Navigating Temperature Shipping: Your Essential Guide


Refrigerated truckload shipping, commonly known as reefer shipping, operates within the broader truckload market but with unique complexities. Whether you’re an experienced dry van carrier venturing into the world of temperature-controlled shipping or a shipper seeking to broaden your knowledge, understanding the fundamentals of reefer transportation is crucial. This comprehensive guide addresses ten fundamental questions to provide a solid foundation in refrigerated truckload shipping.


  1. What is a Reefer Trailer?
    Reefer trailers, short for refrigerated truckload trailers, are insulated trailers equipped with a refrigeration unit in the front (nose) designed to maintain specific temperature conditions for cargo.


  2. How Does It Differ from a Dry Van Trailer?
    While similar in appearance to standard dry van trailers, reefer trailers feature metal or fiberglass walls, ceilings, and floors to enhance insulation. They are heavier due to construction materials and refrigeration units, with a maximum loadable weight typically capped lower than dry van trailers.


  3. What Freight is Shipped in Refrigerated Trailers?
    Reefer trailers transport a wide range of products vulnerable to temperature fluctuations, including perishable foods, pharmaceuticals, hazardous materials, bulk liquids, flowers, and more. They can also be used to protect temperature-sensitive items from freezing during winter


  4. How Does a Reefer Trailer Operate?
    Refrigerated trailers maintain cargo temperature by removing heat from the air inside rather than adding cold air. Key components include the evaporator coil, compressor, and small diesel engine, working together to circulate chilled air throughout the trailer.


  5. What is Cycle vs. Continuous Air?
    Refrigeration units can operate in cycles or continuously, affecting temperature control and diesel consumption. Continuous cooling is often required for heat-generating products like ripening produce, ensuring a steady stream of cool air to maintain consistent temperatures.


  6. What is an Air Chute and Its Importance?
    Air chutes, or trailer chutes, are flexible air ducts connected to the refrigeration unit, distributing chilled air evenly throughout the trailer. They prevent issues like top-freezing, hot spots, and short-cycling, ensuring uniform temperatures and product integrity


  7. Do Different Commodities Have Specific Requirements?
    Refrigerated shipping demands vary across commodities. Understanding unique requirements, such as pre-cooling procedures for ice cream or immediate cooling for sweet corn, is essential to safeguard product quality and integrity.


  8. How Does Produce Season Affect the Market?
    Produce season significantly impacts the reefer market, driving increased demand and rates. Timely delivery is critical to prevent spoilage, prompting carriers to allocate resources strategically and adjust pricing strategies.


  9. What is the Impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) ?
    FSMA regulations impose requirements on refrigerated transportation to ensure food safety. Compliance involves maintaining temperature records, proper training, and adherence to sanitation standards outlined by the FDA.


  10. What is a Reefer Trailer Download?
    A reefer trailer download refers to the ability to retrieve temperature data from the trailer, ensuring compliance with FSMA regulations. It serves as a critical tool for monitoring product integrity and resolving disputes.

Ready to ship your temperature-sensitive cargo? Request a refrigerated freight quote with Basjumpr today to access reliable and efficient refrigerated transportation solutions tailored to your needs. Our experienced team is here to support you every step of the way, ensuring your goods reach their destination safely and on time.

Refrigerated truckload shipping, commonly known as reefer shipping, operates within the broader truckload market but with unique complexities.

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