Tag Archives: reefer

The Ins and Outs of Refrigerated Shipping

There are millions of different products that are shipped out throughout the country every day. The logistics industry makes it possible for stores all over the world to replenish its inventory to meet consumers’ needs. Grocery stores, for example, rely on shipments to bring in produce from various locations all over the country to provide a wide variety of goods in their stores. This can include products ranging from bananas and granola bars to milk and beef. For grocery stores to successfully ship these produce items, refrigerated shipping is necessary so that the products don’t spoil and go bad along their journey.

Refrigerated shipping is very popular among timely food shipments. Refrigerated shipping can be viewed as a stressful task to some companies that worry their products won’t make it to the destination on time and/or experience damages and perishing along the journey of the shipment. Refrigerated shipping doesn’t have to be difficult and can be very beneficial to many companies if it is done the correct way.

Choose the Right Packaging

Choosing the right packaging for your refrigerated shipment can make a big difference in shipment preservation. If your items require intensive insulation, make sure that they are prepared to withstand delays in the shipment and won’t become spoiled along the way.

Keep Track of Your Shipments

Tracking your refrigerated shipment can help prevent mishaps during the shipment’s journey. Shipment tracking can help prevent any surprises if a delay were to occur and can keep you updated on the shipment. If your items require specialized shipping services, like refrigerated pharmaceuticals, you can look into a specialized freight service to properly accommodate your shipment.

Create a Back-Up Plan

It is always a good idea to have a back-up plan in place if something goes wrong and goods are spoiled or damaged. Working with a third-party logistics provider can help give shippers a “peace-of-mind” when shipping and properly manage and ship refrigerated goods efficiently.

If you are a company that frequently ships produce or perishable goods, refrigerated shipping is a great option. Need to book a refrigerated shipment today?

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Shipper Strategy: Flower Demand and Reefer Rates

Demand for reefers is not only seasonal but regional.Reefer.jpg

In late November 2016, reefer load and truck posts rebounded after the Thanksgiving holiday. Load posts jumped 49%, yielding a 36% increase in the load-to-truck ratio. That’s the highest reefer ratio since March 2015. Then, in January 2017, reefer load posts dropped 9%, compared to December 2016. From January 29 to February 4, DAT Trendlines show that reefer load posts dipped 5%, and the national average reefer rate fell 6 cents to $1.91 per mile to accommodate the loss in demand.

Despite fluctuating demand, reefer trailers can be expected to rise in February, thanks to Valentine’s Day, the biggest flower-selling holiday of the year.

For Valentine’s Day, fresh flowers have been arriving at seaports and airports, where they are transferred to temperature-controlled warehouses and onto reefers for delivery to flower markets and distribution centers around the country.

According to history.com, 62% of adults celebrate the holiday and 23% say they purchase flowers or plants for their Valentine. A colossal 198,000,000 roses are produced for the holiday.

Miami Airport is the hottest venue for winter flower deliveries, accounting for 85-90% of imported blooms. In 2014, reefer rates spiked in key lanes (including Miami and Atlanta). Since February is notorious for unpredictable winter weather, outbound rates trend upward.

Case Study: Take a Cut from 1-800-Flowers

1-800-Flowers discussed with Fortune how they manage to deliver 5 million roses for Valentine demand. Valentine’s Day is the company’s second-biggest floral holiday, behind Mother’s Day. But unlike Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day falls on a different day of the week each year, and customers mandate that flower arrangements are delivered precisely on February 14.

1-800-Flowers takes its first step toward meeting demand a few weeks after Valentine’s Day the previous year, when it sends growers its projections of how many flowers and varieties it expects to need. If there’s one key to the company’s supply chain for Valentine’s Day roses, it’s the cold chain.

Once roses are plucked from the bush, they begin their transportation journey. First, the flowers are brought to be trimmed and packed into a pre-cooled package. The flowers are carefully transported by refrigerated freight truck at 34-degree temperatures to ensure they stay fresh until arrival at the flower shop.

It’s ironic that 1-800-Flowers plans for Valentine’s Day so far in advance, sValentines-1.pngeeing as 70% of its Valentine’s Day orders are placed within 5 days of the holiday, and 50% are placed for same-day delivery.

But, getting those fresh flowers delivered takes a thought-out logistics strategy – requiring the best use of a refrigerated trailer, temperature, and skill.

What is a cold supply chain?

According to trade.gov, billions of tons of fresh food products and millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. exports are lost each year due to poor cold chain systems in developing markets.

Part of this loss can be attributed to the lack of policy surrounding cold supply chains. At this point, most cold chain systems are recognized as business functions rather than industries, and as such, span over multiple industries globally. The U.S. has a competitive advantage in cold chain systems, thanks to some of the most advanced technology and logistics management services in the world.

Because flowers require a cool temperature during transport, it’s no surprise that efficient cold supply chains are imperative for florists, especially on Valentine’s Day.

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Refrigerated Shipping Trailers: 7 Facts

Refrigerated shipping is a vital part of the logistics industry and can help companies like grocery stores ship goods in and out of their stores. If you are new to refrigerated shipping and aren’t very familiar with what it is, here are seven facts to help:

  1. An American inventor, Fred Jones, developed the first automated cooling system designed for shipping trailers. In 1939, a patent was acquired by Jones and Joe Numero for a vehicle air-conditioning system, the Thermo King, which helped launch the refrigerated shipping industry. The U.S. Thermo Control Company was the first manufacturer of refrigerated trucks. Today, technology is used in trains, trucks, and planes.
  2. In July 2015, the EPA issued an update to the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP), a program designed to evaluate and regulate substitutes for chemicals that are to be removed. The SNAP plan calls for the elimination of HFC “blowing agents,” which refrigerated trailer producers use in insulation. A refrigerated trailer comes with about 1,000 pounds of foam insulation.
  1. Approximately 500,000 refrigerated trailers, or reefers, operate in the United States.
  1. Reefers are a valuable part of the transportation industry because they extend product shelf life, reduce waste and protect the freight’s quality.
  1. Refrigerated trailers haul a wide variety of freight with specific temperature requirements. Most people imagine frozen foods and fresh produce in these trailers, but other products like flowers, medicine, perfume, fine art, cosmetics, and electronics must be hauled on refrigerated trucks as well.
  1. Reefers haul more than 90% of the food served on American tables.
  1. New refrigerated trailers cost upwards of $60,000.

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