Refrigerated Trucks

Definition of Refrigerated Transport Services

Refrigerated or Cool trucks are the Logistical solution to the transportation of perishable, cold and frozen goods as well as floral, certain fruits and pharmaceutical goods. In other words any product that must be transported at low temperatures in order to ensure the freshness of the product. 


Cold or Refrigerated trucks uses fuel cells to power refrigeration units of refrigerated trailers. The refrigeration units used in cold transport trailers are typically powered by small diesel engines which use non-renewable fuel and releases greenhouse gasses. When your product needs to be shipped at a specific temperature, you can definitely not limit your options because of the risk factor. You need a wide variety of integrated, temperature controlled transport and shipping solutions. Temperatures inside refrigerated trucks must be carefully monitored. The Companies we have chosen for you are the leaders in their field. They have the proper equipment and can provide complete solutions regarding tracking, monitoring and controlling refrigerated trucks, trailers and Containers. 

History of Refrigerated Transport 

The transportation of perishable goods started in the early 1840’s. It was primarily seafood and dairy products that needed to be transported. The first refrigerated railroad car was patented by J.B Sutherland of Detroit Michigan in 1867. He designed an insulated car with ice bunkers in each end of the railroad car by gravity and convection. The air was controlled by using flaps that created movement in the air and lowered the temperature. The first refrigerated railroad car was designed to transport fresh fruit and was built in 1867 by Parker Earle, who shipped strawberries via the Illinois central railroad. Each chest contained a hundred pounds of ice and two hundred quarts of strawberries. After the end of the American civil war Chicago Illinois emerged as a major railway center for the distribution of livestock raised on the plains. This livestock was transported to Eastern markets. This required the animals to be herded up to 1900km to the railroads in Kansas City Missouri, where they were then loaded in to specialized stock cars and transported live (on-the-hoof) for Regional processing centers. Herding and driving these animals across the plains over such a vast distance caused tremendous weight loss in these animals and there were many fatalities on route. Upon arriving at the local processing facility, livestock were both slaughtered and delivered fresh to nearby wholesalers and butcher shops or they were smoked or packed in barrels of salt for shipment.

This was a very costly way of transporting these animals by rail, particularly because of the fact that plus minus sixty percent of the animals was inedible. Meat packer Gustaf Swift desperately seaked a way to ship dressed meats from his Chicago packing plant to Eastern markets. Detroit’s William Davis patented a refrigerator car fitted with metal racks inside the car to suspend the carcasses above a frozen mixture of salt and ice. With this patent however loads had the tendency to swing to one side and when the car entered a curve at high speed causing the car to sway. The use of these units were discontinued after several derailments. In 1878 Swift hired an engineer Andrew Chase to design a ventilated car that was well insulated, and positioned ice in a compartment at the top of the car, allowing chilled air to flow naturally downwards.

The meat was packed tightly at the bottom of the car to keep the center of gravity low and to prevent the cargo from shifting. This turned out to be a very practical solution allowing them to ship their products across the United States and Internationally. In the 1870’s the lack of practical means to transport refrigerated peaches, limited Samuel Rumph, a peach grower in Georgia’s distribution area. In 1875 he invented a refrigerated railcar and crates that allowed him to grow peaches on a very large scale and ship them to distant markets. He was the first to achieve this. It was not until 1949 that a refrigerated system began to develop in the transport and trucking industry. By using a trailer roof mounting device, which was invented by Frederick M Jones. He patented an automatic refrigeration system for trucks and railroad cars, which eliminated the risk of food spoilage on long trips. 

In closing

Refrigerated transport has come a long way and now has the technology to accommodate your every need. Standard refrigerated transport is often utilized for goods with a less than 14 day refrigerated shelf life. This includes avocados, cut flowers, green leafy vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, meat products, mushrooms, peaches, nectarines, pineapples, papayas, sweet tomatoes, cherries and strawberries. Express refrigerated trucks, also commonly known as “Reefers” are also typically employed to transport human blood, certain pharmaceutical products as well as dairy products.

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