Reefer shipping, or refrigerated shipping, is used to keep the shipped freight at a certain temperature or humidity. It is commonly used to ship food and beverage, but not exclusively. Reefer shipping works by attaching an AC unit to the trailer which is powered by the truck. This AC unit is able to keep the freight within a preset range of temperatures. Therefore, product ships without getting too hot or too cold. When offering refrigerated shipping for perishables, it is important to keep the lines of communication with the shipper open so they know their delivery is still fresh.
Temperature-controlled shipping has had a huge impact on the world and many of the things that we take for granted are possible because of it. Because of the important role that refrigerated shipping plays in the logistics industry, grocery stores can have fresh produce that was grown on the other side of the country or even on the other side of the world, regardless of the season. Additionally, refrigerated shipping for perishables has allowed for supermarkets and restaurants to cater to customer demand and needs. Lastly, it allows for modern medicine to be possible. In fact, one of the first uses of portable cooling units was to ship medical supplies during World War II.
History of Reefer Shipping and refrigerated units
Reefer shipping started on rails in 1851 by using a simple boxcar filled with ice. At first, this new technology was not ideal and would usually damage the freight one way or another. Even though the early attempts at refrigerated shipping was limited, it still allowed for new supply lines to open up. Freight could now be shipped and used in places that would have been previously impossible.
It was not until 1939 that proper refrigerated shipping of perishables was finally made possible thanks to Fred Jones. Fred was able to create a portable AC unit that could withstand all the vibrations of a moving semi-truck. The design was later adapted to fit into other delivery modes, which connected the world in a brand new way. Throughout the years more advancements were made to allow for more efficient and stable reefer shipping. Even in 2020, progress is still being made every day.
Refrigerated Shipping for perishables that are non-food
Food and beverage shipping was the driving force that led to the invention of temperature-controlled containers, but since its inception, it has been used in various other industries. As previously mentioned, reefer shipping was used during World War II for medicine and is still done so today. Reefer units retain the correct temperature, ensuring medicine remains viable throughout the delivery. Along with medicine, there are products such as paint, adhesives, and chemicals that need to stay within a very strict window of temperatures so that they do not spoil. Plants and flowers also require reefer shipping to maintain proper humidity and temperature until the shipment is complete.
In conclusion, reefer shipping transformed the world and has allowed people to enjoy foods that they would have otherwise never had access to. It has also allowed other industries to thrive and advance. Next time you are in a grocery store, just think about how this is all possible due to the invention of temperature-controlled shipping.