Transporting cold storage shipments is a complex and highly regulated process that requires careful logistical coordination, tight schedule management, and strict temperature control during shipment. Cost optimization and effective risk management are critical for minimizing unnecessary expenses, product losses, and delays as these sensitive shipments move through the supply chain. In this blog, we highlight the major expenses associated with cold chain transportation and discuss effective methods for managing logistical challenges and keeping costs low.
Understanding the Cost
To preserve their safety and integrity, temperature-sensitive shipments must be stored within specific temperature ranges during the transportation process. The logistics required to meet relevant industry regulations, manage risks, and ensure on-time delivery can make cold chain transportation a costly process. Among these costs, the largest expenses include:
- Inventory carrying
Cold chain logistics companies also face cost challenges with port delays and associated increases in transportation fees. When international shipments are part of the cold chain, compliance checks, documentation processing, and subsequent delivery delays related to international trade regulations are part of the necessary logistical planning. Temperature-controlled warehousing fees are another costly consideration.
Two of the most important factors for minimizing these costs are efficient performance and on-time delivery, both of which are key for ensuring a safe product.
Given the costly nature of cold chain transportation, it is important to implement effective cost and risk reduction strategies throughout the supply chain. Examples include:
- Consolidating truckloads. While full truckloads (FTLs) sometimes give the shipper more control over shipping conditions and schedules, less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments are becoming increasingly popular for cold chain transportation. LTL shipping involves sharing container space with several shippers by combining multiple smaller loads with a common destination. When shipping schedules and temperature requirements are aligned among shippers, LTLs offer an efficient and economical transportation option.
- Reducing handovers. The more handover points involved in cold chain transportation, the greater the risk of human error and miscommunication. Simplifying the transportation process is essential for reducing many of the inherent risks involved with cold chain shipping. In addition, modern Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud technologies can be useful in tracking the variables that influence product quality. Access to this information allows for more accurate decision-making, improved risk management, and cost reductions.
- Real-time temperature monitoring. Real-time monitoring technologies provide cold chain logistics companies with continuously updated data on temperature, shipment location, dwell time, and other relevant variables. This gives the shipper the opportunity to respond instantly to any problems that arise during the shipping process and prevent potentially damaging temperature excursions, reduce product spoilage and operational waste, and lower safety stock requirements.
- Minimizing the cost of crisis management. When it comes to shipping temperature-controlled goods, real-time supply chain visibility in combination with rapid intervention strategies are essential for preserving product quality and ensuring regulation compliance among all supply chain partners. In addition to reducing product waste, an effective monitoring and intervention program can positively impact a company’s insurance premiums and related copays.
How Mulder Brothers Brokerage Can Help
Mulder Brothers Brokerage is a transport logistics company offering nationwide distribution of frozen and cooler less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments with pickups in the Midwest region. Equipped with a large fleet of trucks through Art Mulder & Sons Trucking, we provide weekly dedicated LTL services for customers and set weekly truck schedules for contracted carriers in our service network. Benefits of partnering with us include:
- 24/7 customer and carrier support
- Access to a highly trained and experienced logistics team
- Comprehensive assistance with warehousing, cross-docking, redelivery, and third-party logistics (3PL)
Contact Mulder Brothers Brokerage for Your Temperature-Controlled Transportation Needs
At Mulder Brothers Brokerage, we understand the importance of a reliable and efficient transportation strategy when it comes to preserving the quality and safety of cold chain products. Our extensive trucking background combined with years of cold chain logistics experience make us well-qualified to handle and transport a range of time- and temperature-sensitive shipments.
To learn more about our cold chain transportation capabilities in the LTL industry, please contact us today.