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The Challenge of Chill: Navigating 3 Hurdles of Refrigerated Trucking

Published on
April 9, 2024
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In the ever-changing landscape of transportation and logistics for food and beverage, businesses face a daily battle to reduce the rising cost of waste and get their perishable products to clients on time.

It’s estimated that food waste worldwide tops one trillion dollars annually, and up to 15% of the loss happens during transport. The most common issues are related to refrigerated trucking, with insufficient shipping conditions blamed for 50% of all fresh produce losses.

The good news? Much of the loss during transportation can be significantly reduced simply by a company choosing the right refrigerated truck to support its specific needs. Refrigerated trucking is not a one-size-fits-all solution, making trusted and experienced third-party logistics and transportation providers such as VCPB Transportation essential for success in this fast-paced realm of logistics.

By understanding the forces behind the key challenges facing reefer trucking, we can better leverage partnerships with refrigerated trucking companies to limit waste.

The Three Challenges of Refrigerated Trucking

Imagine trying to move perishable goods, and your orders are ready to ship. You have customers across town, across the state, and perhaps even nationwide and beyond.

Each order differs, but all face the same three challenges: Each shipment must maintain the optimal temperature range during transit, you must track them in real-time, and each refrigerated truck must be USDA-compliant.  Here is a quick look at all three challenges:

Challenge 1: Temperature Variations

Significant waste can result from temperatures too high or too low. Such excursions can also lead to the following problems.

  • Fluctuations can compromise product efficacy and integrity. Precise temperature control ensures these items reach their destination in pristine condition, underscoring the critical role of temperature stability.
  • Unstable temperatures during transportation can jeopardize product quality and breach regulatory standards, risking costly consequences. If fruit or vegetables are transported at too low of temperature, the abuse may not show until it reaches the wholesaler or retailer — at which point they might reject the load. Worse yet, consumers might overlook the poor quality until after purchase, which becomes a health risk. Customers will seek reliable suppliers for repeat business. Stringent temperature control is essential for ensuring compliance and preserving product integrity.

Maintaining the quality of perishable food products and prolonging their shelf life by keeping them at the ideal temperature during transportation minimizes metabolic and microbial deterioration. A significant key to reducing waste is the ability of a reefer truck to maintain the desired temperature. When it does, it protects perishable foods during storage and distribution. Even short periods of temperature excursion — during loading, transit, and unloading — can lead to significant quality loss.

Challenge 2: Finding a Customer-First Reefer Provider

A customer-first approach to refrigerated truck services provides significant benefits. A 3PL such as VCPB Transportation can tailor solutions specific to each shipment to ensure the safe and efficient transportation of temperature-sensitive cargo. The result is less waste while gaining trust, satisfaction, and repeat customers.

  • Real-time tracking in refrigerated shipping assures precise monitoring of temperature-sensitive goods. Immediate alerts enable timely mitigation, safeguarding product integrity and ensuring compliance with stringent quality standards.
  • Personalized service and transparent communication enhance customer experience and create enduring partnerships.
  • Real-time tracking reduces delivery time, a huge benefit for refrigerated trucking companies. The communication helps drivers avoid school zones and traffic congestion and gives real-time road conditions and weather patterns to plan around. The ability to monitor the routes translates to fewer hours on the road and less time for perishables in transition.

Challenge 3: Nailing It Every Time – No Matter What You Ship

Moving fresh produce is one of the most delicate and urgent tasks in transportation. Whether shipping citrus from Florida or the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, juicy peaches from Georgia, or fresh vegetables from America’s heartland to coast to coast or border to border, the goal is the same: your shipments must arrive on time and in excellent condition — every time.

That’s a heavy burden, one you should not shoulder alone. Trusting VCPB Transportation to handle your refrigerated shipping needs means that when you call, we will answer — no matter the hour. When you have urgent shipping needs, we respond  — no matter the challenge  — with: ‘

  • Service customized to your needs.
  • Solutions based on years of experience.
  • Support from start to finish.

Top Food Shippers Demand Reliable Reefer

The approach of refrigerated trucking companies to reefer shipping should always be to take the pain and worry out of refrigeration trucking for its clients. Some tips:

  • Look for 3PLs specializing in expedited hauling for perishables and having large networks of fully insured customers.  
  • Does the company you’re considering navigate refrigerated truck challenges with precision? Does it offer customized solutions for each client, ensuring precise temperature control, streamlined logistics, and compliance?
  • What is the company’s approach to real-time tracking and tailored services? Does it include 24-hour dispatch access to inform clients where their shipments are at all times and that the temperatures remain within acceptable ranges?

VCPB Transportation: The Solution to the Headaches of Refrigeration Trucking

Imagine a world where your produce, fresh from the fields, reaches its destination in the same pristine condition, where you no longer worry about the freshness or quality during transportation and waste is reduced to the bare minimum.

At VCPB Transportation, we understand the importance of preserving the quality of every shipment. That's why we offer tailored, temperature-controlled solutions with real-time tracking. No more unpredictability. No more concerns over compliance or excess waste.

Just fresh produce, delivered on time, every time — that is VCPB Transportation’s goal when handling perishables.

Speak to a freight expert today to learn more about how VCPB Transportation can help with all your refrigerated trucking needs.

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