The search for a reliable refrigerated transport company is often fraught with overwhelming options, and those seeking the service tend to make the task more difficult by their approach. Companies err when only considering the quotes presented, instead of weighing everything included in the price. It’s vital to note not all refrigerated carriers provide the same safety standards, level of service and dependability; three factors key to ensuring your valuable freight arrives intact and on time.
So how does one dig deeper than the price point when finding a refrigerated trucking partner? The following five attributes should all be taken into consideration:
Specialized Expertise and Services
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains tight restrictions on how several types of cargo can be transported. An example is dairy and other perishable products that must be kept at specific temperatures. Their limited shelf-life requires they be shipped in specific vehicles and under tight schedules.
The transportation of food requires specific expertise that not all companies are equipped to handle. Beyond the extra logistics required for moving from point A to point B, the trucking company must also be versed in the nuances and legal issues inherent in delivering food.
As an experienced refrigerated transport company, Xtreme Trucking offers specialized services specific to food grade transport.
A Commitment to Cleanliness and Safety
The importance of health and cleanliness has never been more prominent in society than right now. This is even more true in the food industry, which demands that goods be handled with impeccable sanitary standards during transport.
A potential partner in the transportation industry should meet all necessary health and safety regulations for both your location and the type of freight you need to move. Furthermore, a quality refrigerated transport company will be fully transparent about its food safety standards and protocols with any potential customer.
It’s important to consider the equipment a refrigerated transport company will use to transport your goods. If possible, a visit to the company’s headquarters can help you determine if the operation meets the standards you require.
A fleet lacking proper maintenance is bound to end up sustaining costly delays. The issue’s importance is even more heightened when the shipment is perishable food. Faulty refrigeration equipment, for example, could spoil an entire shipment. And even if insurance reimburses the loss, the delay encountered does harm to your reputation and to your customer’s supply.
Also consider how your freight needs to be loaded before departure. If contained on pallets, a fork lift (or similar equipment) will be needed to fill the truck. If your company ships loose freight, your carrier of choice will need more manpower to accommodate your needs. Without the right staff in place, you could be on the hook to pay more to compensate for the additional time it takes to load your goods.
Ask about load requirements, too, as some refrigerated transport companies only allow full-size loads.
A Focus on the Customer Experience
As is the case in many industries, trucking places high value on communication and efficiency. Those attributes are often lost if a transport partner lacks superior service standards. You must consider if your freight can be tracked during delivery and if the company’s customer service and dispatch teams are available whenever questions arise.
Consider what the experience of the partnership would be like, and have any concerns addressed before taking the plunge. If you encounter staff or drivers that act in an unprofessional manner, it’s safe to assume their actions will be similar upon delivering your goods. This, due to no fault of your own, could put your own reputation at risk.
A Record of Reliability
The importance of your freight demands that the refrigerated transport company you choose has a reputation of reliability.
Do your due diligence:
- Read through online reviews (Google, Facebook, etc.)
- Seek out testimonials and case histories
- Compare food grade carriers’ websites and social media pages
Several types of publicly-available records can also add to your informed decision. A company’s Department of Transportation record will include its compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) score. These records will indicate any unsafe driving, vehicle maintenance, or driver fitness violations. Any such incident encountered while your delivery is on the road could lead to a costly delay. It’s also important to know how a company’s CSA score is calculated because minor issues should not necessarily rule out a potential refrigerated trucking partner.
Choosing a reliable trucking company will ultimately make your job easier. When your freight is in the right hands, you can focus on running and growing your business without having to worry about your goods getting to their destination safely. Take the time to make the right decision!
If your current refrigerated transportation partner is stuck revving in neutral, contact Xtreme Trucking today!
About Xtreme Trucking
Owner Travis Nelson founded Xtreme Trucking in 2007 with just one truck and a leased refrigerated trailer. Since then, it’s emerged as one of the most progressive and fastest-growing carriers in the Midwest. With decades of experience behind the wheel and running logistics, the Xtreme Team can handle ANY load a customer needs shipped. Long haul, dry van or refrigerated transportation are all within the company’s repertoire. Headquartered in Maribel, WI, Xtreme Trucking partners with almost every major shipper in the refrigerated truck field, including many well-known household brands.