All You Need To Know About Refrigerated Trucking

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What is refrigerated trucking?

What does the produce in your fridge and the scented candle in the bathroom have in common? They were both shipped to stores on a refrigerated truck! That’s right, reefers, as they are commonly called, are used to transport temperature-controlled freight. This includes not only fresh and frozen foods but also many other types of everyday goods such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. 

In today’s integrated global market, refrigerated trucking plays a key role in cold chain logistics, which covers the entire supply chain from producer to end user.

Why use refrigerated trucking?

Many goods are adversely impacted by changes in temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions. Refrigerated trucks provide a safe & controlled space that protects its cargo against spoilage, degradation, and damage.

Depending on the product, a reefer can maintain a constant temperature range from -15 up to 80 Fahrenheit. In other words, it’s a safe zone for all your sensitive goods. Anything from food to medications, even paintings.  

Reefers are equipped with an enclosed mechanical refrigeration system in the cargo area, which controls temperature and humidity levels. There are also multi-temperature units where you can assign different settings for each zone. This way, they can move different types of products, including dry goods, all in the same vehicle. 

Modern refrigerated trucks have sophisticated monitoring systems with remote temperature control so rest assured.  

Due to the complex cooling systems being used, plus mandated requirements from the FDA for transporting refrigerated goods, all reefer trucks adhere to rigorous maintenance & inspection protocols. The combination of well maintained trailers and well-trained drivers creates one of the safest mode of transportation. No wonder art dealers & museums around the world trust refrigerated trucks to move their collection.

When to use refrigerated trucking?

When you need to ship climate-controlled products to keep freshness or quality.

When you need to ship a mix of frozen, chilled, and dry goods.

When you need the ultimate protection for your precious cargo, this is the way to go.

When not to use refrigerated trucking?

To properly deploy cold chain logistics, all phases of the process, including warehousing, packaging, and transportation which are carefully managed. 

Increased cost makes it prohibitive to ship products that do not require this level of protection.

How to use refrigerated trucking – tips and tricks

During peak produce season in the spring and summer, book your freight early to reserve availability. Keep in mind that reefers are available in both LTL & full truckloads.

If you are a food shipper, there are rules from the FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) that apply. We recommend your team researchers these policies and follow them.

Know your products, and the requirements in order to keep them in optimal condition, including suitable packaging. Communicate with the carrier/driver to have the trailer ready at correct settings.

Have your shipment ready and be prepared  to load quickly once the driver arrives to ensure product safety. The same principle applies to the unloading process.

The faster you ship a temperature-sensitive product, the fresher it stays. However, expedited shipments can incur a much higher cost. To reach a balance between cost and quality, consider the slowest transit time while still ensuring safe arrival.

Cool under pressure

Sensitive cargo requires close attention and constant monitoring. With proper planning and collaboration with an experienced logistics partner like MFT, a product from halfway around the world will arrive in the same condition as it left. Our expertise in matching your particular shipping needs with vetted & insured refrigerated carriers ensures both you and your cargo will stay cool all along the way.