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Understanding Refrigerated Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Shipping

May 15, 2024 0Blog

Refrigerated Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping is a specialized transportation service to maintain specific temperature conditions for perishable goods. Unlike traditional LTL shipping, refrigerated LTL utilizes temperature-controlled trailers with refrigeration units. These units ensure that products such as food, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural goods remain at the optimal temperature range from pickup to delivery, preserving their quality, safety, and integrity. In this blog, we’ll explain what refrigerated LTL is and the major industries driving demand.

Refrigerated LTL vs. Dry Van LTL

While both Refrigerated LTL and Dry Van LTL share the purpose of transporting goods from one location to another, they differ significantly in their capabilities and applications.

  • Temperature Control: The primary distinction lies in their ability to regulate temperature. Refrigerated LTL maintains specific temperature ranges, typically between -20°F to 70°F (-29°C to 21°C), ensuring the preservation of perishable items. Dry Van LTL provides no temperature control, making it suitable for non-perishable goods that do not require specific climate conditions.
  • Product Suitability: Refrigerated LTL is ideal for transporting perishable items such as fresh produce, dairy products, meat, seafood, pharmaceuticals, and other temperature-sensitive goods. Dry Van LTL is more suited to items that can withstand ambient temperatures, including packaged goods, electronics, furniture, and clothing.
  • Cost: Refrigerated LTL typically commands higher shipping costs due to the specialized equipment and technology involved. However, the added expense is justified by the ability to preserve the quality and safety of perishable goods, reducing the risk of spoilage or damage.
  • Market Demand: The growing demand for perishable foods, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products has fueled the expansion of the refrigerated LTL market. As industries seek reliable temperature-controlled transportation solutions, the demand for refrigerated LTL continues to rise. In contrast, dry van LTL remains a staple for general freight transportation, catering to many industries and product types.

The Food & Beverage Industry

Refrigerated LTL finds its stronghold in the food and beverage sector, dominating the reefer truck market. In an industry where logistics costs account for 7-10% of the total product cost, efficient and reliable temperature-controlled transportation is non-negotiable. With the rising demand for chilled and frozen foods due to the proliferation of quick-service restaurants and retail locations, the need for robust refrigerated logistics solutions has never been greater.

The Pharmaceutical Industry

Beyond just food, the pharmaceutical industry is another major benefactor of refrigerated LTL services. The United States leads the charge in drug development, with about 95% of new drugs entering the market originating from its laboratories. This reliance on pharmaceutical innovation necessitates stringent temperature-controlled logistics for medications and chemicals. Moreover, the recent global health crisis has amplified this need, with pharmaceutical companies increasingly relying on refrigerated shipping options to preserve and transport potential treatments for viral infections like COVID-19.

The Agricultural Industry

The agricultural sector forms yet another cornerstone of the refrigerated trucking industry. With the growth in agricultural products and increasing trade, there’s been a surge in reliance on refrigerated transportation. From fresh produce to dairy products, maintaining optimal temperatures during transit is essential to preserving the quality and safety of these perishable goods.

Refrigerated LTL Logistics | Synchrogistics  

Are you looking to streamline your refrigerated LTL logistics with a trusted partner? Synchrogistics offers tailored temperature-controlled solutions to ensure the integrity of your perishable goods. One of our services is LTL consolidations, where we efficiently combine multiple less-than-truckload shipments from different customers into one truckload. LTL consolidation not only maximizes the use of space but also reduces costs for all parties involved. By leveraging our expertise in LTL consolidations, we help you streamline your logistics operations, minimize transit times, and ultimately enhance the overall efficiency of your supply chain. Contact us today to learn more about how Synchrogistics can synchronize your logistics for success.

 


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