What Is Refrigerated Shipping and How Does It Work?

Refrigerated shipping containers, also known as reefers, provide a temperature controlled way to ship temperature sensitive items.  These types of containers make it possible to carry many perishable items across Canada and throughout North America.

Here we will look at what refrigerated shipping is and how refrigerated shipping works. We will also look at what types of items require refrigerated shipping and how RoadLINX temperature controlled trucks can help grow your business.

How Does Refrigerated Shipping Work?

Refrigerated shipping refers to temperature controlled containers used to keep heat sensitive items safe during transport. Refrigerated containers either have one large compartment or they can have up to three compartments. Each section of a refrigerated truck has its own temperature control to allow for multiple items to be shipped at different temperatures.

How Cold is Refrigerated Shipping? Refrigerated containers can be set from as high as 55 degrees Fahrenheit to as low -20 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range ensures they can ship nearly any type of item.

Is Refrigerated Shipping the Same as Temperature Controlled Shipping? Yes, though they are referred to as refrigerated containers, they can also be used to keep items at room temperature. This becomes important in colder climates where certain produce cannot withstand the colder temperatures.

How Are Refrigerated Trailers Cooled? Refrigerated trailers can use several cooling methods including simple ice for items that are going a shorter distance. However, most refrigerated trailer shipping refers to an advanced cooling system that involves a compressor and condenser for liquid coolant.

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Terminology: What is a Reefer in Shipping?

Reefer is simply a shortened version or nickname of “refrigerated.”  This can be helpful shorthand both while discussing shipping and filling out documentation for a shipment. It is also important to note that when you say “reefer,” this is referring specifically to the trailer that is attached to a semi truck. To refer to the whole truck, “reefer truck” is used.

What Can be Shipped by Refrigerated Truck?

If you have ever seen produce in a Canadian grocery store labeled “from Mexico,” you have enjoyed the benefits of refrigerated shipping. Most items can be shipped via refrigerated truck and many items must be shipped this way.

While food is the most common type of cargo for refrigerated trucks, anything that requires a temperature controlled environment is a candidate for refrigerated shipping. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Produce
  • Chocolates
  • Flowers
  • Medications
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Some machinery and electronics

LTL and FTL Refrigerated Shipping

Most refrigerated shipments are sent as Less Than Truckloads, meaning several shipments are grouped together on a single truck. This is because refrigerated shipments tend to be smaller and combining them with other shipments is more efficient and cost-effective. However, Full Truckload options are also available from RoadLINX.

Refrigerated International Shipping

Does your shipment need to travel outside of North America? If so, refrigerated shipping via air and water are needed. Along with a refrigerated container, ice packs, dry ice and other precautions may be used in these scenarios.

Refrigerated Air Freight: Both dry ice and frozen gel packs are often employed to aid in refrigerated air freight. Though these items help to make shipping possible, the extra weight of the gel packs and the hazardous nature of the dry ice will increase shipping costs so this should be kept in mind.

Refrigerated Ships: Shipping by boat is typically cheaper than shipping by plane and refrigeration on a boat works similarly to that on a truck. However, shipping by boat is the slowest method and products must be packaged and considered accordingly. Perishable foods that are intended to be kept cool, not frozen, are some of the most difficult as they may not be able to withstand the long shipping time.

Considerations: Advancements in shipping technology make transporting cold and frozen items over great distances more possible than ever before. However, when you delve into international refrigerated shipping, there are more restrictions and much higher costs involved.

Many produce items cannot not withstand the rigors of transportation nor the extended trip. In some cases, produce may be sent when not yet ripe to combat this. More delicate, softer items can be packaged carefully but are still at greater risk compared to heartier produce. This is why certain foods are very expensive or very hard to find where they are not grown.

Logistics: For the best results when shipping refrigerated goods internationally, RoadLINX logistics experts will help devise a plan for your goods. We strive to provide the most comprehensive refrigerated shipping items within North American and across the globe.

How Can Refrigerated Shipping Help Expand Your Business?

Consumers are becoming more accustomed to products being shipped from far away. In fact, it is expected that companies will have at least some kind of shipping available for their products. If you sell perishable goods, refrigerated shipping will allow you to tap into more markets across the country and beyond.

Restaurants and other specialty food producers that were once confined to customers who lived nearby have more options than ever before. If your business falls into this category, RoadLINX can help devise efficient and cost effective refrigerated shipping plans for you.

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Refrigerated Shipping Benefits

Year Round Shipping: With refrigerated shipping, even perishable items can be shipped year round. This is not only convenient for your customers, it can help to grow and maintain your customer base since you will not have downtime.

Reliable Sales: Year round shipping also means you can count on more consistent sales throughout the year.

Adjustable Temperatures: While refrigerated trucks are most often used to keep items cold, they can also be adjusted to account for lower outside temperatures. This will allow a shipment to safely travel across multiple climates. For example, this is how it is possible to ship produce up from Mexico to Canada or the United states year round.

Get a Quote on Refrigerated Shipping from RoadLINX

Ready to start expanding your customer base and delivering quality items to new markets? RoadLINX refrigerated shipping offers fast and efficient refrigerated shipping throughout North America and internationally. To get your free quote on refrigerated shipping, call RoadLinx today at 905-760-1141

Get a quote today!

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