Temperature Controlled

Deliver your refrigerated freight, on time and at the right temperature with C.H. Robinson

Speed to market is more essential than ever for temperature controlled freight, as delays in the timeline can cause profitable items to become worthless. A cold chain breakdown can lead to significant losses for companies. Shippers looking to create an efficient, effective cold chain must instill the importance of best practices to all involved parties, and take time to incorporate them internally.

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6 best practices for a strategic cold chain

  1. Establish standard operating procedures. Establishing the same standards across a supply chain can simplify the process, narrow the margin for error, and promote consistency. Procedures can include topics like proper packaging techniques, the process for late pickups or deliveries, and how to handle equipment problems.
  2. Share responsibility when loading and unloading. Transferring product from one location to another adds variables to the process that are often unmonitored. All observations should be carefully documented by both parties. Standardized forms and photographs can help keep this information clear, accurate, and organized for later review. Any exceptions noted during pickup can be critical to understanding the cause of problems that may arise before or during delivery.
    1. Confirm product temperature prior to loading. Shipments or pallets not properly cooled prior to loading may never reach the correct temperature while in transit.
    2. Inspect condition of equipment and position of vents (open or closed).
    3. Check for proper container air flow. Even if the product and vehicle meet all expectations, the way pallets are stacked—both how cases are stacked on a pallet as well as pallet positions within a trailer—can affect air flow.
  3. Determine capacity requirements. Transporting temperature sensitive goods comes with a unique set of factors to consider—especially when coordinating across multiple types of transportation. Strategic and innovative planning can create the advantages needed to build strong relationships with your transportation providers and more easily secure the right type of capacity, in the right lanes, at the right time, despite a fragmented market.
  4. Set clear expectations early in the process. Setting specific expectations can help minimize breaks in the cold chain and possibly make the difference between quality and spoiled goods. Before any loads are hauled, all key stakeholders—shippers, carriers, vendors, and provider must agree on expectations for each role. Every detail should be brought to the table—from acceptable temperature ranges and continuous temperature vs. cycle settings, to proper seals, contingency plans, and equipment expectations, as well as processes for returns and rejections.
  5. Secure the right expertise. Shippers who rely on trained, temperature controlled specialists are better able to set themselves apart from the competition and keep their freight secure from beginning to end. Look for specialists who recognize ways to balance unattractive load qualities (e.g., multi-pick, multi-stop loads) with more strategic initiatives (e.g., filling empty backhauls) so transportation providers and shippers can both benefit.
  6. Balance cost and technology. Shippers should consider the type of technology the provider offers, and recognize the importance of balancing cost effectiveness and technological advantages. More expensive or sensitive products may be worth the added expense of state of the art technology, whereas hardier products could be shipped for less with less monitoring.

Grow your business with Robinson Fresh

In addition to applying more than 110 years of specialized experience in transportation services and logistics, we have proven expertise in fresh produce. We work with growers in more than 36 countries around the world, so you can get the produce your customers demand, year round.

Whether you are a small family store or a large retail grocer, a local restaurant or franchisee, Robinson Fresh® has an abundance of fresh ideas and innovative solutions just for you. As one of the largest produce companies in the world, we work with our family of growers to bring you fruits and vegetables in peak condition, and deliver valuable resources and fresh ideas for your shoppers.

From customer insights and marketing support, to consumer trends and category and inventory management, you get solutions to help grow your business and meet consumers' ever-changing demands. Because your success in fresh is our business.

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