Reefer freight, short for refrigerated freight, is a method of transport used when the goods being shipped need to be kept refrigerated or frozen. The temperature of the shipping container cannot rise above a predefined limit in order to preserve the quality of the shipment.

Reefer freight is commonly used to transport food commodities such as produce, fruit, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy, but it can also be used to ship temperature sensitive goods like medication.

Planning a reefer freight shipment

Research the items you are shipping and determine the specific temperature range that must be maintained in order to prevent spoilage. Remember that reefer shipments must be kept at temperature not only in transit, but also while being loaded and unloaded. Package your shipment to make this process fast and efficient.

Familiarize yourself with the specific dimensions of the reefer container, because it may not be standard capacity due to refrigeration equipment and added insulation. Do not calculate capacity by the length of the container alone.

How to Choose a Service Provider for Reefer Freight

  • Ensure that you can contact the service provider while your shipment is in transit.
  • Inquire about the service provider’s experience with reefer freight, and specifically about their experience in transporting your type of shipment.
  • Communicate all the details about your reefer shipment, and double check for accuracy.
  • Ask about the maintenance and monitoring programs they have in place, disinfection procedures, and what backup plans are in place in case the upper limit is reached for your reefer freight.

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Jim Bramlett

General Manager, LTL Freight at uShip
Jim brings over 36 years of logistics and transportation leadership experience to uShip, where he is general manager of LTL freight. In his role, Jim leads uShip’s strategy development, deployment and sales initiatives to connect LTL carriers directly with shippers through the efficient uShip platform. Before joining uShip, Jim was COO of SmartFreightWare, a transportation management software (TMS) developer. At SmartFreightWare, Jim was responsible for implementing solutions that delivered efficiency for shippers to eliminate time and costs. Jim spent 12 years with Yellow Freight System where he was responsible for developing new services, leading the development of their international services and managing customer segmentation. Jim successfully helped transition Yellow from a pure LTL company to one offering expedited and guaranteed services. Jim has seven years of experience leading third-party logistics companies including Yellow Logistics Services and later founded, an early adopter of the Internet as a platform to engage customers and providers.

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