Perspective: How Refrigerated Trucking Delivers for Summer

Products Like Produce, Flowers Require Special Care During Transportation

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During the summer, consumers purchase more produce and fresh blooms. Behind the scenes, the logistics industry takes certain steps for transporting these goods safely and efficiently.

These delicate and perishable items require specialized handling to ensure they arrive fresh and pristine. Many of these products travel significant distances to reach their destinations and may be imported from other nations. According to the National Center for Appropriate Technology, the average fruit or vegetable travels at least 1,500 miles before it reaches a table.

For retailers, a successful summer season means selecting carriers equipped with temperature-controlled solutions and cold chain management experience to preserve the freshness of these goods throughout their transportation journey.

Key Considerations

One of the foremost challenges in transporting perishable goods like flowers and fruit is maintaining the optimal temperature necessary to preserve freshness. Transit time and distance affect temperature changes; even a few degrees difference can accelerate the deterioration of these items, compromising their quality upon arrival.

James Holloway


Second, regionality is a factor. Some perishable goods are susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity, which can vary by region. Fresh produce may require different handling and storage conditions depending on the time of year and geographic location. Adapting to regional changes and adjusting shipping protocols are essential for maintaining product quality. Each temperature-controlled truckload of perishable goods requires an individual strategy to ensure it maintains a consistent environment while in transit.

Also, shippers must consider load types as they prepare for refrigerated shipments. For instance, it is not advisable to ship florals and fish in the same trailer — despite the need for refrigerated transport in both cases. A more in-depth example would be two different types of produce — bananas and lettuce. Shippers need to understand the science behind their shipments, as bananas emit natural gases that could impact the freshness of lettuce. It’s critical that shippers understand what can and cannot be hauled together. An experienced carrier will understand these nuances and work to optimize efficiency.

Last, perishable goods must often comply with strict standards and food safety regulations regarding temperature control, sanitation, labeling and documentation to ensure the safety and integrity of the products across the supply chain. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines, penalties and other legal repercussions that can harm a business’ success.

This is where refrigerated carriers play a pivotal role, providing a controlled environment to safeguard the integrity of the shipments. A suitable carrier will work to address all these challenges.

Find Trusted Carriers

Selecting carriers that offer reliable refrigerated transport is essential for ensuring the success of perishable shipments. Beyond delivering on time, shippers should find carriers that go above and beyond to maintain stringent standards for freshness and quality.

When selecting refrigerated carriers, shippers can evaluate reliability, consistency, equipment and experience to determine suitability. Carriers possessing all these qualities help navigate and solve any potential challenges.


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Let’s say a shipper for a large grocery store chain in the Midwest needs to haul a refrigerated load from Mexico. While there are complexities to moving goods across the border, a trusted temperature-controlled carrier with the right expertise can execute the process. They will have relationships with both the growers and carriers in the area plus either ownership of or access to cross-dock border facilities that keep goods moving.

A carrier with nearshoring experience, relationships and facilities can move loads across borders while getting products to shelves both fresh and on time.

Keeping It Fresh

As the supply chain becomes more complicated, shippers and carriers must have the flexibility to match this ever-changing landscape. This means having reliable refrigerated transport during the busy summer season.

While summertime can get busy, this is the opportune time for shippers to evaluate their refrigerated carriers. When transporting goods like produce and flowers, choosing carriers that adhere to the highest standards for service is key.

James Holloway serves as director of logistics at Werner, where he helps lead business growth to ensure customers have the support they need for success.

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