hotel and Resort, Anguilla
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