Temperature-sensitive goods have more complex supply chain requirements because service providers must maintain and monitor the temperature of the goods at all times to prevent waste and ensure product safety. This is particularly true for frozen goods, which should typically remain at temperatures from -10° F and 0° F. Mulder Brothers Brokerage can assist you with safe warehousing, transportation, and third-party logistics (3PL) services for the food and beverage industry, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Frozen Logistics in Cold Chain
The cold chain and frozen logistics are essential elements for transporting temperature-sensitive goods throughout every stage of the market.
What Is Cold Chain?
The cold chain is the supply chain that goods follow from the point of origin to the end consumer when goods need constant, proven refrigeration or freezing. Common examples of cold chain goods include produce, meat, and dairy. Not only do these goods need cold shipment and storage, but the entire journey needs to be auditable, with a proven record of temperature compliance to ensure that products meet safety and health regulations. Perishable goods must be kept at the correct temperatures during every stage of the supply chain to prevent spoilage, microbial contaminants, discoloring and bruising, and other forms of damage that affect the product’s quality and safety.
What Is Frozen Logistics?
Frozen logistics teams utilize advanced software and logistics management systems to strategize the most efficient and effective way to transport, store, and distribute frozen goods while also monitoring shipments. Careful supply chain management and real-time data allow these teams to protect the cold chain, provide traceable product information, and ensure that products won’t spoil on the trip to the final consumer. Industries that use frozen logistics and need cold chain solutions for numerous applications include:
- Food and beverage: Frozen meats, seafood, vegetables, and ice cream
- Chemical distribution: Flammable or otherwise hazardous chemicals
- Pharmaceuticals: Vaccines, medications, and tissue samples
Storing and Warehousing Temperature-Sensitive Products
To meet the needs of growing and diverse markets, storage and warehousing solutions for the cold chain include short-term storage and seasonal warehousing. Storing products in temperature-controlled conditions requires a lot of energy and management. The goods need access to stable temperatures, so freezers, refrigerated storage, and temperature sensors must be failure-proof. Once goods are exposed to temperatures outside of safe-handling conditions, the goods are spoiled and cannot be safely sold.
To address our customers’ warehousing needs, Mulder Brothers Brokerage has partnered with Cold-Link Logistics in Holland, MI, Fort Wayne, IN, Orlando, FL, and Providence, RI. Opening a 150,000-square-foot Michigan facility in mid April of 2022, this trusted and experienced third-party logistics and cold storage company is 100% freezer capable. Their state-of-the-art storage center includes a large refrigerated dock so that products will have freezer or chilled storage options, along with 25 dock doors, 38 truck staging positions, and more than 12,000 pallet positions to provide optimal capacity. Cold-Link Logistics Holland will handle both short- and long-term warehousing for temperature-controlled storage. This partnership is just another example of a Mulder Brothers Brokerage-verified link in the cold chain for continued innovation and coverage nationwide.
Transportation Logistics in Cold Chain
Cold-chain products move from processing centers to warehousing and distribution centers and then retailers or end consumers, for which the cold chain needs a reliable and efficient transportation system. Mulder Brothers Brokerage provides ground transportation logistics, however, there are many other modes of transportation leveraged across the cold chain. This can include:
- Ground Transport Options: Trucking involves refrigerated trucks with truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) options, refrigerated train cars, and more. Different types of ground transport include over-the-road (OTR), regional trucking, local trucking, long-haul, last mile, and more.
- Airfreight Options: Aerial modes of transportation offer shippers an expedited delivery timeline and include temperature-sensitive options with refrigerated air cargo.
- Rail Freight Options: This mode of transportation t is commonly used in an intermodal shipping plan, frequently in tandem with OTR.
- Sea Freight Options: Sea freight systems include cold chain options for regular over sea shipments, such as refrigerated cargo vessels and reefers.
- Intermodal Transportation: This shipping method leverages two or more different modes of transportation to deliver freight to its final destination.
Each of these transportation options must deliver stable cold temperatures and proper humidity levels throughout the journey.
Temperature Stabilization and Monitoring
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 50% of vaccines go to waste each year around the world, in part due to suboptimal temperature conditions in transport or storage. With food, while produce may bruise or have a shorter shelf life, dairy and meat products become dangerous to consume after exposure to unsafe temperatures for too long. The same is true for pharmaceutical products.
Ideal temperatures vary across different types of goods. Five of the most widely used temperature standards include:
- Banana: 54° F to 57° F
- Pharmaceutical: 36° F to 46° F
- Chill: 36° F to 39° F
- Frozen: -4° F to 14° F
- Deep freeze: -22° F to -13° F
To maintain the appropriate temperature, carriers can use passive temperature regulation, such as insulated packaging, or active regulation, like packaging that produces the internal temperature itself and preserves it through battery power. Within the interior of truck trailers, carriers often utilize a diesel engine-powered cooling system that carries refrigerant from an evaporator in the cargo hold through to a condenser at the trailer’s front. Other technologies available for the cold chain include reefers, dry ice, gel packs, and liquid nitrogen quilts.
Beyond cooling systems, it’s vitally important for service providers to monitor temperatures and provide a record of logged data as traceable proof that temperatures remained steady from the point of origin to the final destination. Service providers need monitoring systems in place that allow for real-time temperature tracking and GPS monitoring to achieve successful frozen logistics management.
Our Transportation Logistics and Capabilities
At Mulder Brothers Brokerage, we provide complete frozen and cold-chain logistics solutions for food manufacturers and producers, food warehouses and freezers, and refrigerated carriers. Founded in 2008, this division manages freight movements through a network of carrier partners for reliable local to nationwide FDA-compliant service.
Our team offers temperature-controlled and frozen LTL service with Midwest pickups and nationwide distribution. We also provide weekly dedicated LTL service for those customers wishing to schedule regular shipments and set weekly truck schedules for the contracted carrier partners in our service network for year-round shifts and rates. Along with warehousing capabilities, cross-docking, and redelivery, we do it all at competitive rates to serve our customers with integrity.
Our company size has allowed us to build strong relationships with our customers while still working with big-name manufacturers and distributors. For example, Mulder Brothers Brokerage is proud to be a part of the Walmart consolidation program. Walmart and other large retailers have regional consolidation facilities that they use as a base for receiving and distributing LTL product shipments, and they utilize various approved brokers to optimize their supply chain logistics. Our team has the experience with large retailers to benefit our customers, maintaining a 95% on-time in-full (OTIF) score, a performance metric for supply chain logistics. We’re also backed by Art Mulder & Sons Trucking (AMST), a family-operated business since 1971. AMST knows the ins and outs of the trucking industry, with a fleet of trucks and experienced drivers to best meet demand.
With a Service First™ mentality, we strive to offer full support to our customers as well as our carrier partners. To that end, Mulder Brothers Brokerage offers 24/7 friendly and professional customer service and dispatch representatives. Contact us today to learn more about our 3PL, storage, and transportation capabilities for temperature-sensitive products.