Perishable goods include fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, frozen foods, and dairy products. But today’s refrigeration system is also called as reefers. It keeps other high-value loads at ideal temperatures and humidity levels so they arrive safely at their final destinations.
The cold chains have broadened and promoted by regulations and economics. More loads than normal require proper climate control handling, including following:
- Pharmaceuticals. Drugs such as insulin and the seasonal flu vaccine must be shipped and stored at temperatures between 35˚F and 46˚F to prevent spoilage and contamination.
- Tobacco products. High valued tobacco items such as cigarettes, cigars require strictly controlled temperature levels to preserve freshness and quality.
- Fine art and antiques. Art, antiques, collectible vehicles, and other valuable items are shipped and maintain proper temperature to control humidity. These items often stored in 70˚F and travel long distances.
- Personal care products. Cosmetics, perfumes, and other personal care products also require the adequate temperature to be maintained in trailers so that the possibility of spoilage is decreased during the journey from factory to warehouse to store. For example, lipstick can easily melt unless proper trailer temperatures are maintained.
- Chemicals and engineered materials. The climate control system helps reduce the chance of a chemical reaction that could result in a fire or explosion or affect the load’s quality.
Today’s transportation refrigeration systems are more efficient, reliable, and flexible than those built even one decade ago. Now refrigeration systems enable fleet managers to set the temperature, airflow, and operating mode that are most appropriate for the load they are carrying. Fleet managers also have the option to choose temperature and humidity settings for different zones to match load requirements.
Fleet managers also have the option of installing a redundant refrigeration system to improve road safety and security. It ensures optimum environmental conditions are maintained, even if the primary refrigeration unit fails. Ultrasonic fuel sensor technology is another advancement in refrigerated trucks that provides timely, accurate information on refrigeration unit fuel levels.
Smart reefer controls enable fleet managers to monitor truck and trailer fleet remotely from central locations. Fleet managers also able to monitor environmental conditions inside every trailer during fleet using cellular communication technologies. It ensures that prescribed load conditions are being maintained.
Load safety and security can also be improved through technologies such as geofencing, which alerts the driver and fleet manager if a truck or trailer is moved outside a prescribed area before its scheduled departure time.
In addition, today’s refrigeration systems are more energy-efficient and environmentally responsible than ever. Most of the truckers use non-ozone-depleting refrigerants in their trucks and run on a five-percent biodiesel blend. They are 10 to 20 percent more fuel-efficient than previous units.