Posts in Update

Summer Shipping Mistakes

Temperature Sensitive Freight – 5 Summer Shipping Mistakes

June 16th, 2018 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “Temperature Sensitive Freight – 5 Summer Shipping Mistakes”

If you’re wondering where Spring went, so are we. It seemed like we transitioned straight from Winter to Summer this year.

No, we’re not just making small talk about the weather with you. We’re talking about a real problem here. We’re the temperature people, remember? The winter heated up rapidly and temperature-sensitive shipments are suffering because of it.

If you haven’t adjusted to summer shipping season yet, this is your friendly reminder to kick it into gear.

All too often, customers have contacted us after losing a load that was entirely preventable with seasonal preparation that went overlooked. Here are the five most common mistakes we see and how to avoid them.

 

Mistake #1

Waiting too long to secure capacity for seasonal mode conversions.

This can sneak up on folks who ship dry most of the year and switch to reefers in the summer for products requiring heat protection (i.e. organic snacks, chocolates, etc.).  It’s never too early to have a plan for ensuring you have trucks available. 2018 is seeing the highest reefer load-to-truck ratios in recent years; secure your capacity for the summer season as soon as possible.

 

DAT Trendlines on national reefer demand and capacity as of May 19, 2018.

 

Mistake #2

Assuming the carrier you hired will be hauling your freight.

For a shipper who is struggling to secure capacity, there’s temptation to take whatever is available, creating opportunity for the broker community. With these market conditions  you may run into carriers who combine loads or broker your shipment out multiple times. The last thing you want to find out is that your perishable foods–as an example–were shipped in the same trailer with a nonfood safe commodity (i.e. Industrial chemicals).

To prevent this, double check the language in your contracts to make sure your carrier obtains permission before brokering out your shipments.  This is especially important during peak seasons for food and beverages that have higher risk for temperature excursions in the heat. You should always be diligent when hiring carriers – especially when searching the spot market – to ensure you know exactly who will be hauling your freight in order to maintain control and visibility of your brand!

 

Mistake #3

Taking for granted the driver will keep the refrigerated unit running as required.

We love and appreciate truckload drivers, we really do.  However, like any profession, some don’t always play by the rules. It’s not uncommon for a driver to occasionally turn the refrigerated unit off to preserve fuel, then turn it back on before making delivery. With gas prices on the rise this practice becomes more and more common, especially during the summer.

Simple proactive steps can be taken to avoid this concern. Clearly define temperature requirements on your BOL, request an electronic log of trailer temperatures from the carrier for the entire trip, and/or you can even take matters into your own hands by including temperature recording device(s) in the payload.

Mistake #4

Not consulting with your LTL carrier partners about cross docking.

Your temperature sensitive commodities may be exposed to harsh heat when cross docked at terminals along the route. While this may be manageable during other seasons, the summer heat has no mercy.  It’s not uncommon for an ambient terminal to reach nearly 90 degrees in certain parts of the country.

Ask your carrier partners about the temperature conditions at terminals.  Collaborate with them to ensure a plan is in place to protect your load from temperature excursions. This is especially important for refrigerated LTL; ice cream should not be sitting on a refrigerated dock unprotected.

 

Crossdocking-Cold-Chain-Shipments-Best-Practices

Mistake #5

Shipping high value cargo on the weekends or holidays.

It might be tempting to get an order out by the end of the month and ship on weekends, but we encourage you to consider the risk of theft.

Because most facilities do not have weekend receiving hours, this results in your payload being parked for longer periods of time which increases the risk for cargo theft. Worse yet, if a theft does occur, trying to get all necessary parties connected on a weekend / holiday is far more challenging.  Another tip is to require the driver(s) to travel at least 300 miles before making their first stop.  Most cargo theft attempts take place within a shorter distance of its origin point.

Secure Cargo and Freight with Internal, Electric Locking System

Consider an electronic, internal locking system to prevent theft and tampering for high-value cargo.

With a bit of preparation, your peak season shipping schedule will run smoothly. Mitigate risk with temperature-sensitive shipments by taking action to avoid the mistakes we listed above. If this article caused more panic than comfort, rest assured that you can get back on track. Give us a call and we’ll help you out with our passive temperature protection expertise.

Cold Chain Council - Hear from industry leaders as they share insight on cold chain challenges

Food Logistics Magazine: Cold Chain Council Gears Up for 2018 Program

May 18th, 2018 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “Food Logistics Magazine: Cold Chain Council Gears Up for 2018 Program”
This article originally appeared in Food Logistics Magazine here. Written by Lara L. Sowinski.

In 2016, QProducts & Services launched the Cold Chain Council, an annual industry gathering comprised of various stakeholders–manufacturers, retailers, distributors, logistics providers, academics and others–to discuss challenges and bets practices related to the cold chain, both for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as the combined food and beverage industry.

 

Food Logistics has partnered with QProducts for the food and beverage event since its inception. This year, I worked closely with QProducts on the program and speakers, and will moderate during the event on Monday, June 25, in Chicago.

The format and venue for the Cold Chain Council fits the need for an intimate, one-day event where executives can interact, share best practices “and walk away with new opportunities to improve their cold chain,” explains Kevin Lynch, QProducts’ director of food and beverage. “The Cold Chain Council provides a valuable experience for professionals who might not have time on their calendar to attend multi-day conferences, or simply don’t have room in their budget to fund another industry event.”

