Keep it Cool: Using Telematics and Temperature Monitoring to Manage Your Refrigerated Fleet

As dependence on refrigerated trucking grows, your fleet needs to be prepared for the demand being projected by industry experts.

Weather has a major impact on the trucking and logistics industry. While telematics may not be able to control the weather, it can help fleet managers have more control over their drivers as well as their cargo. A recent photo by a Wyoming woman, showing bare shelves in the produce section at a local Wal-Mart Store, reveals how much the world depends on truck drivers for the essentials. The woman, LaRae Davis, wrote: “This is because truckers have been stranded all along I-80 for days, unable to deliver the goods, due to weather. This is the beginning of what it would look like if the truckers stopped trucking.”  When these types of setbacks occur in the refrigerated trucking industry, having reliable technology that will help you monitor your cargo is crucial. 

Using telematics technology for temperature monitored fleets is an investment that protects your cargo and keeps you proactive in managing your fleet. Telematics can help reefer managers to: 

  • Turn refrigerated trucks on or off.
  • Reset alarms.
  • Make changes to the set point in a compartment.
  • Makes changes to the reefers status or mode.
  • Schedule and run trips.
  • Defrost the reefer.
  • Perform manufacturer commands.

Climate-Controlled Trucking Industry Outlook

Temperature controlled trucking is undergoing a major industry increase in profit. Fleets that use refrigerated trailers are fundamental to the agriculture, food and beverage industry. According to research firm Markets, Inc., the global cold chain market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% from 2018 to 2023, to reach a value of $293 billion by the end of that period. This means that there will be room for expansion for companies currently operating in the market as well as opportunities for new brands to flourish. 

Products like pharmaceuticals, frozen food, fruits, vegetables, meat, beef, cosmetics, flowers and other temperature-sensitive products are high-demand products largely transported via the commercial refrigerated trucking industry. It is projected that demand will continuously see growth over the next few years. According to Hexa Research: demand from the pharmaceutical industry is expected to see growth at a compound annual growth rate of more than 6.0% from 2017 to 2025. From transporting patient’s medications to carrying the bulk of the food supply, reefers are a staple in American commercial industry.

Temperature Monitoring for Refrigerated Fleets

When managing a fleet that uses refrigerated trailers, your clients expect a higher level of dedication and care for their cargo. The way to ensure that you are delivering on these expectations is by using reliable technology to manage your fleet. Your telematics solutions for your reefer fleet should be able to:

  • Provide reefer location and data on most recent trips.
  • Control real-time, supply, return, and ambient air temperatures; including multi-compartment reefers with varying temperature settings
  • Control real-time engine and operating hours.
  • Control real-time reefer manufacturer alarms.

On many routes, frequent stops and opening and closing trailer doors can compromise the freshness of the cargo. Refrigerated trucking supports the fresh produce section of most major stores. Having tools that help you to provide consistent proof of the journey taken by this type of sensitive cargo can make a major difference in the way that you handle your business. In the event that there is an issue with the temperature within a reefer outfitted with telematics equipment, there is the opportunity to mitigate the issue before the cargo is compromised. Without telematics software to track your refrigerated fleet, you could lose business or even clients.

Tools that Help You Deliver Dependability

When working in temperature controlled trucking, you need accurate readings of your cargo holds and vehicle locations. Using telematics hardware can also help track your drivers to make your routes more efficiently driven. These tools give you the foundation necessary for accountability with your clients while you transport their cargo. Here are a few benefits of using telematics to responsibly manage your refrigerated fleet:

  • Avoid compliance fines.
  • Improved time-sensitive management of cargo.
  • Get accurate records on driver and vehicle behavior.
  • Receive tamper proof data on routes in case needed for official or legal use.
  • Provides access to driver locations and ETAs. 
  • Enables automated tracking, which allows you to dispute claims regarding on-time delivery.
  • The FMCSA estimates that a driver saves an average of 20 hours per year using telematics software over paper logs.
  • Telematics can help expedite inspections by standardizing Hours of Service data, eliminating recording errors and automating the compliance process – all of which helps get drivers get back on the road faster.

As dependence on refrigerated trucking grows, your fleet needs to be prepared for the demand being projected by industry experts. Using electronic telematics to monitor temperatures and track drivers in real-time is the best position for your fleet to be in. Whether you manage a large or small fleet of refrigerated trucks, adding quality telematics technology to support it will keep your brand consistently growing and expanding.

Get more information on using telematics to manage your refrigerated fleet by speaking with one of our expert Fleet Advisors.