Protect from Freeze During This Weekend’s Storm

January 18th, 2019 Posted by Intermodal, Over the Road, Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “Protect from Freeze During This Weekend’s Storm”

This weekend is the beginning of a multi-week cold front sweeping across the Midwest and Northeastern USA. Between today and January 31st, temperatures will reach 10-15°F lower than normal winter lows and will cause high-impact icing on major lanes. By understanding this new weather pattern, you can decrease freeze risk this weekend and in the future.

According to the Riskpulse® Chief Meteorologist, Jon Davis, this weekend’s snow storm will have a “major impact—likely the kind we will be talking about for years to come.”

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 4.20.04 PM

The storm will begin today (Friday) and will continue until Monday. Its power will intensify as it crosses the country from West to East. The Northeastern region will experience the most impact with snow totaling 8-10 inches in major cities like Boston and New York. In addition to the snowfall, an Arctic Cold will move in behind the storm causing high winds and icing. By Monday, the storm is expected to subside.

 

The impact of the storm includes high-impact icing events through the East Coast, starting near Harrisonburg and moving north toward Eastern Massachusetts. With a half-inch of ice, lane closures are to be expected over the weekend. Roads will likely begin to reopen between Monday and Tuesday as the storm impact wears off.

Northeastern Lanes Impacted

Most lane closures are expected to occur during the day Sunday into early-Monday.

Snow

I-90: 511 high risk miles
I-95: 415 high risk miles
I-81: 365 high risk miles
I-80: 302 high risk miles

Ice

I-95: 286 high risk miles
I-81: 249 high risk miles
I-80 80 high risk miles
I-90: 67 high risk miles

Midwest Region

After this weekend’s storm, another is expected to move through the Midwest/Great Lakes region on Tuesday, January 22. The metro areas of Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Buffalo will be the most impacted by snow, Artic Cold and the Lake Effect. Periodic conditions of heavy snowfall are expected through February.

This weekend’s ice storm strength will compare to these top 8 Northeast US Ice Storms.

How to Avoid Freeze

While rerouting shipments in response to these weather conditions is encouraged, a more proactive approach is recommended for long-lasting operational efficiency. A proactive strategy includes two key elements: (1) Identification of high-risk events at least one week before they occur and (2) the ability to decrease overall risk-level of products on live shipments.

 

(1) Identify High-Risk Events

Artificial Intelligence software has made the cold chain smarter and safer than ever. Now, high-risk weather events can be forecasted up to 14 days in advance with Sunrise by Riskpulse. The technology assesses the impact on specific lanes and, due to the severity of risk, assigns a “Risk Score” to that lane. Equipped with quantitative data, your team can respond to storms (like the one this weekend) up to two weeks prior.

 

(2) Decrease the Threat

Unfortunately, damage to perishable commodities can occur at any point along the route, even with AI software like Sunrise. Some of the most common temperature excursions are due to reefer power outages, waiting at terminals, and cross-docking—all are periods where active temperature control is not turned “on”. By utilizing passive temperature protection, such as thermal container liners or insulated pallet covers, overall risk is decreased during transition periods. In fact, our proprietary CargoQuilt® provides freeze protection for CRT and 2-8°C commodities in extreme conditions, including this 14-day shipment enduring -20°C temperatures.

Home of Thermal Shipping Products, Insulated Shipping Containers, Pallet Wraps, Thermal Blankets, Insulated Foil & More!
Passive Temperature Protection products, like thermal blankets, insulated pallet covers, and container liners, can protect from freeze. QProducts & Services has a portfolio including dozens cold chain products customized for over 140 lane-specific scenarios.

Freaking Out?

If you’re scrambling to protect shipments during this multi-week cold front, we recommend speaking with Riskpulse to receive your lane-specific risk score. When your results come back, you’ll be equipped with accurate data to make operational decisions. In the case your lanes are deemed high-risk, passive thermal protection can keep your temperature sensitive commodities in spec (CRT/ Ambient and 2-8°C) for extended periods of time—even when shipping dry.

 

Get this winter’s full weather report by listening to the entire Riskpulse webinar Winter Storm and Article Cold Update here.

Cargo Containers in an ocean port

Making the Switch from Air to Ocean

September 18th, 2018 Posted by Air, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Temperature Protection, Transportation 0 thoughts on “Making the Switch from Air to Ocean”

Value of Thermal Blankets Verified as an Integral Part of the Transition from Air to Ocean

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.

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TFormance on Pallet

TFormance™ has arrived- A high tech new insulation from QPS!

December 14th, 2017 Posted by Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “TFormance™ has arrived- A high tech new insulation from QPS!”

