How Temperature-Controlled Freight Ensures Quality & Safety

Sep 5, 2023 | Blog, Pinnacle Services

In freight transport, sensitive products require specialized, temperature-controlled shipping, so that they arrive intact and, as a result, minimize cargo loss. 

Maintaining the optimal temperature during transport is highly valued in the logistics industry. In the US, for example, the refrigerated transport market worth was estimated at $113.4 billion in 2022, forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% until 2027. 

This is good news for merchants and buyers, as temperature-controlled freight ensures that perishable goods, such as food products, pharmaceuticals, and electronics, are shipped in perfect condition until the end-delivery point.  

What is Temperature-Controlled Freight

Temperature-controlled freight is part of temperature-controlled logistics (or “cold chain logistics”.) It refers to the safe transportation of climate-sensitive goods along the supply chain, in controlled temperature trucks and warehouses.

To achieve this, advanced technology such as real-time monitoring and temperature sensors ensure that ideal conditions are met throughout the way. Learn more about Thermo King Tracking

What are Examples of Temperature-Controlled Products?

There is a good number of sensitive goods that require temperature-controlled transport:

Pharmaceuticals, such as medication and vaccines. Also, biomaterials that need specialized cryo shipping.

Food products that require different shipping temperature conditions. For example, meat, poultry, and seafood should be transported between 33˚F and 39˚F, frozen food cargo at -10˚F to 0˚F, while dairy products need 45°F or lower.

Chemicals, especially hazardous materials, which often require specialized temp-controlled shipping for the safety of the end users and the drivers 

Electronics that usually need to be shipped in a stable room temperature environment, ideally between 50°F and 75° F. Higher temperatures or freezing conditions may cause malfunctions to laptops and mobile phones, among others. 

With the proper infrastructure, deliverables are shielded against heat, and they are also protected from freeze damage.

Artwork, like paintings, which often needs specific climate-controlled transportation, in an average temperature of 70°F with low humidity. Negative conditions can stress the material and reduce artwork quality.

Flowers and floristry products normally require refrigerated transport at around 35°F. This is the ideal temperature that keeps them in a dormant state, preserving blossoms, leaves, and greenery.

Standards and Regulations for Temperature-Controlled Logistics

There are various regulatory protocols that dictate safe and legal temperature-controlled freight transportation.

These standards and regulations aim to safeguard consumer health but also benefit manufacturers and carriers, protecting against product damage, deterioration, and loss of cargo.

In the US, for example, the FDA issues regular compliance standards for food and drugs that include all stages of shipping, handling, and warehousing. 

In addition, the Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines set the minimum standards for medicine quality and integrity during temperature-controlled trucking or shipping. 

Other industry-recognized standards include the TCR (Temperature Control Regulations), which describes best practices for the safe transport of strict cold chain management.

Temperature-Controlled LTL Carriers

Temperature-controlled LTL carriers can provide reliable, specialized solutions to maintain the ideal temperature for the shipment of perishable goods.

In Less-Than-Truckload transport, you can take advantage of sharing a trailer with other similar products. 

For refrigerated and frozen goods, LTL enables manufacturers and wholesalers to ship their products fast, minimizing the risk of spoilage – even if they have less than a full truckload to transport. 

To achieve the ideal combination of cost-effective routes in LTL trucking, freight is usually loaded in different LTL trucks along the way, and it may also be temporarily stored in between stops. 

When shipping sensitive items with LTL, professional temperature-controlled logistics services ensure that your cargo is kept safe and at the right temperature throughout its journey: from the original pick-up point to the end destination. 

Quality & Benefits of Temperature-Controlled Freight

In both FTL (Full Truckload) and LTL, temperature-controlled trucking maintains the ideal trailer climate, preserving the quality of the products, and, as a result, the safety of the end consumer.

Here are some benefits of temperature-controlled freight:

1. Protects sensitive freight

Frozen and refrigerated cargo such as eggs, milk, or ice cream, as well as medicines and electronics, require consistent temperature in transport and storage. 

Temperature-controlled shipments prevent such goods from spoiling or malfunctioning. 

2. Ensures freshness

Temperature-controlled delivery guarantees garden-fresh goods for shipments of fruit, vegetable, floristry products, or similar. 

At the end of the day, a wilted flower or a ripe apple doesn’t really cause any health issues, but it definitely reduces product quality.

3. Follows government regulations

With North America being the largest region in the refrigerated goods trucking market in 2022, food safety bodies, such as the FDA, roll out specialized regulations for the transport of sensitive food and medicinal products.

These regulations apply to everyone and everything involved in the transport chain, from manufacturers and loaders to carriers and retailers. Food safety regulations refer to short-distance and interstate transport, as well as to imported goods.

In addition, FDA sets many legal requirements for cargo vehicles and equipment, transportation operations, employee training, and more.

In all of the above, temperature control is a vital aspect.

4. Prolongs shelf life

Maintaining the ideal temperature throughout transport helps slow down food degradation. In this way, fresh products last longer and offer retailers extended shelf life. 

This is crucial for long-distance shipments, including international transports, where customs or other transit delays can significantly affect cargo quality.

5. Enhances customer satisfaction

Delivering fresh and well-working products increases partner and customer satisfaction and trust. 

As a result, cooperating with an expert temperature-controlled logistics company for the transport of sensitive goods does, in fact, increase sales and profit.

Trusted Temperature-Controlled Trucking

When shipments require special care, you need to work with a trusted logistics partner, offering, among other services, quality temperature-controlled trucking.

At Pinnacle, our controlled-temperature freight system ensures that your Products will be protected throughout transport. We are proud to assist many discerning clients who enjoy operational efficiency and reduced cargo loss. 

Our state-of-the-art technology includes specialized GPRS/GPS systems and 24/7 monitoring that allow real-time trailer temperature checking and location watch, with warning alarm notifications of any transport temperature changes.
For top-tier trucking and logistics services across the country, contact Pinnacle Trucking Services.

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