The Cold Chain Council takes place over an afternoon in order to accommodate busy schedules, he adds. “Another distinction is limiting the number of attendees, which helps folks feel comfortable having a conversation and asking questions.”

Aside from limiting the number of attendees, their is no registration fee, and QProducts generously hosts a fun networking reception on the Chicago River following the event. “This allows attendees to continue conversations and form new relationships,” says Lynch.

Delivering Fresh Content

Last year’s Cold Chain Council boasted an all-star list of presenters, including executives from Walmart, C.H. Robinson, Minhas Craft Brewery, Reinhart Food Service and CN Rail. This year’s presenters and sessions also promise to inspire and engage attendees.

Dr. Mary Holcomb, professor of supply chain management at the University of Tennessee, will kick off the program with an overview of the current cold chain sector, particularly from a food and beverage transportation angle.

The next session is entitled, “Foresight is 20/20: How Technology is Being Used to Quantify Temperature Risk and Guide Accurate Transportation Decisions.” Matt Wensing, CEO of Riskpulse, will join several other panelists to explore how new software and tech tools can determine actual temperature risk, and how “knowing what’s ahead” is changing the game for shippers and transportation providers.

The third panel on distribution best practices brings together Terrence Bro, director of sales-for-hire cartage at SpartanNash; John Sommavilla, CEL of Shoreline Fruit; and other as they share information on optimizing transportation strategies and tactics in the food distribution sector.

The program concludes with “A Holistic Approach to Maintaining Cold Chain Integrity,” with panelists Don Durm, vice president, customer solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing; Melanie Nuce, senior vice president, corporate development, GS1 US; and Sherea Dillon, acting director of compliance with the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs, Chicago District.

Compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act will be a central theme of this final session, which will also include an exciting discussion on blockchain and how this technology can take visibility and compliance to new levels throughout the global food and beverage chain.

For more information, visit www.coldchaincouncil.com.

Refrigerated Truck Capacity Crunch

3 Strategies to Beat the Capacity Crunch

April 24th, 2018 Posted by Update 0 thoughts on “3 Strategies to Beat the Capacity Crunch”
Get this article’s downloadable infographic by clicking here.

Strategy 1: Ship with dry equipment

For every 8.2 loads, there’s only 1 refrigerated trailer available.*

The crunch on refrigerated capacity is already at a ratio of approximately 8:1 and it’s predicted to keep climbing throughout 2018. We’re here to show you how to solve your capacity concerns and save money by using dry equipment. By taking advantage of dry equipment on land, air or water, you’ll send on-time shipments while achieving unprecedented cost savings.**

Don’t worry –we’re not suggesting you play a gambling game with your temp-sensitive cargo! There are two ways to ensure thermal protection: one is active climate control and refrigeration (reefers) and another is pairing dry equipment with thermal covers to protect your freight (passive protection).

 

Strategy 2: Use passive temperature protection for FTL

Passive temperature protection uses thermal-dynamics to engineer advanced insulation material  for shipping containers, pallets, drums, and more. It captures the existing environment of the freight and maintains that temperature range throughout the delivery process.

CargoQuilt® is an example of a product using passive temperature protection. QProducts & Services engineered CargoQuilt® to fit snugly over loaded cargo and maintain hot or cold temperature up to 30 days.

Use of solutions like CargoQuilt can not only protect temperature and decrease cost, but they can also increase capacity. The CargoQuilt increases freight capacity at a ratio of 1:5 (refrigerated vs. dry equipment capacity ratio).

Strategy 3: Utilize monitoring tools to forecast temperature risk

If your supply chain hits a bump in the road (literally), flexibility is crucial for your load’s survival. Technologies such as Riskpulse that can quantify risk and, if necessary, allow you to respond to that risk in time. Riskpulse provides unsurpassed accuracy making important decisions like timing shipments, choosing insulation, loading cargo and more. It also provides route-based forecasts up to 10 days in advance so you can make those decisions with confidence.

 

*Based on DAT data from date of post, April 24.

**Cost savings based on proprietary customer data

 

We’re here to help you with your cold chain challenges! Contact a QProducts & Services specialist today.

[dt_button url=”https://qsales.com/contact-us/” style=”color-primary” size=”btn-lg” skin=”dark” target=”_self”]Contact Us[/dt_button]

A Little About Us

At QProducts & Services, we manufacture passive temperature protection products and cargo security solutions. We design and engineer cost-saving solutions for transporting temperature-sensitive commodities like thermal container blankets, pallet covers, ULD pallet quilts, drum/tote covers, insulated bags, and even electronic cargo locks.

Want All Our Updates?

Think of a question? Want to learn more?
Q Products & Services - Home of Thermal Shipping Products, Insulated Shipping Containers, Pallet Wraps, Thermal Blankets, Insulated Foil & More!

If you're searching for thermal shipping, insulated shipping containers, pallet wraps, thermal blankets, insulated foil, banana blankets, tote covers, drum covers, thermal blankets, shipping blankets, electronic cargo locks, or ice cream bags, you found all that and a whole lot more. We are fully committed to providing a passive thermal solution from top to bottom, nose to rear, of your temperature sensitive cargo.

Contact Us

3225 167th St Hazel Crest, IL 60429

© 2018 QProducts & Services