Stay Cool. Best Practices for Refrigerated Cargo


Below are some tips of the trade when dealing with refrigerated cargo:

  • Does the trailer need to be pre-chilled? A reefer unit only maintains temperature; it is not designed to lower the temperature. If you put refrigerated product in a reefer trailer with an ambient temperature of 90 degrees, you are going to have a problem. 
  • Record the temperature of the product on the shipping documents at time of receipt.
  • Know the susceptibility of the product to temperature damage. 
  • Put into your rules tariff that the temperature recorder will be prima facie evidence whether or not the temperature has been maintained. 

Refrigerated Vehicles Pre-loading Checklist

  • Refrigeration unit operating properly?
  • Thermostat calibrated?
  • Refrigeration air chutes and ducts properly installed and in good repair?
  • Door seals in good condition?
  • Door seals tightly when closed?
  • Walls free of cracks and holes?
  • Front bulkhead installed?
  • Floor drains open?
  • Inside of vehicle clean and odor free?
  • Floor grooves free of debris?
  • Inside height, width, and length adequate for load?
  • Load braces and other devices available to secure load?
  • Is the vehicle trailer pre-cooled (or pre-warmed)?

Refrigerated Trailers

For optimum transport temperature management, refrigerated trailers need insulation, a high-capacity refrigeration unit and fan, and an air delivery duct.

The checklist (above) includes these and other desired features in a top-air delivery trailer.

For more information on temperature sensitive loads, contact a Great West Casualty Company safety representative. 

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