Refrigerated Shipping: Everything You Need to Know

Truck driver adjusting the settings on his trailer for his Refrigerated shippingTransporting perishable cargo like meat, frozen foods, vegetables, fruits, and pharmaceuticals requires a well-performing refrigerated trailer. This is because temperature control is a critical aspect, primarily in refrigerated trucking, since it ensures safety and FDA compliance. But to get the most out of refrigerated shipping, it is essential to learn what it entails.

What Is Refrigerated Trucking?

Refrigerated trucking, also referred to as reefer trailer, is a freight shipping method specializing in the shipment of products and goods in temperature-controlled environments during transit. Trailers used in hauling these products, foods, and other perishable goods incorporate a built-in refrigeration system to preserve all products in their pre-shipped state.

Refrigerated trailers often handle the set temperature, mainly keeping cargo frozen irrespective of outside temperatures. This method of freight shipping is largely used in warm-weather climates, where shipping of frozen goods and other perishable items is impossible with standard shipping trailers.

How Refrigerated Trucking Cooling Units Work

The refrigerated trucking cooling unit operates in a closed system, where it removes heat and maintains a steady cool temperature. The unit works by collecting and channeling heat through the system, since it consists of core components that facilitate the cooling process. These components include:

  • The compressor: The trailer has a small engine that drives the compressor, which draws in gaseous refrigerant and compresses it. The compressed gas then liquefies and releases the heat into the compressor and the air.
  • The condenser: The liquid from the compressor then passes to the condenser, where heat exchange begins. The warmth from the liquid then moves through the tubing walls into the fins, which consist of a larger surface area for effective cooling.
  • The evaporator: This component is inside the trailer and receives the cool liquid from the condenser through a metering valve. It evaporates the liquid while absorbing heat from the finned coils. The air then moves to the compressor, and the process begins once again.

Benefits of Refrigerated Shipping

The refrigerated trucking business plays a critical role in distribution centers, grocery chains, and food processing facilities that handle thousands of pounds of cargo daily. Generally, the industry handles, loads, unloads, and stores goods that require refrigeration. The intent is to avoid damage and spoilage, especially when shipping such cargo hundreds of miles away.

That said, here are the key benefits of refrigerated trucking:

High Demand and Supply

With the consistent need for fresh products, refrigerated trucking has become one of the most effective shipping methods. This makes reefer trailers in high demand, even during economic downturns. Therefore, refrigerated trucking remains one of the safest, efficient, and convenient modes of transporting perishable goods across the country.

Accommodates a Wide Variety of Products

Refrigerated trucking can be used to ship a wide range of products besides foods that require temperature control. Personal care products, live plants, and pharmaceuticals are some commonly transported goods shipped on refrigerated trucks. Since goods are shipped and delivered in the same state, it helps preserve products and prevent spoilage and damage.

Utmost Protection

Refrigerated trucking is considered the ideal method of shipping that protects products and materials in transit. Besides, the trailer features advanced protection systems and elements that protect against damage, spoilage, and changing weather conditions. This is due to the nature and sensitivity of goods being transported.

Refrigerated Trucking Best Practices

  • Identify shipping needs: Based on temperature stability requirements, some products do not require freezing temperatures during shipping. Hence, distinguish perishable cargo from other goods before loading.
  • Load quickly: Freight shipped in temperature-controlled trailers is temperature-sensitive. Loading such products quickly helps prevent damage or spoilage, although it is essential to ensure you secure the shipment currently.
  • Monitor the shipment closely: While in transit, monitor the shipment through monitoring systems to ensure the quality and safety of the products. Temperatures may rise during transit, resulting in damage or spoilage. Monitoring the shipment prevents such scenarios while ensuring the cargo is secure.
  • Follow unloading procedures: Similar to loading, unloading should be done quickly and efficiently to prevent damage to the cargo. Although most reefer units are left to run during loading and unloading, some shippers or consignee preferences and rules do not.

Bottom Line

Refrigerated trucking is important in the trucking industry, mainly shipping perishable goods. Although there exist several other options, reefer trailers are considered the most effective since they are versatile, flexible, convenient, secure, and efficient. For more information, talk to an expert here at Veltri Logistics to learn more today!

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