Refrigerated shipments originated in the early 1900's but did you know an American inventor was the first to come up with the automated cooling system? This person was Fred Jones and his invention led to the highly now popular Thermo King, which is known as the first manufacturer of reefer trailers. The transportation industry sees high demand for these shipments but we sometimes shy away with fear thinking of extreme costs to maintain temperature and everyone’s worst freight-mare, a full truckload claim.
When we think of reefer freight, we commonly reference freight that must stay freezing cold or produce that might spoil. Immediately, some of the freight that comes to mind might be meat or ice cream but there’s so much more behind why we have such a high demand for reefer trailers and the people moving them. Currently, over 500,000 reefers operate in the United States. At times, it is difficult to understand where we would be without reefer shipments. Reefer trailers haul a very high majority of the food that we eat. We’ve all encountered the brokers that want to avoid the headaches, the customer who won’t pay the higher rates, or the carrier who won’t take the risk. We imagine the worst-case scenarios over reefer malfunction but we have to remember…it’s gotta move! For people who have not dealt much with reefer freight, consider the fact that reefer freight really has no “off-season” and that there is so much more besides keeping products cold and hoping all operations run smoothly. Think of all the freight that moves year-round.
Pharmaceutical Drugs: Many drugs must be maintained at cooler or room temperature to prevent contamination. Think about substances like the flu vaccine
Tobacco: Keeping the freshness of products like cigars and cigarettes
Chemicals: Think back to science class and the chemical reactions like combustion that can come from high heat or cold
Cosmetics: Some products could spoil or change drastically. Think about a melted lipstick in the summer months
Art: Consider what can happen to paper or canvass if there is too much moisture
Where would we be without some of these items we use everyday?
As winter is upon us, we must consider protecting shipments from freezing. Remember that reefers can simply be temperature controllers whether warm, cold or even humidity control. Products like liquid cleaners and soda are great examples of products that require some protection from the extreme winter cold. So many new technological devices have also been created specifically to track and monitor reefer shipments to ensure that the integrity of products is protected. Next time you are intimidated by the thought of taking on the challenge known as reefer freight, remember that it can be crucial for even the simplest products and that building your knowledge about reefer freight could really take you a long way in the transportation industry.