Whether you need to get your refrigerated items across town or across the country, one of the most important factors in your ability to get shipments on time and to their destination is the ability to find the right trucking company. Not all carriers offer refrigerated trucking options, so your search must begin by finding the ones that do. Next, you need to make sure they have these four qualifications before you sign the contract.
Not all refrigerated trucks are the same, and the type of equipment used to keep the trucks cool is one of the first things you should ask about when discussing transportation with a new carrier. Find out if they have the right equipment to make sure that your load of produce or your liquid carbon-fiber can be shipped west to east coast, and that everything will be loaded, delivered, and stored in a way that ensures your products will arrive in the exact same condition that you sent them.
Poor equipment, or equipment that cannot handle changes from one climate or elevation to another, might not keep your items at the right temperature, which could be costly and even potentially dangerous. Check that your carrier’s equipment will maintain the exact temperature to prevent spoilage and avoid unwanted hardening, softening, defrosting, or melting of your cargo.
Experienced Support Staff
When you are transporting refrigerated items, there could be dozens of people involved in the process—starting with the people who load the trucks and including everyone from truck drivers, logistics specialists, management that schedules your transport to ensure timely delivery of every product, and the people who unload it at the end of the journey. If your trucking company doesn’t work like a well-oiled machine at each of these points, consider taking your business elsewhere.
Partial Load or Less-Than-Load Capabilities
In some cases you might have enough of a shipment to fill an entire trailer, but there might be times when you need to quickly get a less-than-load (LTL) shipment to your customers. If your carrier has rigid requirements for how much you need to ship in order to use their trucks, you could be at risk of losing customers when you can’t get the shipment to them on time. Moving partial loads on refrigerated trucks can also be costly if your carrier doesn’t offer things like one-, two-, or three-chamber variable temperature-controlled trailers to keep your items in the right climate and at the right temperature without the expense required to cover a full truckload.
Great Customer Service
A refrigerated trucking company won’t be pleasant to work with if they treat their customers poorly. Before you hire any transportation group, check to make sure they have a track record of on-time delivery, and that they have friendly customer service agents who can answer all the questions you might have. Most companies will also offer a free quote so you can check out their services without making a big commitment up front.