Transporting goods is a challenging undertaking. However, transporting temperature-sensitive goods is even more difficult. Fortunately, refrigerated trucks transport various perishable goods, including food, medicines, plants, perfumes, electronics, chemicals, and other goods. Transporting refrigerated goods is essential to the logistics industry, as it allows grocery stores and pharmaceutical companies to distribute goods inside and outside their locations.
Although refrigerated trucks are commonplace in today’s supply chain, it is a relatively new technology that has permanently revolutionized the logistics sector. In fact, 90 percent of the food consumed in the United States is delivered by refrigerated trucking service providers. It is worth noting that nearly 500,000 trucks are in use in the United States to ensure that everyone has access to perishable food.
What Exactly are Refrigerated Trucks?
Refrigerated vans are insulated delivery vehicles that transport perishable or temperature-sensitive goods. Most refrigerated vans are 53 feet long—diesel engines power these semi-trucks. In addition, each compartment’s refrigeration system includes a condenser, an evaporator, and a compressor, all of which operate at high capacity to keep temperatures low. The refrigerated trailers also have air distribution ducts to help circulate the cold air. There are three types of refrigerated trailers, including;
1. Trailers with Refrigeration
These are refrigerated vehicles with freezers and refrigerators to maintain temperatures from -20 to 70 ° F.
2. Refrigerated Vehicles Using Cryogenics
Although not as popular, refrigerated trucks with cryogenics are generally ideal for delivering medical and technical goods that need to be stored at very low temperatures. This truck can withstand temperatures ranging from 32 to -230 degrees Celsius.
3. Trucks with Heating
Heated trucks are suitable for transporting goods that require warmer temperatures, such as chemicals or sweet potatoes.
Everything You Need to Know About Refrigerated Transportation
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They Are in Demand
After the epidemic of COVID -19, several market sectors, including services and products, were affected. Demand for many products declined as the globe ground to a halt. On the other hand, sales of food and pharmaceuticals increased. As demand for perishable goods grew, so did the need for refrigerated vehicles. With increasing demand and limited supply, refrigerated transportation costs continue to rise.
Note that capacity is vital during the agricultural transportation period in the United States. The agricultural transportation period begins in early April and runs through the end of July. During this time, you should expect higher refrigerated transportation prices.
They are More Expensive
Transporting refrigerated goods is more expensive compared to transporting common goods. It’s worth mentioning that refrigeration units require more fuel to run, i.e., to keep them warm or cold, which impacts the overall shipping costs. In addition, these refrigeration units also increase the weight of the vehicle. It’s worth noting that a dry van costs an average of $3.08 per mile, according to January 2021 statistics. In contrast, the cost of refrigerated vans is $3.53.
In addition, the fixed costs of refrigerated trucks are higher than those of dry vans. Their refrigeration systems work hard and often fail after 3 to 5 years of operation. Therefore, you need to replace refrigerated trailers regularly.
They Need Precision and Efficiency
Accurately detailed information must be available for all cargoes to avoid problems. Always ensure you know the exact temperature necessary for your package and explicitly tell the courier. It is essential for refrigerated freight. Do not forget to pre-chill the refrigerated truck before loading your goods. It will ensure that the temperature remains cool when loading the cargo.
Be prepared to lift and move your products quickly and effectively to allow a quick transition from the controlled temperature in the refrigerated truck to controlled temperature storage. In the summer, when temperatures are in the triple digits, even short bursts of heat can destroy your goods.
Track Your Packages
Tracking and monitoring your refrigerated cargo can help avoid mistakes along the way. Freight tracking helps avoid surprises in the event of delays and keeps you informed of the status of your shipment. If your goods, such as refrigerated medications, require special transportation services, you can hire a specialized freight service provider to handle your cargo appropriately.
Do You Have a Backup Option?
If something goes wrong and shipments are damaged or destroyed, it’s always in your best interest to have a backup plan. Therefore, companies that routinely ship products or perishables can consider refrigerated shipping as an option. Working with third-party logistics providers helps shippers keep cool as they handle and ship refrigerated products effectively.