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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Refrigerated Trucks: An Essential to the Cold Chain Industry



A refrigerated truck is one of the main equipment needed so the flow of the cold supply chain will not be broken.  It is design to carry perishable goods.  It is also used to help extend and ensure the shelf life of products such as blood, confectionaries, fresh agricultural produce, seafood, frozen foods, photographic films, chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs.

According to Ehow.com, “A reefer truck is a truck or van usually 1 ton or larger that has a refrigerated unit built either directly on the frame or is transported by trailer. It's refrigerated by diesel-powered generators and liquid carbon dioxide, or CO2. Reefer trucks range from simple ice cream trucks to large containers carrying perishable goods across the country.

Refrigerated trucks are used by companies who are in the cold chain industry like ice cream, frozen meats, canned products, confectionaries, seafood, fruits and vegetables.  They used this kind of truck in order to maintain the temperature and maintain the freshness of the products.  In this way, the consumer will get or buy the products as fresh as it were harvested.

A refrigerated truck mainly composes of an insulated refrigerated body, a truck cooling system and a truck’s cab and chassis.  A proper insulated body and a powerful cooling system is the key for a better distribution of perishable goods.  Bad truck refrigeration may rotten your products.

For example, a truck body with low insulating capacity may let heat to enter the body and destroy your products.  On the cold chain industry, heat is the main enemy.  If you let heat touch your products, then you are accepting your loss. 

According to Wisegeek.com, “Many different types of products may require the use of refrigerated trucking. The most common need for refrigerated trucking is in the transport of agricultural products that tend to spoil or decompose easily, such as fruits or vegetables. Of course, frozen foods also require refrigeration and usually the same units that can be used to refrigerate can also be used to freeze. Some types of photo processing equipment may also require being kept within a certain temperature range, the maximum of which would likely be exceeded by traditional trucking.

Generally, refrigeration units are made to withstand the rigors of commercial shipping so all normal loading and unloading methods are possible. This includes using forklifts and pallet trucks. Some refrigeration units have grooved floors so that airflow is not hindered by freight sitting on the floor. Therefore, some loading equipment with smaller wheels may be ineffective as those wheels could get caught in those grooves. These grooves are generally less than two inches (approximately five cm) wide.

The cost of refrigerated trucking is often higher than traditional trucking, but this is mainly because of the special equipment and added expense associated with the maintenance and upkeep of that equipment. Further, fewer refrigeration units are available at any given time, and less supply mean higher prices.

As a conclusion, refrigerated trucks are really essential on the cold chain industry.  It is the best way to transport goods that maintains the freshness of the product from harvest to fork.

Coolaire Consolidated, Inc. is the Philippines’ top supplier of refrigerated truck bodies, truck cooling system and refrigerated containers.

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