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Food shipping: All about reefers

Food shipping: All about reefers

Did you know that March is Frozen Food Month? This month, we admire the innovation of freezing our food and shipping it all over to offer a broad variety of food products across the globe.

The only way that this is even possible is through refrigerated trucking and shipping. Carriers who haul reefer trailers deliver products to our shelves that we know and love. Let’s take a look into the world of shipping freight with a reefer trailer.


Advanced farm-to-market shipping

The term “reefer” in shipping refers to refrigerated containers or vans used to transport perishable commodities. Most reefers carry food products and are somewhere along the chain from the farm to the grocery stores.

Refrigerated trailers first came around in the 1920s as an alternative to intermodal systems. Fred Jones invented the first portable air-cooling unit so that trucks could then carry perishable foods. He went on to create products that preserved blood, medicine, and food during World War II.

Tech-driven efficiency

These reefer vans can temperature controls to accommodate to specific temperatures deemed necessary from each load. There are even reefer containers that are loaded onto ocean freighters and shipped overseas.

Now, we can eat food in our own city that is grown in a variety of specific regions of the world.

As you can imagine, there is a range of challenges in shipping refrigerated goods. For instance, products like tomatoes and potatoes need changes in temperature through shipment to maintain freshness. Fruits and vegetables need reduced levels of humidity, and all products need to be prepped and monitored for contamination.

Innovations in freight technology have allowed a high level of control for these reefer trailers. By using our award-winning TMS, freight can be tracked through the app with real-time visibility. For sensitive shipments like food products, time is of the utmost importance.

Better transport means better food

Studies show that vegetables lose between 15% and 77% of their nutrients within a week of harvest. Taking that information and using the Shipwell app to lock in efficient lanes with load visibility can decrease transport times and increase the number of nutrients we get to benefit from.


Shipwell works with hundreds of reefer carriers every day to move sensitive products across the nation. If you’re shipping sensitive products that require refrigeration, leverage Shipwell’s massive carrier network to get your product moving fast.