How to Compare Refrigerated Trucking Companies – National vs. Local Carriers

Semi Truck driving on a road through the mountains.

Businesses who ship food or any other kind of temperature-controlled product know it’s crucial to find a reliable refrigerated trucking company to haul its goods.

Evaluating reefer trucking companies can be a challenge, as they vary from large, national corporations to smaller, regional or family-owned companies. Learn how to compare the differences to help you select the right cold chain logistics company to ensure your perishable shipments arrive successfully every time.

How to Compare National Reefer Brands vs Local Carriers

Consider Your Company Size and Customization Needs

Large, national trucking companies primarily work with large accounts. They often don’t customize services to best fit the needs of small to midsize businesses.

If you are a small to midsize business, look for a regional trucking company that has refrigerated trucks and will work with you one-on-one to find the most efficient and economical logistics solution for your company.

Small to midsize businesses also often require flexibility in their shipments, whether its day-to-day shipping needs or due to seasonal surges. This may be difficult to gain from a large freight company focused on moving large amounts of products consistently.

Ask how quickly they can supply transportation for a last-minute request.

Take into Account Differences in Refrigerated Trailers and Loading/Unloading

Even though all refrigerated goods require a refrigerated trailer, there can be special requirements within the refrigeration and loading/unloading.

For example, the transportation of delicate refrigerated goods, such as flowers or produce, will require special arrangements within the trailer and loading/unloading to ensure they arrive safely. Shipping refrigerated pharmaceuticals requires following regulations on handling and recording while transporting meat and other perishables requires food-grade trailers that meet FDA requirements.

When comparing refrigerated trucking companies, ask about your specific load requirements, packaging arrangements and who will be handling your goods to minimize risks of a failed shipment.

Compare Customer Service and Visibility

Having real-time tracking and insight into your shipment is critical when it comes to shipping perishable goods.

Ask the carriers you are vetting about their tracking technology and visibility of a shipment’s location. Can you view the status and location of your shipment at any time? If you need to track down a truck, how easy is the process? Do you have an actual person you can quickly get on the phone when you have a critical need?

Superior customer service from a refrigerated trucking company is No. 1 when it comes to transporting perishable goods that must arrive as planned.

Leading Ohio-Based Refrigerated Trucking Company

At Classic Carriers, we are a family-owned, full-service logistics provider with locations in Versailles and Greenville, Ohio. We take great pride in our ability to adapt our resources to the needs of our customers whether they need a one-off run or dedicated shuttle fleet to handle all their logistics needs.

We provide dependable and timely transportation of refrigerated products throughout the 48 contiguous states and Canada. Our satisfied customers include food shippers – both fresh and frozen – medical equipment manufacturers, and more. 

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