Refrigerated trucks, often referred to within the industry as reefer units, are specialty freight transport vehicles designed to keep food, pharmaceuticals, and other temperature-sensitive goods in their pre-shipping state. While most end-consumers give no thought at all to how things like fresh fruit arrive on the supermarket shelves in the middle of winter, things look different to anyone who needs to ship perishable goods.
Reefer units are more expensive to hire than ordinary 18-wheelers, especially for full truckload (FTL) trucking, but they’re often essential. Read on to find out about some of the most common uses for FTL reefer trucks.
Temperature controlled FTL trucking is used extensively in the grocery industry. Keeping any type of perishable food refrigerated is a must when it comes to protecting consumers, meeting international health standards, and ensuring that the products will be salable upon arrival.
Because many types of perishable foods have very specific temperature requirements, FTL trucking tends to be the best option. It allows shippers to group products that have identical temperature requirements without having to worry about compromising food safety. Fruit, vegetables, chilled food, and seafood are all shipped using reefer units.
Dry van service is the most commonly used type of truckload shipping. It refers to moving freight in sealed, fully enclosed trailers.
Many drugs need to be kept within a specific temperature range to ensure their efficacy. Transporting them from manufacturing facilities to pharmacies can pose some challenges as a result, especially given the rigorous standards to which the pharmaceutical industry is held.
Shipping medications can be more challenging logistically than shipping perishable foods. Temperature-sensitive medications must be transported using cold chain services, which requires the collaboration of many different supply chain partners.
There’s a reason some types of drinks are found in the refrigerated sections of grocery stores, while others are kept on warm shelves. Beverages such as raw milk, 100% juice, and cold-pasteurized drinks can all be unsafe to consume if they get warmed up because they can grow dangerous types of E. coli bacteria.
Some beverages that are technically shelf-stable are also shipped in reefer trucks. Beer is a good example. Although the pervasive myth that it will get “skunked” when brought up to room temperature is demonstrably false, shipping or storing this beloved beverage at room temperatures can cause it to go bad faster than it otherwise would, reducing its shelf life.
A fourth consumer good that is always shipped using reefer trucks is less obvious than food, drinks, and pharmaceuticals. Cut flowers also need to be kept cool to encourage them to stay fresh for longer.
Flowers are often shipped many miles to get them to where they need to go in the off-season. After all, many holidays happen during the coldest months of the year, and people still want to get beautiful bouquets on Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day. Reefer trucks make it possible.
Find the Right Transport Company
Shippers of perishable goods need to exercise a lot of caution when it comes to choosing a freight transport company. Work with a reputable organization that doesn’t have any complaints filed against it for spoilage.