I don’t know about you, but for me, the very minute that Winter Solstice begins, I am counting the days until Spring begins! Spring brings warmer temperatures, fresh blossoms and…the Easter Bunny with lots of brightly-colored boiled eggs! YUM!

As I often do, I began to wonder how all those fragile eggs are transported without LOTS of cracking. Sure enough, an amazing system is in place JUST for EGGS, thanks to some very interesting inventions and MANY talented logistics agents, carriers and drivers!

 It turns out that eggs are BIG BUSINESS, even after the Easter Bunny has gone back down the rabbit hole.

What does this business look like once logistics is involved?  

There are very strict rules in place for the transportation of human grade food, and shell eggs are certainly no exception. According to Egg Safety, vehicles transporting food must be dedicated to only transporting food, per federal law which states:

  • Shell eggs packed for consumers must be stored and transported under refrigeration at an ambient air temperature not to exceed 45° F.         
  • All packed shell eggs must be labeled with a statement that refrigeration is required.
  • Any shell eggs imported into the United States and packed for consumer use are to include certification that they have been stored and transported at an ambient temperature of no greater than 45° F.   

To begin their journey, they start at the “layer farm” where the eggs of laying hens are collected and placed in specially-created plastic trays. Those can then be layered and stacked on purpose-built pallets to keep the shells intact across hundreds and hundreds of miles.

Next, they are loaded into shipping containers dedicated solely to the very careful transportation of fragile eggs.  A single 40-high cube container can transport over 1,500,000 (yes, 1-1/2 MILLION) eggs! Pray that driver doesn’t have an accident along the way!

Then, the eggs make their way to a packaging facility where they are placed into trays for the supermarket. There they complete the final leg in their cozy 6, 12, 18 or 36-count trays to the store for consumer purchase.  {The Easter Bunny has his own private delivery.}

It’s easy to see that without highly-specialized inventions such as crushproof trays and pallets, without transportation systems created just for eggs, and without highly-trained, careful and cautious drivers operating perfectly-regulated refrigerator trucks, we wouldn’t be enjoying a delicious over-medium with a side of toast, or beautifully-colored eggs on Easter morning.

Yet another reason to say “THANK YOU!” to all those who make logistics WORK! Happy Spring!!!

Infograph via American Egg Board