What is refrigerated transportation?
Refrigerated trucking, (also referred to as “reefer” or "cold chain") is a method of shipping freight. One that specializes in the transportation of goods or perishables that require a method of transportation capable of controlling the temperature. The most common types of temperature controlled shipping include keeping products cold or preventing them from freezing. It often includes specialized vehicles, containers, and equipment to control and monitor the temperature throughout the entire shipping process—to help prevent damage and loss.
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Benefits of refrigerated freight services
Refrigerated trucking, an ideal option for shippers looking to safely ship temperature sensitive freight, comes with three key advantages:
- Product safety and regulatory compliance: Due to the nature and sensitivity of products being transported via refrigerated truck, this method of transportation is key to protecting against spoilage, damage (from temperature changes), and varying weather conditions.
- Supply chain efficiency: By ensuring products remain at an optimal temperature for freshness during transportation, refrigerated shipping reduces the likelihood of losses due to spoilage or damage. This minimizes waste, maximizes product utilization, and improves overall supply chain performance.
- Variety of solutions: Refrigerated trucking can be used for many types of goods. Fresh and frozen foods, floral, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products are some of the most common industries that rely on refrigerated trucking.
How to ship food & perishables
Shipping food and perishables comes with its own set of requirements to ensure they arrive at their destination fresh and uncontaminated.Get the info
Refrigerated transportation best practices
- 1. Identify shipping needs: Not all items are equal when it comes to temperature stability requirements. Examples of perishable items include, but are not limited to pharmaceuticals, plants, flowers, dairy, meat, and produce.
- 2. Load quickly: Since the freight being shipped is temperature sensitive, always have the shipment ready for loading so the product is not damaged or ruined. Although time is of the essence, it’s also important to remember to load and secure the shipment properly.
- 3. Monitor the shipment: While the shipment is in transit, the driver is responsible for the well-being of the freight. Refrigerated trailers come equipped with a monitor for the cooling system, this allows the driver to easily confirm the temperature of the trailer during the journey.
- 4. Unload thoughtfullly: Much like the loading process, unloading has to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Refrigerated units are often run during the loading and unloading process, but doing so depends on the shipper or consignee’s rules and preferences.
- 5. Choosing the right carrier: Perhaps most importantly, choosing the right carrier can help ensure your refrigerated freight is handled with care from origin to destination.
What sets our services apart
- Clear visibility with 24/7 online access and freight tracking
- Industry-leading visibility and reporting to your supply chain
- Consistent capacity and reliable service from quality carriers
- Surge capacity of refrigerated equipment for seasonal businesses
Refrigerated freight FAQ
Are temperature-controlled goods packaged differently?
Due to the temperature requirements and often delicate state of the goods, proper packaging is important. Select appropriate packaging materials that provide insulation and maintain the desired temperature. Packaging options include insulated containers, thermal blankets, gel packs, dry ice, or temperature controlled packaging systems. Ensure it is designed to withstand the expected duration of the shipment.
Does refrigerated trucking allow for LTL shipping?
Absolutely. LTL shipping is a common practice within refrigerated trucking. Our temperature controlled LTL services are offered throughout most of North America.
Can I use refrigerated trailers to ship dry goods?
Yes, refrigerated trailers are often used for transporting goods that don’t require cooling temperatures—especially during off seasons. Some carriers with temperature controlled equipment even prefer to haul dry goods to save on the cost of cooling the trailer.
Can frozen items be shipped via cold chain services?
Yes. Gel coolants and dry ice are often used to support shipping extra-sensitive temperature controlled goods.