For many entrepreneurs, logistics is one of the most crucial aspects to get right in business operations. Whether you run a wholesale or retail business, manufacture products, or otherwise have to ship goods regularly, you know that getting materials and items to their destinations on time and safely is vital.
Many people don’t like the idea of having to pay more money to invest in temperature-controlled shipping. However, the reality is that the costs of not doing so can be much higher if you have to throw out items or replace them because they’ve gotten too hot or cold in transit or have safety and security consequences to deal with.
If your venture transports any goods that get affected by temperature fluctuations and extremes, you need to take the necessary steps to protect items during all stages of the logistics process. Read on for what you need to know about temperature-controlled shipping to keep quality intact no matter the time of year or how long items are in transit.
Defining Temperature-Controlled Shipping
First, you must understand the term ‘temperature-controlled shipping.’ This phrase describes logistics movements that involve keeping items within trucks or containers, etc., held at a set temperature. Like buildings and external locations, vehicles and containers, and so on are subject to temperature changes due to varying weather conditions, such as temperature and humidity changes.
But some items must be kept at a consistent temperature during transit no matter what’s happening outside. This may be to avoid spoilage or reduce shelf life, or the potential for making goods hazardous, among other things. In these situations, logistics firms use refrigeration setups dedicated to keeping temperatures within spaces level throughout a journey, even a long one.
In addition to refrigeration, many carriers use tech tools to ensure they can meet the necessary standards and maintain conditions from start to finish along a package’s trip. Many shippers use, for example, a trusted temperature indicator to notify dispatchers, drivers, and other contacts if temperatures drop out of the ideal range in transit.
Tips for When and How to Use It
There are no hard and fast rules about when temperature-controlled shipping can be used, but there are products that are more likely to need this kind of specialized service. For example, items like fresh and frozen foods, drinks, and other perishables often need to stay at a set temperature, as do artworks, antiques, and electronics.
Some other goods that commonly utilize temperature-controlled shipping are pharmaceuticals, medications, beauty products, and select furniture pieces, such as those that could be damaged by high humidity. Logistics firms and other businesses choose to use refrigeration for short trips and long ones, as issues can arise with items even when a limited distance is traveled.
It’s important to note that temperature-controlled shipping is used when items aren’t moving, too. For example, storage facilities that hold goods until they’re ready to be picked up by shippers or sent to ports or other transportation hubs, or even loaded onto containers often have to be temperature-controlled to ensure products don’t become unstable or damaged before they make it to a truck, train, or boat, etc.
Success Tips for Temperature-Controlled Logistics
If you know that you make or sell or otherwise move items that need protecting in transit, you can follow a few tips to ensure success in this area. Start by researching the different types of temperature-controlled shipping. For instance, active shipping systems are used on-air and sea freight carriers and utilize costly thermostatically-controlled cargo containers. These containers generally get powered by the ship’s onboard power supply or internal batteries and also utilize heating mechanisms or huge cooling fans.
There are refrigerated vehicles with thermostatically-controlled cargo compartments, too, that works similarly to the ship options but on a smaller scale. Another option is passive shipping container systems that are used for short journeys rather than long ones. In these cases, the containers feature insulation materials and specialized electronics to keep temperatures steady.
Before selecting a logistics supplier for your temperature-sensitive goods, find out their reliability percentages and what types of backup systems they have in place in case of temperature issues due to power failures or longer-than-expected transit times, etc. Ask if firms provide insurance or guarantees and talk to previous clients to see if they’d recommend freight companies or not.
Always compare quotes carefully and ensure you pick up on potential hidden fees or extra charges. Find out who you’ll communicate with at shipping companies if you hire them and when and how you will receive cargo updates.
Handling and moving products affected by changes in temperature isn’t the easiest or cheapest process, but it is vital to get right. The more you understand this logistics area, though, the more straightforward you should find it.