A Guide to Frozen Transportation Services

Food and medical supply chains are filled with many products that must be transported in a frozen state to preserve their freshness and protect the public from harm. Frozen transportation services have revolutionized these industries, making it possible to transport these specialty products nationwide. Through them, companies can ensure these goods safely reach the highest number of consumers in the shortest amount of time possible.

Mulder Brothers has put together the following guide to frozen transportation services to help you better understand the industry and how it can benefit your business.

What is Frozen Transportation?

cold boxesFrozen transportation refers to the process of transporting goods that need to be kept at a temperature below the freezing point to reduce the chance of contamination.

It is estimated that 20 percent of all U.S. shipments include frozen or refrigerated cargo. This cargo includes food products, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other drugs.

Depending on the freight, the entire trailer might be chilled to a sub-zero degree temperature. Or there might be a small, refrigerated compartment that also allows for the shipment of dry goods that aren’t required to be frozen.

To keep trailer interiors temperature controlled, carriers use a special refrigeration system on the trailer. This system is a diesel engine powered refrigeration system and circulates a refrigerant between a special evaporator in the cargo area to a condenser that is attached to the front of the trailer.

Cold-Chain Logistics

Cold-chain logistics involves carefully planning each step that a temperature-sensitive product goes through from the moment it leaves the manufacturing plant to when it arrives at its destination. This requires multiple people throughout the supply chain to work together to ensure that the products are never exposed to temperatures that go above their requirements.

The importance of cold-chain logistics in the food and medical supply industries cannot be overstated. In fact, it is estimated that 20 percent to 40 percent of all pharmaceutical products have been damaged or deteriorated due to exposure to warm temperatures during shipping.

For a frozen transportation service provider to offer their clients complete peace of mind when it comes to the quality of their products, they must provide cold-chain logistics. This process makes it possible for all shipments containing temperature-sensitive cargo to arrive at their destination in perfect condition by monitoring and improving every step of a product’s journey along the supply chain.

Temperature-Controlled Shipping for Frozen Products

The frozen transportation services industry has grown exponentially in the last decade. This is especially true when shipping perishable goods that must be kept at a temperature below the freezing point throughout their journey from one location to another.

Frozen goods must be maintained at these cold temperatures during the loading, transporting, and offloading process in a trailer that uses an active refrigeration system.

Shipping frozen products in a temperature-controlled environment is typically accomplished by mechanical refrigeration, and the practice of using modified atmospheres as a supplement to refrigeration is becoming more popular.

Other temperature-control methods may also be used, such as climate-controlled warehouse storage, if the products must be held in a specific location for an extended time.

Challenges to Frozen Transportation

cold chain logisticsAlong with benefits, transporting temperature-sensitive products comes with a few challenges, chief among them is maintaining cold-chain integrity.

Therefore, it is important to make sure you always partner with a logistics operation that upholds high standards regarding their services. Most challenges to frozen transportation are easily managed by implementing strategies that align with the regulations for cold-chain logistics.

Maintaining Cold-Chain Integrity

Communication and planning are the keys to maintaining cold-chain integrity. Cold-chain products are typically accompanied by specific instructions regarding the maximum and minimum temperatures that must be kept. There may also be limits regarding how long products may be unrefrigerated, which frequently occurs with food and beverage products since they must be kept at specific temperatures for quality and consumer safety purposes.

Each company and employee handling the products during the various stages of the supply chain must be aware of the specifications for the products. If an issue occurs at any point in the cold chain, it must be communicated promptly, so that the appropriate safeguards can be put in place to preserve the products.

Product Safety Is Paramount

Allowing products to reach temperatures higher than their specifications exposes consumers to the risk of illnesses and other health issues if cold-chain integrity is not maintained. Whether products are going into a cold storage warehouse or being transported on a trailer, Mulder Brothers and the carriers we broker always have the end user’s safety in mind.

Allowing products to reach temperatures higher than their specifications exposes consumers to the risk of illnesses and other health issues if cold-chain integrity is not maintained. Whether products are going into a cold storage warehouse or being transported on a trailer, Mulder Brothers and the carriers we broker always have the end user’s safety in mind.

Adherence to Regulations in Cold-Chain Logistics

The Food Safety Modernization Act includes a rule on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food that regulates the frozen transport industry. The rule consists of requirements, such as trailers in a frozen transportation fleet must be cleanable and have monitoring procedures to ensure that the interior of the refrigerated area is consistently at the proper temperature for food safety.

Mulder Brothers’ full-service frozen transportation practices are based upon the need to adhere to these regulations. We accomplish this by training each member of our team to monitor the temperatures in the trailer and keep a log of any pertinent information regarding the shipment.

We also follow strict protocols regarding inspections and maintenance of all the vehicles and trailers in our fleet to ensure that the refrigeration systems are in working order.

Loading and Unloading Practices

Frozen products are more vulnerable to reaching temperatures above the required specification during the loading and unloading process. Once again, this is where timing is everything, and we direct our crews to follow the safest practices for removing and placing items in the refrigerated truck.

