The ATP Code refers to the Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Goods and which special vehicles are used for this purpose. This agreement was signed in Geneva (Switzerland) in 1970 and is a technical-sanitary regulation that specifies all the requirements to be met by special vehicles for the transport of perishable foodstuffs and their corresponding control mechanisms. In addition, it also establishes the maximum temperatures to which refrigerated or frozen products must be subjected during loading, unloading or transfer.
This regulation ensures that perishable goods transported from one country to another do not lose their properties and reach the consumer in optimal conditions. The means of transport used must always be capable of maintaining the ideal temperature for the product.
As an international freight forwarder, integral logistics operator and customs agent, RFL offers all kinds of tailor-made door-to-door logistics solutions. A differentiated and specialized treatment to ensure that each refrigerated or frozen cargo arrives correctly at its destination.
ATP vehicle type
One of the most important aspects of this regulation is that vehicles engaged in the transport of this type of goods must have the ATP identification plate, which accredits them as suitable for loading. The plate must be permanently affixed to the vehicle and the identification marks – formed by navy blue capital letters on a white background – indicate the type of vehicle, the month and year of expiry.
The ATP regulations specify the following types of trucks as being suitable for transporting foodstuffs considered to be perishable:
*Isothermal: with box closed by panels, doors, floor and roof insulated from the outside. In this way, heat exchange between the interior and exterior can be avoided.
*Refrigerated: this is an isothermal truck with a cold source that allows the temperature of the box to be lowered and maintained when it already contains the entire load.
*Fridge: it is characterized by controlling the temperature inside the box between 12ºC and -20ºC.
*Heating: unlike the previous ones, this type of truck has a heating device that raises the temperature of the box above 12ºC.
All types of temperature-sensitive or perishable cargo (flowers and plants, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, seafood…) require differentiated treatment, and that is why companies are increasingly specializing in this type of merchandise. This is a growth segment in the global logistics chain.
According to the latest published data (Observatory of the Agrifood Sector), Spain was the fourth country of the EU-28 in agrifood exports last year. This translated into the highest weight of Europe in foreign sales of goods with 17.6 % of the total. And it was the European countries that concentrated the greatest demand for products. In fact, among the first six markets account for 57.8% of the total value with France (15.6%), Germany (11.4%), Italy (9.6%), Portugal (8.9%), United Kingdom (7.8%) and Netherlands (4.5%).
However, Spanish exports continue to diversify, rising in Asian countries that already represent 6% of the total, with China and Japan as the main destinations, as well as the United States, which represents 3.9%.