With the first day of summer around the corner, the upcoming warmer weather calls for different supply chain measures to be taken for many businesses. Due to higher temperatures, many types of freight, such as food and beverages, need to be transported via a reefer, also known as a temperature-controlled trailer. While implementing a plan for summer shipping can be overwhelming, working with a team of logistics professionals helps to streamline the process and make the best decisions for your supply chain. Here’s how to successfully navigate summer shipping and ensure that your goods make it safely to their destination.
When planning for shipping products during the warmer months, it’s essential to revisit your current supply chain plans. Although your freight may not typically need refrigeration, hot summer weather could dictate that you utilize a reefer trailer to ensure the product is maintained at a suitable ambient temperature. Examples include pharmaceuticals, confectionaries and some produce. Additionally, some products can continue to ship via a van with special accommodations to prevent the product from becoming too hot, including the use of vented vans or utilizing team service to minimize the amount of time the trailer is stationary during daylight hours.
A reefer trailer’s refrigeration unit is designed to maintain the product’s temperature, not to lower the temperature of the product. If a product is loaded at a warm temperature at the shipper, it will likely arrive warm at the consignee. This scenario is exacerbated during the hot summer months.
When you book the shipment, request that the reefer arrive pre-cooled, which allows you to assess whether the refrigeration unit is working properly. When issuing the BOL, make sure you’ve included the reefer temperature. When loading, make sure there is enough space between the pallets to allow for proper airflow. Once the product has been loaded, ensure that the chute is clear and unobstructed, and the door seals are not damaged. For shippers with product that is particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, utilizing a portable temperature recorder within the load provides independent temperature tracking. The data can be retrieved, viewed, evaluated and shared, and it becomes key evidence should a temperature-related claim or dispute occur.
When it comes to securing seasonal temperature-controlled capacity, time is of the essence. As a best practice, you should begin working with your 3PL or carrier network well in advance to discuss capacity needs.
Who says logistics has to be complicated? We certainly didn’t. Contact our team to learn more.