Q Products Facility in Hazel Crest, IL

QProducts Stitches Together the American Dream

October 26th, 2017 Posted by Manufacturing 0 thoughts on “QProducts Stitches Together the American Dream”

As published by Food Logistics Magazine: http://www.sdcexec.com/article/12352370/q-products-stich-together-the-american-dream

BY AMY WUNDERLIN ON SEP 11, 2017

Stitched with love may sound a bit farfetched coming from a manufacturer, but for QProducts & Services (QPS) nothing could be truer. QPS manufacturers passive thermal protection products, which protect temperature sensitive commodities in transit for the pharmaceutical, food, beverage and chemical markets.

Their most popular passive thermal protection products include PalletQuilts, CargoQuilts and ThermaPaks, which are all produced at a recently renovated facility near Chicago, Illinois. Part of the 20-plus companies parented by family-owned LANCO International, most recognized for Mi-Jack Products, QPS is proud of its rich American history.

“To us it’s more than a quilt. We’re giving temperature protection to industries that need solutions to better retain product freshness. Plus, these products are quality-made in the United States by skilled employees,” says Paul Yadron, vice president of sales at QPS.

Adds Kevin Lynch, director of sales, food and beverage, at QPS, “Jack Lanigan Sr. made manufacturing a top priority when he founded the company in the early nineties. He believed that if we were going to put our name on something, we should control how that product is produced. That was really important to him.”

And because QPS manufactures everything in house, they do have total control—start to finish—and with that, the flexibility to offer customized solutions for their customers. Backed by the strength of LANCO International, they have ample resources to react quickly and sustain future growth.

Yadron believes you control your own destiny in manufacturing, and maintaining every aspect of their supply chain locally —from sourcing to shipping—plays a large role in providing a quality product for QPS customers. “People like seeing our product is made in facilities that are pristine, and that quality controls are consistent,” he adds.

Lynch notes that QPS customers also like knowing they can visit and see the products and understand firsthand how they are manufactured.

Automation Is Not the Enemy

QPS continues to develop cost saving solutions for transporting temperature sensitive commodities every day, with a game-changing line of new proprietary passive thermal protection products set to hit the market later this year. The manufacturer also has expanded its product line to include innovative internal trailer smart locks and wireless temperature monitoring technologies—but it’s bread and butter remains its handmade quilts.

Consumer demand for fresh perishable goods, which often comes with temperature sensitivity and regulatory pressure due to the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), has created a growing demand for the products QPS offers. And with that growing demand, came room for improvement.

About three years ago QPS invested in automation with state-of-the-art sewing machines to boost efficiency. Automation can be a scary word to skilled laborers, but once QPS employees understood the need for automation, they quickly got on board.

“Adding automation in the flow of manufacturing really improved operations and the wellbeing of our employees,” Yadron explains. “Once employees understood the need for automation because the company was growing, they were excited because it meant more job security.”

And not only has QPS’ growth provided more job security, it continues to create more job opportunities. The company has grown from just under 30 employees to more than 70 in the last few years.

“The machines increased efficiency so much that we needed our industrial sewers more than ever,” Yadron says. “There is a skill level to the industrial sewer that is irreplaceable.”

Manufacturing today may not be what it was 20 to 30 years ago, but it still exists in American communities like the one QPS
calls home.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our manufacturing process, and while manufacturing has changed over the
years, it is still here, providing great jobs,” Yadron says.

“Yes, there’s automation; yes, there’s new ways of doing things. But it’s to improve the process and provide jobs,” he adds. “It’s important our customers know we can react quickly to meet their needs, and automation combined with skilled employees, gives us the ability to exceed expectations.”

Home Grown Opportunity

Manufacturing state side can come with its challenges, but QPS only sees opportunity. “Our business is growing because the passive thermal protection industry has seen more acceptance amongst shippers, carriers and logistics providers as an alternative option to secure product integrity,” Yadron says.

And above all else, U.S.-based manufacturing means creating jobs in the community and giving people opportunities close to home.

“Manufacturing is alive and well in the south suburbs of Chicago, providing jobs, producing quality products and ingrained in the community and its continued growth,” adds Yadron.

CargoQuilt® protects from both heat and cold, as well as other environmental hazards.

CargoQuilt® Wraps Up Additional Savings For Shippers

August 28th, 2017 Posted by Food & Beverage, Over the Road, Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “CargoQuilt® Wraps Up Additional Savings For Shippers”

As published in Food Logistics Magazine: http://www.foodlogistics.com/article/11598291/cargoquilt-wraps-up-additional-savings-for-shippers

ARTICLE AUG 27, 2014

Kevin Lynch, National Account Manager at Q Products & Services’ (QPS), a manufacturer of insulated blankets, confirms that capacity issues in the trucking sector, particularly for OTRrefrigerated, are extremely tight.

