The trucking industry plays a crucial role in our food supply chain. According to some estimates, grocery store shelves would be largely empty within three days if trucks suddenly stopped running.
But it’s more than just making sure that stores and restaurants stay stocked, motor carriers are responsible for ensuring that food is transported safely – and for perishable products that means maintaining the proper temperatures in refrigerated trailers (reefers).
Failure to maintain the correct temperatures during a journey can result in spoiled and dangerous food, rejected loads and lost revenue. That’s why being able to accurately find the temperature of a reefer trailer is so important.
How Do You Find the Temperature of a Reefer Trailer?
The Food Safety Modernization Act requires shippers and carriers to “agree to a temperature monitoring mechanism for shipments of food that require temperature control for safety.” In the past, finding the temperature of a reefer trailer was largely a manual process carried out by the driver. More and more, however, carriers are turning to technology to make reefer temperature monitoring more precise and efficient.
Here are some of the ways that carriers are using technology to find the temperature of a reefer trailer.
Temperature sensors are the cornerstone to modern reefer monitoring. They eliminate the need for costly, time-consuming manual temperature checks and, instead, facilitate real-time, remote reefer temperature monitoring. Door sensors, reefer fuel sensors and others also provide data crucial to ensuring the integrity of the cold chain while perishable products are in transit.
Carriers must also ensure that specific products within a reefer are kept at the correct temperature. This may involve drivers periodically using a probe thermometer to take product temperature readings manually and recording the data in a logbook. However, advanced reefer solutions are available that use sensors, artificial intelligence and algorithms to constantly and accurately predict the core temperature of products, eliminating the risk of human error or intentional manipulation. This data can be monitored remotely in real time.
A key component of remote monitoring of reefer trailers and the products in them is the ability to set automatic temperature alerts. Automatic alerts inform the appropriate personnel that there is a temperature issue (or a problem with the reefer unit itself) so they can act before a load is lost. Such action may entail contacting the driver directly to fix the problem or using two-way reefer controls to address the issue remotely.
Being able to accurately find the temperature of a reefer trailer is crucial to transporting food safely. Implementing advanced reefer monitoring technology can help carriers ensure that proper temperatures are maintained, reducing rejected loads, avoiding revenue loss and protecting their reputations.