Transportation of products to different destinations is a vital part of any business that is selling any type of product, such as food, clothing, machinery, spare parts, and more. To this end, trucking companies provide different types of trucks to fit all sorts of needs. You may have noticed that there are trailers with no walls or doors carrying equipment and construction materials. Others have closed decks with the shipment secured and protected, making it hard for an outsider to identify what is being shipped.
These closed deck trailers have their own subtypes that are used for specific situations. There are temperature-controlled trailers that are designed for temperature-sensitive cargo used widely in Canada. This type of trailer has a system installed to control the shipping temperature range. Having said that, this article will discuss more on this type of trailer and why this is used only for specialized situations.
What Is Heated Freight Transport?
A reefer trailer is a temperature-controlled trailer that can function in two ways. During summer, a reefer trailer will maintain the pre-cooled temperature of the cargo. During the winter season, it maintains the pre-heated temperature of the cargo to prevent freezing.
A reefer trailer is a specialized trailer used during both summer and winter seasons. To retain the integrity of some items, the surrounding temperatures should not decrease during transit. With a refrigeration system installed, the reefer trailer can be pre-set from -65˚C up to 40˚C depending on the season. In the winter season, it is not designed to increase the temperature of the cargo, but it is supposed to only maintain the pre-heated state of the cargo. Nonetheless, it is also referred to as heated freight shipping.
Related article: Temperature Controlled Transportation: Features, Advantages, Cost
Prerequisites to Availing of a Heated Freight Shipping
Prior to the items being loaded into the heated trailer, a customer should have already been able to relay all relevant information to the logistics company to ensure a smooth transition of goods from the customer to the truck. The following items are some of the common prerequisites before you continue with the service:
- The type, size, and quantity of the product should be relayed to the trucking company so that they can have a clearer picture of which type, size, and quantity of trucks would be needed to cater to your needs. This is a crucial start to the process as the price of the service will be determined during this time. Also, doing this will prevent any unforeseen events that may suddenly delay the shipment or have the service pricing suddenly increase.
- Discuss with the shipping company how you should pack and prepare the cargo before it gets picked up by the truck. This needs to be done so that loading of goods and cargo securement can be done more efficiently.
- Since you will be shipping pre-heated items, you must inform the shipping company of all the temperature requirements to keep the products from getting spoiled or frozen during loading and transport.
How Reefer Trailers Work As Heated Freight Transports
The information below will show you how the refrigeration system of the reefer trailer system works during winter:
It comes with a separate engine and fuel tank
- This type of trailer runs the refrigeration system on its own and does not use the power coming from the truck.
- You can turn off the truck while the trailer can either turn the refrigeration on and off by itself.
- It needs to be refuelled separately from the truck.
- This setup guarantees that if the truck itself has some power issues, the cargo will not suffer along with the truck.
The thermostat controls the engine
- The thermostat is pre-set prior to the cargo getting picked up for delivery. With the thermostat set, it will ensure that the temperature within the trailer is stable.
- Having a heavily insulated setup, the freezing cold temperature coming from the outside should not be able to penetrate and enter the trailer. However, since the quality and efficiency of any equipment can degrade as time passes, there will still be times when the temperature within the trailer gets affected. Whenever the cold air enters the trailer and the temperature starts to drop, the thermostat will try to get the temperature back up to what was pre-set. This is done by automatically turning on the engine of the trailer so that the refrigeration system can do its job. Once the temperature stabilizes, the engine will again turn off as long the pre-set temperature is maintained.
- With the thermostat controlling when the engine should turn on and off, this takes away unnecessary stress to the engine and fuel is only consumed when needed.
Loading of cargo comes after pre-setting the temperature
- A reefer trailer can take at least 2 hours to preheat based on what is required for the shipment to maintain its quality while in transit.
- During the preheating process, all doors would be closed at all times and will only be opened when the cargo will be loaded into the trailer.
Related article: What Is The Best Way To Transport Perishable Goods?
When to Use Heated Freight Transport
- A heated freight transport service during winter is a blessing for businesses who wish to continue transporting products to their customers without ruining the cargo before it even arrives at its destination. Below is a list that shows some of the products that require this type of temperature-controlled shipping service during winter:
- When you need to transport plants during winter, it is very important that plants do not get exposed to freezing weather. Plants may die during transport if heated transport is not used.
- There are chemicals that need to maintain a specific temperature. Having their temperature go down or increase might become the reason that they will lose their usability. Also, seeing that the heated trailer is able to maintain the life of the chemicals during transit in winter, there would be no need to mix additives to prevent these chemicals from freezing. This makes it more cost-effective when transporting chemicals during this season.
- Transporting of paint that is water-based during winter is very risky due to its tendency to freeze at very low temperatures. Using a heated reefer trailer will ensure that the paint will not freeze and not ruin its consistency.
- Shipping of automotive batteries during winter will need a heated trailer since a battery that freezes will have its electrical connections break and in turn bending the plates.
- Printer ink cartridges are also in danger if they freeze. Even if they can still be thawed, the problem is that after thawing the ink will not be able to re-emulsify. In addition, freezing within ink cartridges will cause the container to crack and may cause leakage.
- Beauty products should also not be exposed to extreme weather conditions as these will degrade the product. An example is if makeup freezes during transport, once it is thawed out it may become harder to apply as the texture may already become wetter and may have some mould formation.
Heated Freight Shipping in Canada
Technological advancements have definitely made it easier for businesses to transact with their customers. Even if riddled by weather issues, the invention of reefer trailers became the answer to this. Temperature-controlled shipping is a blessing for countries that experience extreme weather changes throughout the year. As shipping of goods will never stop, shipping companies are always ready to offer solutions for any type of scenario.
However, before availing of heated freight transport, you must first discuss with your preferred shipping company with regards to your needs. Always be open with crucial information even if the products may be considered hazardous materials since the shipping company needs to be ready with its own contingencies to ensure that your cargo reaches its destination without degrading its integrity.
Heated shipping can save your items from spoilage or quality degradation. Businesses are always keen to impress their customers with high-quality products. Availing of heated shipping may cost a bit more as compared to the open deck and dry van types, but giving the best service to your customer must always be the focus. Furthermore, you must also consider that the company that you hire to transport your temperature-sensitive products is already an expert in these types of transactions.
Trusting your shipment to experts will assure you that your products will reach the customer without losing their quality. Also, keep in mind that for these companies to do their jobs at a high level, their equipment, trailer, and trucks should be regularly well-maintained to avoid accidents or delays along the way.
Here at RoadLINX, we have made sure that our trucks and trailers are always in top condition to handle all your shipping needs. With our temperature-controlled trailers, we assure you that whether it is summer or winter, we will be able to cater to all types of products that you plan to transport any time of the year. You can contact us at 905-760-1141.