what is a reefer truck

Auto 101: What Is a Reefer Truck?

Long distance freight trucking is a $195-billion industry in the United States. With demand for shipping services still high, experts say this value will only grow in the years to come. In fact, they expect truck-hauled freight to grow 3.4% this 2018.


Expert Auto Repair Tip: Take it from someone who knows...Having the online repair manual is a life-saver when it comes to DIY auto repair and maintenance. Whether you are working on a Ford, BMW, Dodge, or something more exotic; we probably have the manual you need.

Find Your Online Car Repair Manual Today! ->>


One reason for this growth is the cold chain market. In 2015, the North American cold chain sector was a $62.37-billion industry. Globally, it’s expected to hit the $447.50-billion mark come 2025.

Reefer trucks are big players in all this. Without them, the temperature-controlled supply chain won’t even be possible.

The question you’re likely asking now is, “What is a reefer truck?” What exactly does it have to do with the cold chain?

That’s what we’ll discuss in this post. So, keep reading to learn all about these trucks – they may just be what your business needs.

So, What is a Reefer Truck?

Let’s straighten things out once and for all. Reefer trucks aren’t transportation for cannabis cigarettes. Nor are they trucks used by pickpockets.

The word “reefer” in the freight world refers to vehicles with refrigerators. So, to answer the question, “What is a reefer unit,” it refers to any mode of refrigerated transportation. As such, they can be vans, trucks, trailers, or freight containers.

The Roles Reefer Trucks Play in the Cold Chain Market

Cold chain is the supply chain dependent on controlled temperatures. So yes, that includes the food and beverage sector, as well as pharmaceuticals. Reefer trucks make it possible to ensure product freshness, safety, and non-contamination.

This is especially true today, with more consumers opting for healthier, fresher produce.

There are the Millennials, for instance, making up 27% of the U.S. population. Their preference for convenience and affordability influence their buying behaviors. The cold chain gives them the best of both worlds.

Through reefers, food suppliers can keep their products fresh. They can sell these products right away, eliminating the need for long-term refrigeration.

This then reduces suppliers’ or sellers’ overhead expenses. As such, they can afford to lower the prices of their offers.

For consumers, this means constant access to fresh and healthy food options. The lower prices also meet their needs for affordability. As a result, they tend to stick with the stores that provide them both.

As you can see, it’s like hitting multiple birds with one stone. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. It’s much thanks to reefers that make the cold chain process possible.

Functions that Go Beyond the Food and Beverage Transportation

But fresh and frozen foods and medicines aren’t the only goods reefers move. They’re the only fit transportation means for human organs. That means they’re crucial to saving the lives of people who need organ transplants!

Reefers even have a function in the art world.

To maintain the integrity of expensive fine art pieces, they need controlled temperature. When exposed to environmental elements, their ink, paint, canvas, or paper can degrade. That’s why refrigerated units are necessary to transport them from point A to point B.

Without reefers, art collectors and suppliers risk ending up with worthless art pieces.

In a nutshell, it’s all thanks to the technology behind reefer trucks that the cold chain supply can exist. If not for them, there’s no way to transport temperature-sensitive goods. That’s how vital reefers are in today’s many industries.

Reefer Trucks Keep Products in Compliance with Safety Regulations

Reefer trucking services, such as this company, prevent the spoilage of temp-sensitive products. Their reefer units allow them to transport these goods in the fastest, safest way. Safest, because the controlled temperature in the truck preserves the products’ integrity.

Speaking of product integrity, there are stringent laws surrounding this topic. There’s the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (SFT Rule) for starters.

Everyone covered by this rule needs to use specific vehicles and transportation equipment. One requirement is the use of temperature-controlled vehicles. In other words, vehicles that can maintain temperatures needed for safe food transportation.

This is where reefer trucks and trailers come into play.

Their refrigerated components allow users to adjust the temperature based on needs. They can set it to just above or below freezing point. This adjustability allows them to transport various products with different temperature needs.

As you can see, reefers are more than simple modes of product transportation. They are vital to ensuring the safety and integrity of temperature-sensitive goods.

Of course, they also work on behalf of consumers from all over the country. Reefer trucking services provide the safest way for them to get their purchases. These specialized vehicles assure them their orders are safe, intact, and uncontaminated.

Will Your Business Benefit from These Trucks?

There are so many businesses that depend on these refrigerated units. There are the food establishments or restaurants, for starters. If you supply ingredients to these places, it’s best you switch to these trucks.

The same goes true for businesses that supply similar goods to groceries and markets. Pharmaceutical companies also require a temp-controlled environment for certain medications.

These are only a few examples of where reefer trucks are in high demand. If you’re going to start a business that deals in such, consider reefer transport services.

Choosing the Right Reefer Trucking Company

Choosing a reefer transport service is much like choosing an auto transport company. You want to make sure that the company has a clean record of guaranteed safe and on-time delivery. This is even more important with temp-sensitive products.

Go for a company using multi-temperature systems. Why? Because not all goods have the same temperature sensitivity.

For example, the temperature should be within 32 to 35 F to preserve cool-season crops. Whereas for warm-season crops, 45 to 55 F is the optimal temperature. Anything lower than 32 will injure these crops.

Anything higher than 35 F for cool-season crops can lead to faster spoilage though. But that doesn’t mean you can store the warm-season ones together with the cold ones. The too low temp can injure the warm-season produce.

This said, you can already see how multi-temp reefers can prevent damage to goods. They have different compartments for items with specific temperature sensitivities. This then allows them to transport multiple goods with varying temp-controlled environments.

Invest in the Best Reefer Trucking Services to Stay Legally-Compliant

Now that you know what is a reefer truck, you already have an idea whether it’s suited for your business. The important thing is to ensure you choose a reputable reefer trucking service. Work with a company that makes good on their claims, especially when it comes to timely delivery.

This’ll ensure you stay on the law’s good side, while also making certain you keep your clients happy.

If you’re looking for more automotive buying tips, look no further. We’ve got more of these in our blog, so feel free to browse and read them!