Milk is an essential part of everyday life. It is perhaps the only consumable, which is a complete and balanced diet in itself. And it takes a long drawn out system of transportation and storage services to get you the quality milk that you buy in supermarkets. From the dairy farms to the shop shelves, it is a long journey, and it is essential that this journey takes place safely as milk is a perishable item.
The journey of milk begins from the numerous dairy farms spread across the states. With the advancements in technology, milk can now be extracted, transported, and stored, all without touching human hands.
Directly from the cows, through a system of pipes, milk goes to cold storage and is stored there for further transportation by the milk transportation trucks. The milk in these units is typically stored at temperatures less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Under a day or two, the milk transport trucks come to pick it up.
Milk transportation companies
The role of milk transportation companies begins quite early in the process. As soon as the farms have the milk in their cold storage units, fleets of milk transportation trucks are deployed to collect the milk and take it to a dairy processing unit.
Milk transportation trucks are important. They are insulated and sealed, to keep the milk fresh and protected. They look like giant tankers for milk. The trucks involved in dairy transportation are usually also driven by specially trained truckers and instructed to take the shortest and most efficient route from the farm to the processing unit.
After the milk trucking companies have done their jobs of getting the milk to the processing units, the milk undergoes several tests. There are temperature and bacterial growth tests that ensure the quality of the product. Any sample which does not meet the strict quality checks is not approved and is discarded. Of all the food and beverages, milk has one of the strictest quality parameters.
The milk that qualifies the quality checks is then pasteurized, homogenized, and packaged. The job then goes back to the milk trucking companies for milk transport. The entire milk transportation and processing process only takes a couple of days, and then it hits the shelves.
“Various challenges of the sector make it vital to only use trusted service providers for milk transport as they would provide you unmatched service and quality assurance.”
Even though milk transportation only takes a couple of days, this does not mean that there are no problems in the entire sector and process as a whole. The supply chain being simple, comes at the cost of vulnerability.
Because of its weight, milk is transported in containers despite possibilities of spillage and spoilage. On the road, there are innumerable possibilities that can cause milk transport trucks to be delayed, which would spoil the product.
The distribution of milk farms is another problem. Because the milk farming across the country is fragmented, that means that the dairy transportation industry has to meet undulating supplies, even though the demand remains stably the same.
Imagine this, some farms are big enough to fill an entire tanker, which is fine, but a lot of them are not. When the milk production is more or less than the capacity of milk transportation trucks, there would be a lot of stops designated by the milk transportation companies to fill the truck to its capacity.
The problem does not just end there. There are also federal transportation limits that regulate dairy transportation. It causes problems a lot of the time; the trucks cannot be filled to their capacities even though that would benefit every party involved.
The most easily solvable or manageable aspect of the supply chain is the services rendered by these companies to the farmers and processing units. Various challenges of the sector make it vital to only use trusted service providers for milk transport as they would provide you an unmatched service and quality assurance.
Technology and variety
Over time, technology has waded into every nook and corner of life. For milk trucking companies, the job has become busier and busier as time has passed. Now, milk can be used to make all kinds of dairy products like processed cheese, yogurt, cream, etc. The residues which used to go to waste can now be reused and recycled to make more consumables.
One of the most famous and prominent ones is whey. You must have definitely heard of it, as it is tough to have missed the advertisement of this being used in protein powders and gym supplements.
All of these processes add complexities and stress on the supply chain of milk that is already a very delicate arrangement.
One of the most recent technological advancements is ‘precision dairy farming.’ What the term crudely indicates is to utilize technological advancements to target individual animals, which in turn would increase the overall yield. This would help farmers to meet the changing (and often increasing) demands of the market and monitor and manage production carefully.
Milk farming has surely come a long way over time, and it will continue to grow. With novel technologies coming up every day, there is hope for relief in the future.