Finding a reliable refrigerated transport company can be quite difficult. More often than not, you will be looking for a company that can structure its services to address your business needs. Below is an excerpt discussing the considerations to make when choosing a refrigerated transport company.
Your immediate concern should be the company's ability to transport your items without any damage or spoiling. As such, inquire about the following:
- What items do you transport? Ideally, the company should transport similar products. For example, if you intend to transport poultry products, you are better off working with a company that transports meats as opposed to one that transports pharmaceuticals.
- What is your client base? Contact some of their customers and inquire if they are satisfied with the company's services.
- What is the experience of company staff? Ideally, they should be qualified to handle perishables. Company accreditations and recognitions by renowned bodies are a guarantee of quality services.
- What areas does the company cover? It will give you an idea of whether the company can pick goods from your location and move them to your preferred destination.
You should also examine the company's cold chain practices. For instance, what vehicles will they use to move your products? Refrigerated transport vehicles must be in perfect mechanical condition. If they break down, the products in transit could spoil. When transporting less than truckload (LTL) goods, check whether the company's trucks have compartments. It prevents your items from getting into contact with products from other customers.
Assess the company's product preparation and monitoring techniques. For example, the refrigerated truck should be cleaned with disinfectants after every trip. Besides, products should be cleaned and well-packed before transport. During transport, the company staff should monitor the products in transit. If the truck makes regular stops, the temperatures should be adjusted to compensate for lost temperatures.
It would also be wise to check the company's terms and conditions. For instance, they should insure the items in transit. Besides, the company should offer cold chain services such as cold storage, last-mile delivery and bonded warehouses. In some cases, the company can link you up with a market for your products.
Check the company's pricing. Most companies will charge per mile. However, you could incur extra fees if your products require specialised handling or if the destination is out of the company's operating area. Ideally, the company should adjust its prices to suit changing business conditions.
When hiring a refrigerated transport company, assess the company expertise, cold chain practices, product preparation, monitoring strategies and the terms of engagement.