Refrigerated LTL Shipping Trends

In the wake of COVID-19, life, and business as we know them have changed. This has affected nearly every aspect of commerce, and that includes making major waves through the shipping and logistics industries.

In particular, Refrigerated LTL shipping (Less Than Truckload) has been impacted in a number of ways owing to the unique demands created by this global crisis. Here is what you need to know.

New Refrigerated LTL Shipping Trends

In general, the refrigerated trucking market across the US and Canada has been expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 4% between 2019 and 2025. This growth has been observed over the last year.

Part of the reason for this is an increased demand for preserved food. There is an increasing need for preserving perishable foods and other items, which has allows the refrigerated trucking market to thrive. We have seen a growth in refrigerated warehouse capacities across the US and Canada, which has boosted the logistics industries in these areas.

This does not just include foods but also pharmaceuticals and medications which very often need to be treated extremely carefully and kept at precise temperatures. Time and temperature are both vital factors in the transportation of these goods.

The Impact of COVID-19

One of the big trends we are likely to see in the sector is an increased focus on pharmaceutical products. This was a growth area prior to COVID-19 and is only likely to increase as awareness is raised for the importance of vaccines, treatments, and preparedness in general.

Biological materials will also fall into this category, which must be transported at cryogenic temperatures below 150 degrees Celsius. Companies hoping to capitalize on these business opportunities must adapt to provide these services and must find ways to guarantee these conditions ton their clients.

Temperature controlled trucks will become increasingly common.

Also important for this reason is precise logistics, tracking, and inventory. This is something that has been pressure tested to extreme degrees during the Coronavirus outbreak!

This has been true of the industry as a whole. Logistics, as a broader industry has been placed under extraordinary pressure as travel, has been limited and as more and more people have been confined to their homes. This means that more people than ever before have turned to online delivery options.

Moreover, stockpiling activities led to many grocers and stores running short on supplies. All this resulted in a huge surge in shipments. Shipping and trucking companies had to adapt and meet the huge demand with increasingly sophisticated systems that could manage such large volumes of time-sensitive orders.

The Future of Refrigerated LTL Shipping

Of course, these changes will interplay with changes that were already making their way into the industry. For instance, increased awareness of global warming and environmental issues has led to an increased emphasis on efficiency. Companies need to employ the same precise tracking and smart loading of trucks in order to keep emissions down. We are likely to see this enforced by more local governments and by companies looking to work with conscientious partners.

This will likely result in an increase in the number of solar-powered refrigeration units, which will also provide a more consistent power supply that can help to put clients’ minds at ease.

We are seeing an increase in the number of frozen foods, as well as organic foods. Again, following the COVID-19 outbreak, more demand is likely to be placed on frozen foods as people are extra cautious and more prone to stockpiling for “worst-case scenarios.”

What all this should have taught us most of us, is that you can never be complacent. No matter what industry you are in, unforeseen circumstances can transform the way a business operates and the amount of demand overnight. The smartest companies have contingency plans ready to deal with any such change and to ride any tide.

This recent crisis will force businesses to become more adaptable, more efficient, and more resilient. This is a lesson that we all should carry forward and keep in mind. We need to be ready to work smarter and to leverage modern technology to handle any circumstances.

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