Get Your Shipping Down Cold: Reefer Best Practices
Shipping temperature-sensitive items requires careful planning, modern equipment, and excellent service to ensure that your refrigerated products arrive in perfect condition.
Refrigerated or “reefer” trucks transport temperature-sensitive products, including food, flowers, cosmetics, medicine, hazardous chemicals, fine art, and more. Even the slightest fluctuation in temperature can put the safety and quality of these shipments at risk. A high-quality refrigeration system should include:
- Insulated trailer walls
- Heavy-duty door seals
- Reflective roof material to decrease heat absorption
As a veteran logistics and transportation partner, LiVe Logistics has extensive experience in coordinating the successful delivery of temperature-sensitive products. Over the years, we’ve learned what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to reefer transportation.
6 Reefer Best Practices to Keep in Mind
Whether you’re new to reefer shipments or have decades of experience under your belt, there’s always room to improve the success rate of your shipments. Here are 6 key best practices we recommend:
- Identify Your Needs
Are your products perishable? How fast do they need to arrive? Carefully detail all requirements of your shipment prior to send-off or have your transportation partner do so if you’re unsure or don’t have the time.
- Choose the Right Packaging
Packaging can make or break a shipment. To avoid mishaps, ensure your packaging is crush-proof and solid-side for frozen products and vented-side for fresh, perishable products.
- Monitor the Shipment
Only use reefer trucks that contain remote temperature-monitoring systems for you to trace the entire process from afar.
- Use Continuous Cooling (if applicable)
Does your shipment require continuous cooling? Perishable items such as veggies, fruit and flowers require constant airflow. Be sure to specify these requirements prior to shipment.
- Load and Unload Fast
The logistics of loading and unloading a shipment can quickly trip up an entire operation. Always have your refrigerated products pre-chilled, secured and ready for shipment before loading.
- Turn the Reefer Off When Applicable
It’s common for reefer trailers to be utilized for shipments that don’t need temperature-controlled environments and ship with the refrigeration unit turned off (ideal for empty backhauls as a cheaper alternative to dry vans as part of the LiVe Logistics VR Option) – this is not recommend for electronics, which are susceptible to lingering moisture in reefers even when not refrigerated (they may never completely dry out).
For the highest quality results, work with an experienced partner who understands the nuances of temperature-controlled supply chains.
Fuel for Thought: Efficiency Is Key to Successful Reefer Shipments
Consistent power is critical to keeping reefer shipments at the correct temperature. If a shipment is delayed overnight, it could lose power and be ruined unless you take the necessary precautions:
- The trailer is kept in a secure lot and checked during the night
- The refrigeration unit does not run out of fuel
- The shipment is effectively coordinated with the destination and made as early as possible the next day
Ensuring a successful shipment from start to finish is part of the LiVe Logistics commitment to our customers, and we take extra care with temperature-sensitive deliveries.
Stay Cool with an Experienced 3PL Partner
LiVe Logistics works with a variety of clients that require refrigerated shipments. From food to pharma, we ensure the safe delivery of your products, from start to finish.
Utilizing best-of-breed technology, a 24/7 track and trace system, remote temperature monitoring controls, and some of the best partners in the industry, we’ll help you maintain on-time and safe deliveries time after time.