The Best Ways to Select a Refrigerated and Frozen Shipping Partner

Discover the Best Practices for Finding a Temperature Controlled Transportation Provider

A temperature controlled freight partner can save your company thousands of dollars and headaches. Cold chain logistics come with several challenges: time sensitivity, food safety, and product integrity. Your frozen or refrigerated food business is stocking the nation’s grocery shelves and supplying our favorite restaurants; your shipments must arrive on time, damage free, at the right quantity and temperature. That is why the cold chain experts at RLS Logistics have compiled this list of temperature controlled freight best practices to help you select a freight brokerage partner that will simplify your logistics process.

Do Your Research on a Freight Brokerage Company

The first step is to research logistics and supply chain companies and the freight they specialize in. This will weed out shipping providers that do not fit your unique needs. Freight brokerage companies can specialize in several different kinds of cargo. Examples include bulk tanker, flatbed freight, dry van freight, box truck freight, etc. Each type of freight has its place in the marketplace. However, you would not want to ship frozen foods with a company specializing in shipping automobile parts.

Don’t Hire Unreliable Freight Brokers

Do not trust your freight with someone just because they say they are a freight broker; you do not want to fall victim to a scam. There are vital questions to consider before booking freight with a broker that will give your company peace of mind that your load is covered and in good hands.

Key considerations to ask your freight broker:

  • What is your on time pick up and delivery percentage?
  • Will I have a dedicated representative? Is there an after hours contact?
  • What is your process for qualifying carriers?
  • What is your process for handling claims?
  • How much does your cargo insurance cover? In what instances does the insurance cover my freight?
  • Are you a licensed freight broker?
  • Can you send me referrals from verified customers?
  • What is your Net Promoter Score?
  • Do you have a customer platform? What are your technology capabilities?

These considerations can help you decipher if a freight broker is the real deal and if they have the proof to back their service claims. Choosing an unreliable carrier can lead to problems such as lack of communication and accountability, stolen and damaged products, late shipments, and misshipments. Refrigerated and frozen freight is valuable; the wrong freight partner can be costly to your bottom line and your brand’s reputation.

“RLS is very dependable and does what they say they are going to do. They always remain flexible towards unforeseen changes and look for solutions, not problems,” RLS cold storage and freight brokerage frozen baked goods customer. 

Do Make Sure Your Freight is Covered in Peak Seasons

We know the logistics industry is highly volatile and you need a trusted frozen and refrigerated freight broker. Expect the unexpected. Having a dependable freight brokerage partner will never have you guessing, “is my freight covered?” Contracted carriers are great for consistent lanes, but the refrigerated freight market has peak seasons and special projects that need coverage outside of your normal needs. Peak shipping seasons include produce season, 4th quarter holiday season, and depending on your product, seasonality plays a big part in your shipping schedule. The right brokerage partner will have unlimited capacity to make sure all your shipments are covered, no matter the time of year.

More than 90% of carriers have fleets of six or fewer trucks. If your regular carrier is at capacity, that can leave you in a bind when you have special shipments that stray away from your regular freight schedule and leaves no room to scale into larger operations. Freight brokerage companies garner relationships with thousands of vetted carriers. These relationships are necessary to keep America’s shelves stocked and ensure your freight is always covered.

Don’t Select a 3PL Shipping Provider on Cost Alone

Unfortunately, working with the lowest cost provider means compromising on quality and performance. Like any other purchase, you get what you pay for. The quintessential freight brokerage partner is flexible, transparent, and communicative. They have the necessary technology to provide shipment tracking, data, and performance metrics. When you select a provider based on price alone, you run the risk of paying for it in the long run through poor customer service and no innovation. The cold chain is the wrong place for a 3PL company that is cutting corners to make up for its low price point because it can be the difference between your success – or failure.

RLS Logistics, a New Jersey logistics company, specializes in cold chain storage, transportation, and fulfillment. We have handled frozen and refrigerated food customers’ supply chains for over 50 years. RLS Logistics delivers to the nation’s top retailers, such as consolidation programs to Walmart, C&S, Publix, and many others. A 3PL warehouse company that provides services in your specific industry understands the ins and outs of your goals and the challenges you face as a shipper, sometimes before you even realize it yourself. With over 50 years of experience, our proven processes ensure refrigerated and frozen foods are stored and transported on time, at the right temperature, and in good condition to each destination.

RLS freight brokerage provides top of the line service nationwide and a state of the art customer platform to track performance. Our customers benefit from 24/7 access to our team of cold chain experts, food safety focused operations that protect their brand, and access to a robust data driven customer platform at all times Our customer platform anello provides customers with real time KPI tracking and data that will help drive better business decisions. You will never have to sacrifice innovation, flexibility, transparency, and communication with RLS as your trusted transportation provider.

Reach out to our cold chain experts to discuss your temperature controlled shipping needs; get your freight covered today by a Top 3PL.

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