The Story of UltraShip’s Temperature Tracking Innovation and the FSMA

Here’s a look back at the FDA information they used to prepare a solution for food shippers to achieve rapid compliance with FSMA regulations. UltraShipTMS announced its first-in-the-market temperature tracking capability in TMS last week.  UltraShipTMS development teams studied the FSMA guidelines well ahead of the scheduled roll out of the new law and spent 12 months working to deliver the industry’s first TMS-integrated temperature tracking capability. 

Already in use by several food-shipping UltraShipTMS customers including a multi-billion dollar protein producer, this functionality represents the culmination of UltraShip’s forward-thinking product development posture that enables the delivery of powerful tools to the market at precisely the moment they are needed.

The FDAs document, “Overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act” lays out the broad themes of the law currently in effect, and details the changes it is intended to effect on how food is produced, transported, handled and monitored to reduce foodborne illness.  At the end of the overview document, the FDA states, “Changes won’t appear overnight, building a system will be a long-range process”.   Not inclined to take our time, UltraShipTMS began working on solutions in support of the FSMA a year ago so that we’d have them ready in time to help food shippers achieve compliance with the main themes of the new law.

It’s interesting to see the extent to which the main themes of the FSMA are dependent on the transportation logistics functions in agriculture, food manufacture and production.  The main themes as defined in the FDA document are:

  • Prevention

  • Inspections/Compliance and Response

  • Enhanced Partnerships

  • Import Safety

Prevention regarded by the FDA as the cornerstone of the FSMA includes produce safety standards and strengthened accountability for prevention.  Transportation is identified specifically as a key element in prevention of foodborne illness.

The Inspection, Compliance, Response portion mandates greater inspection frequency and considers new ways to inspect including enhanced product tracing.

Enhanced partnerships calls for better collaboration between state and local agencies, laboratory networks, easier ability to find and recall information.

The new temperature tracking feature supports three of these four themes.  For prevention, it delivers immediate notification if/when temperature controlled freight falls outside of required temperature zones making it much less likely that entire shipments of food are growing bacteria while in transit.

The new temperature tracking feature supports improved inspections and compliance by making records of actual temperatures and times available in real time.  This makes it far easier for food shippers to maintain compliance and to respond to inspections with actual, verifiable data surrounding temperatures in transit.

Enhanced partnerships are personified by the partnership between UltraShipTMS and FourKites which yielded this new solution for improved food safety across the transportation portion of the supply chain.