Refrigerated Freight Carriers

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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For freight that requires controlled temperatures, refrigerated freight carriers are the answer. These specialized trucks are significantly more technologically advanced than those of just a few years ago. For example, they may be purchased with computerized controls that maintain a specified temperature throughout the haul, even when when there may be delays.

Refrigerated Freight Carriers

Many major carriers have an entire line of business dedicated to the special requirements related to refrigeration. Refrigerated trucks are often called "reefers," and they haul such cargoes as perishable foods, medicine, and high-tech equipment. In the case of perishable items, on-time delivery is essential because of expiration dates and the concern over spoilage. Freight agents are particularly careful to track refrigerated shipments and to make sure the trucks or cars are moving shipments along according to shipper specifications. Thus, if you require refrigerated freight, going through a freight agent or broker is a good idea.

It is usually more expensive to carry products requiring refrigeration, and the issue of higher rates is heard often. Since these trucks require more fuel and more maintenance, carriers are seeking higher rates across the board in order to stave off losses related to slowdowns. Approximately four percent of all shipping requires refrigeration, and any fluctuations in the market can result in difficult times for carriers.

Getting Drivers

The trailers used by refrigerated carriers are significantly more expensive than those used by dry freight carriers, both to purchase and to maintain. Driving a reefer requires additional tasks to be performed by drivers who may find that they prefer to eliminate worrying about controlling temperatures. In addition, reefer drivers may be required to move freight onto the trailer or from the trailer onto a dock while making approximately the same pay as dry freight drivers. In a nation that depends on refrigerated trucking to move its food, many refrigerated carriers and drivers are pleading for increases in rates in order to maintain their fleets.


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