These practices include carefully planning the shipments and deliveries so that the last items loaded onto the trailer are also the first ones to come out (LIFO). Avoiding unloading and reloading items that can stay put prevents extreme temperature fluctuations.

Cost of Temperature Controlled Logistics and Frozen Storage

The cost of using frozen transportation is naturally higher than the expenses involved with non-cold storage options. This is especially notable with LTL freight services, which tend to require more extensive planning and equipment.

While there is a higher cost to these shipments, the payoff is worth it if your company can avoid losing an entire load to improper temperature controls.

It may help to know that established logistics brokerage companies such as Mulder Brothers have plans in place to help minimize the cost to companies that need frozen transportation services whenever possible.

Industries that Utilize Frozen Transportation

transportationMany manufacturers, farmers and merchants across multiple industries utilize frozen transportation services. Whether they are transporting medications or microwave dinners, the one thing all these things rely on is that carriers keep their products at the proper temperatures throughout their entire trip to the recipient.

Food and Beverage Industry

Approximately 600 million people worldwide get sick from eating contaminated food each year. In the U.S., laws and regulations help to reduce how many people fall ill by ensuring that food is kept at temperatures that don’t allow bacterial growth.

If food falls outside of the appropriate temperatures, strict actions may be necessary, such as disposing of food that carries a high risk for food-borne illnesses. Only working with carriers that take food temperature control seriously is critical for making sure that a business doesn’t incur unnecessary losses during the transport and storage stages of the cold chain.

Fresh Produce, Meats and Dairy

Frozen products are in higher demand, since they tend to last longer than fresh food that spoils faster. In addition, quickly and efficiently transporting frozen food allows companies to keep their products in front of the consumer.

Supply chain disruptions are worth mentioning here too. Although there aren’t currently any major food shortages, there have been scattered disruptions in supply throughout the U.S. due to challenges with manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping. These disruptions have led to an increased cost for many food products that fall within the produce, meat (especially seafood) and dairy industries.

Pharmacies and Medical Supplies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has regulations for pharmaceutical transport that are stringent. As a result, many vaccinations and medications must be kept at temperatures below freezing to maintain their effectiveness.

Since medical supplies are often susceptible to temperature fluctuations, great care must be taken to label pallets and packaging clearly. These measures ensure that everyone who handles the products knows the importance of following the manufacturer’s instructions for safe shipping and handling.

Finding the Right Frozen Transport Partner

AMST truck and driverPartnering with a qualified, reputable and established frozen transport company makes it possible to send out every shipment with complete confidence that it is kept in a temperature-controlled environment every step of the way. Mulder Brothers Brokerage offers several important benefits that have led to the company becoming a leader in the frozen transportation industry.

Network of Logistical Frozen Shipping and Warehouse Solutions

Mulder Brothers offer coast-to-coast shipping services that allow companies to get their products to their desired destination as quickly as possible. Their services also include a wide range of options such as frozen LTL shipping for smaller loads—along with cold storage warehouses, so that there is a solution for any concern that you have with transporting a load.

Providing 24/7 Temperature Controlled Climates

Each truck and warehouse is designed to be kept at freezing temperatures around the clock. This allows for you to plan for overnight or weekend shipments without having to worry about the products that you put on the trucks going for even a minute without adequate refrigeration.

Each refrigerated environment is also consistently monitored to make sure that it never reaches temperatures that are above the specifications for the product.

Extensive Frozen Fleet with Consistent Quality

Mulder Brothers Brokerage is partners with Art Mulder & Sons Trucking Company, which gives them the ultimate ability to manage and maintain an extensive frozen fleet that is always in perfect condition for moving products. Having so many refrigerated trucks available means that no customer has to wait to transport their products when time is of the essence.

Proven Experience in Frozen Transportation Services

AMST trucks and Mulder BrothersMany other logistics companies lack experience with the trucking industry. Mulder Brothers have worked alongside AMST for many years, and they know the industry inside and out. We have a proven track record that includes working with some of the top manufacturers and distributors in the world, making our brokerage stand out from the rest.

Mulder Brothers has Provided Peace of Mind Since 2008

When the logistics brokerage was first founded in 2008, each member of the team made a commitment to exceed expectations by upholding essential character traits, such as being honest, loyal, and reliable. As our company has grown, we haven’t forgotten this commitment. In fact, we’ve made it a goal to keep growing stronger. That way, we can continue to be good stewards of the resources we have and help companies find reliable and safe logistics solutions for their goods.

Contact Us Today for a Frozen Transportation Services Partner

When it comes to logistics, you need to know that your products will be picked up, transported, stored and unloaded at the point-of-delivery with efficiency and professionalism.

We offer 24/7 support to our carrier partners and make it a point to respond to every call within 15 minutes with a solution. Give us a call today at  (616) 392-5907 or let us know what you need by submitting a form on our contact page to begin finding solutions for all your logistics needs.

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1936 Transport Lane
Holland, MI 49423

Dispatch: dispatch@mulderbros.com
Fax: (616) 392-9725
Phone: (616) 392-5907