The North American Produce Transportation Working Group (NAPTWG), representing produce transportation stakeholders from associations and industry groups across North America, announced the availability of the new North American Produce Transportation Guidelines. The document integrates multiple existing transportation guidelines into one best practices document which can be used throughout North America to ensure the ongoing vitality of the carrier sector. These best practice guidelines were agreed to by various stakeholders in the produce supply chain and were reviewed and endorsed by the Blue Book and the Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) to ensure compliance with industry trading guidelines for North America. The NAPTWG aims to provide necessary guidance for seamless product movement and to ensure that the produce industry continues to have sufficient access to carriers to meet the needs of the produce industry in North America.

“The new guidelines represent an incredible volume of work by industry associations and produce organizations involved in the transport of fresh produce,” noted David Dever, president and CEO of Sun World International and NAPTWG Chairman. “We all know how crucial ensuring the vitality of our carrier industry is to the long term viability of the North American produce industry and this is one tool to support that.”

Best practices are generally-accepted, informally-standardized techniques, methods or processes that have proven themselves over time to accomplish given tasks. By following proper processes, checks and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered more effectively with fewer problems and unforeseen complications. In addition, a "best" practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. The NAPTWG compilation of best practice guidelines is intended to be an evolving document to guide efficiency in produce transportation.

“Transportation carriers are facing increasing costs and complexities today,” said David Owen, president of National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC). “If we don’t all play our part in assisting carriers and making produce a desirable industry to do business in, we could face shortages of carriers in the future. The guidelines should be used by all to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

The document is available free of charge to the produce industry and carriers at www.naptwg.org.