“Our customers and prospects both are telling us when it comes to capacity for OTR refrigerated, it’s just not there,” he says. To make matters worse, most OTR refrigerated carriers do not have immediate plans to invest in new equipment to add capacity either, says Lynch.

QPS manufactures passive temperature protection products, including the Multi-Trip CargoQuilt, the flagship product in their quilt fleet, which covers an entire or partial load of freight enclosed in a trailer or container, for either domestic or international shipments. The CargoQuilt protects against freezing, heat and condensation damage.

While it is a relatively simple product, its ability to save money for shippers who covert their OTR refrigerated shipments to intermodal dry shipments is impressive. Furthermore, it gives shippers added flexibility by allowing them to use temperature-controlled equipment only when they really need it.

“It’s a win-win for shippers, because not only is there capacity on intermodal, but it’s a more cost effective compared to OTR,” says Lynch. Once shippers begin using the insulated blankets and understand how well they perform, they start looking elsewhere in their supply chain for opportunities to use insulated blankets, Lynch adds.

Logistics Podcast

Podcast: Staying Relevant, Staying Innovative in the Food/Bev Supply Chain

June 6th, 2017 Posted by Food & Beverage, Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “Podcast: Staying Relevant, Staying Innovative in the Food/Bev Supply Chain”

Our Director of Sales for our Food and Beverage market, Kevin Lynch, joined the panel of this webinar by Food Logistics on staying relevant in the supply chain. Listen Here!

“How do companies stay relevant and innovative in today’s supply chain? Kevin Lynch, director of food and beverage at Q Products & Services, talks about those issues and how strategic partnerships and collaboration play a critical role in staying on the leading edge, which ultimately supports customers’ initiatives and business goals.”

Power In-Lock® is a patented, electronic internal locking system to prevent cargo theft

Cargo Theft is a Critical Issue to Food and Beverage Industry

December 16th, 2016 Posted by Food & Beverage, Technology 0 thoughts on “Cargo Theft is a Critical Issue to Food and Beverage Industry”

As published in Food Logistics Magazine: http://www.foodlogistics.com/article/12281779/cargo-theft-is-a-critical-issue-to-food-and-beverage-industry

BY KAREN E. THUERMER ON DEC 16, 2016

Cargo theft is not limited to high-value commodities such as electronics. According to CargoNet, food and beverage was the most stolen commodity in the United States last year.

Meanwhile, FreightWatch International (FWI), a subsidiary of Sensitech Inc, estimates the average value of stolen food and drink shipments between 3Q 2014 – 2Q 2016 was $86,149 with seafood being the highest valued sub-category at nearly $200,000. The most targeted sub-category was meats at slightly below $100,000. FWI reports that food and drink shipments remain the most stolen commodity domestically with 23 percent of thefts from June – August 2016. Of those thefts, 77 percent were FTL (full truck loads) and 15 percent FPU (fictitious pickups).

The future of cargo theft in the food and beverage sector is unclear since time of year, economy, and accessibility all factor into what cargo criminals look for as a target. Nevertheless, the FWI Supply Chain Intelligence Center continues to observe and report on any particular product, or commodity that starts to become a trending target in cargo theft incidents across the United States. FWI indicates that the food and beverage supply chain is particularly vulnerable because 99.99 percent of companies in the industry do not institute a layered security program in their transportation and logistics operations.

“Aside from the nut growers in California, little has been done to combat the problem,” FWI says.

In order to protect themselves from cargo theft, companies must pay high insurance premiums. According to TT Club, a top insurance provider, theft is the number three reason for a claim. By outfitting trailers with tracking devices that make it possible to detect cargo theft and recover stolen assets, companies reduce premiums.

“Cargo theft is a customer service failure as it undermines a carrier’s ability to meet service expectations,” remarks Lina Paerez, product marketing manager, ORBCOMM. “Cargo theft can permanently damage a company’s reputation. When a shipper loses a load due to theft, it disrupts the distribution cycles. If carriers can’t provide a safe work environment for their drivers, it can lead to poor driver retention.”

Real Time Monitoring

FWI maintains that assisted-GPS covert tracking technology embedded in cargo is the preeminent force multiplier with respect to combating in-transit cargo theft. Electronic Freight Security (EFS) programs offer a solution as they provide real-time, end-to-end monitoring of cargo shipments through embedded track­ing technology. EFS also allows a shipper to maintain full visibility of the cargo for the duration of the shipment.

“As a complete virtual escort, this low-cost solution removes the vulnerabilities associated with human-based escorts, while significantly increasing the chances of recovery in the unfortunate event of a theft,” FWI states.

Proper EFS programs include pre-determined routes with immediate escalation protocols to ensure maximum compliance and security of the driver and cargo. Compliance to security protocols is critical. Immediate response and resolution to non-compliance incidents reduces opportunities for theft.

