Meat products are exported from Argentina either as frozen produce (-18°C) or as chilled beef (-1°C). Nowadays practically all of the cargo consists of boneless beef cuts, vacuum packed in cartons, the majority of it proceeding overseas in refrigerated containers. Offals and lamb carcasses are also shipped.
All meats are inspected and approved by the Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería y Pesca inspectors and cartons or carcasses are stamped accordingly. A certificate of inspection is issued which accompanies the shipment and forms part of the necessary export documents.
Shipments of frozen fish, squid and the like continue to increase, largely on reefer vessels calling directly at ports on the South Atlantic seaboard. Shipments are either via cold store on shore or, more likely than not, by direct transhipment, either alongside or at anchor (see also description of individual ports) Exports via Buenos Aires are nowadays almost entirely in containers stuffed at the southern ports. As with meat, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries inspectors intervene and carrying temperatures are usually -25°C.
The Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería y Pesca oversees all fruit shipments and sets the harvesting dates. It is becoming normal for the fruit to be shipped on refrigerated vessels calling at ports adjacent to the growing areas; for example San Antonio Este, Concepción del Uruguay, Campana, Rosario in Argentina and Fray Bentos and Nueva Palmira in Uruguay.
Fruit is shipped either pre-cooled or non pre-cooled but nowadays a large amount is pre-cooled prior to shipment at cold stores in the port area where the vessel actually loads. Similarly, inspections of the fruit take place at the port cold stores or alongside and the pertinent inspection certificate is issued. A phytosanitary certificate issued by inspectors in the production zone must also accompany the shipment.
Shippers will issue their own precise instructions with regard to temperature requirements which may vary from around +0,5 to +8°C depending on the type of fruit and the special characteristics of any particular shipments. Shippers usually request a carrying humidity of between 80-90% which shipowners normally do not guarantee, unless special containers are used.