FWI got its start developing EFS technology to enable monitoring, reporting and recovery of high-value shipments in transit between manufacturing warehouses and delivery sites for cargo security. Its technology delivers real-time location, status and condition data as well as critical activity alerts that harden the supply chain and mitigate the risk of cargo theft.         “Aluminum containers and cargo holds represent some of the most challenging environments for GPS devices,” FWI officials state. “FWI manufactured devices optimize leading location-based services and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology that works in impaired settings where other GPS devices do not.”

The latest FWI Single-Use GEO Tracker is at the forefront in tracking technology. This tracker takes the complexity out of cargo tracking by offering convenience and simplicity—eliminating the organization and management of tracking equipment.

Telematics devices can track the location and status of transport assets for complete fleet visibility. “Operators receive alerts when a problem is detected: a trailer makes an unplanned stop, deviates from its route or leaves a geofence,” Paerez explains. “This enables dispatch to react to problems quickly. When cargo is stolen, tracking devices make it possible to track the trailer for quick recovery.”

Trailer tracking devices are becoming smaller and more inconspicuous, which makes them harder for thieves to spot and identify. Such systems now support mobile applications, which allow operators and drivers to monitor status and manage alerts from anywhere.

“Devices are also becoming increasingly sophisticated. They are quicker and easier to install and they require almost no maintenance or battery changes—solar powered devices can report for anywhere from 5 to 10 years with no intervention and little sun exposure,” Paerez adds.

Trailer Breach

Trailer breach (unauthorized door opening) or load tampering is another problem. A trailer tracking solution that incorporates cargo and door sensors and delivers notifications/reports when a trailer is loaded or unloaded and when a door opens or closes can help carriers to detect theft early.

“A comprehensive system can also include cargo sensing technology that reports on load status—vibration, light, temperature, humidity, shock, etc.—which makes it possible for carriers to detect cargo tampering as it occurs,” Paerez says.

“A common way to identify a valuable target is when external devices are securing the doors,” states Scott Borsodi, director of business development, at Q Products and Services (QPS), creator of the Power In-Lock cargo security system. This system locks the trailer from inside, making it out of sight and out of reach of thieves or anyone attempting to gain unauthorized access.

“Our doors are locked electronically from our Jackson, Miss. headquarters as soon as the trailer is loaded,” explains Chris Wood, spokesman for KLLM Transport Services.

The locking mechanism is centrally controlled from KLLM’s corporate dispatch through telematics. Once the lock is activated, the door cannot be opened until the trailer reaches its destination. Drivers only have the capability to unlock the trailer through the use of a one-time code entered on a keypad attached to the trailer. This keypad communicates with the internal lock through radio frequency and is only utilized in the event the satellite signal is disrupted.  The corporate dispatcher must provide the one time code to the driver. This prevents any type of collusion between the driver and an outside source from gaining access to the product within the trailer. The doors have sensors that document opening and closings and also indicate whether the trailer was locked or unlocked.

“Even in the event the external padlock and the shipper seal have been breached, we can demonstrate the trailer doors were never opened and satisfy the shipper’s and receiver’s quality control team that the product has remained safe during transit thereby avoiding a claim,” Wood remarks.

Q Products’ Borsodi stresses that Power In-Lock buys time in deterring theft. “Most thieves will give up if they can’t access the cargo within a minute or two,” he says. “By mounting a security solution on the inside of a container or trailer door, the thief doesn’t know what’s preventing the doors from opening. The internal feature is what makes our solution so unique.”

The importance of being able to prove a shipment was not tampered with cannot be understated. “A tampered shipment can be far more detrimental to a business than a few pallets getting stolen,” Borsodi states “Companies who intend to sustain a reputable brand simply can’t afford to take the risk of partnering with a carrier that is unable to help them comply with regulations,” states Borsodi.

Imminent regulations, specifically the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), are probably the largest contributors forcing change, as shippers must be more diligent in selecting their transportation providers. As a result many shippers are taking a zero tolerance position as it relates to a trailer breach. Shippers are presenting transportation agreements to carriers that basically allow the shipper to claim the carrier for the entire shipment rather than being required to inspect the product and prove damages. Coinciding, transportation providers are employing reliable cargo security solutions when investing in new equipment and modern communication tools.

“Quite frankly, they have to if they want to haul their customer’s freight,” Borsodi says. “A common perception with regard to regulations is that they present challenges and increase operating costs. In reality, and speaking on behalf of some of our customers, when the proper technology is utilized it can exploit the weak links in the supply chain. As a result, they have realized cost savings by reducing shrink, cargo theft and minimizing supply chain disruptions.”

Karen E. Thuermer is an Alexandria, Virginia-based journalist who has been writing about logistics for several decades.

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.

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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.

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