On-time performance is one of the most important metrics in the transportation industry. When shipments arrive late, companies lose money and jeopardize important partnerships. When it comes to temperature-controlled shipments, however, the stakes are even higher.

“Temperature-controlled is a completely different beast. It is over 100 degrees in the Southeast. Customers want to make sure there are no fluctuations in temperature,” said Frank Hurst, executive vice president of LTL at Echo Global Logistics.

Cold chain failures lead to the same profit losses and headaches as other supply chain mishaps, but on a much greater scale. For shippers, that means paying costly fees if products do not arrive to merchandisers by their must arrive by dates (MABD) or required arrival dates (RAD). The financial consequences of late deliveries are also compounded by potential chargebacks for damaged or unusable products. 

“The types of products we have going into big box retailers are expensive items. At the same time, they have a shelf life,” Hurst said. “If [shippers] don’t meet those RAD or MABD, they get the penalties and charges coming back to them.”

The consequences of cold chain failures are not limited to those felt by retailers and their transportation partners. Shelf-stable yet temperature-sensitive grocery items like confectionary products and cosmetics are some of the most common temperature-controlled items that move through the supply chain. Losses in these areas can have serious ripple effects. 

Food waste is a serious problem across the world. Globally, about 14% of food is wasted before it even reaches the end consumer, according to a 2022 United Nations report. This type of waste is not limited to spoiled meat or beat-up produce; it also includes damaged or late temp-sensitive pre-packaged foods headed for grocery and big box stores. This level of waste contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions and the ongoing hunger crisis, while simultaneously cutting into farmers’ bottom lines. 

Food is not the only temperature-dependent industry affected by upstream loss. The cosmetics and nutraceuticals industries are particularly predisposed to these types of losses due to the vulnerable nature of most make-up and wellness products. Merchandisers cannot sell melted lipsticks and disintegrated vitamins, leading to massive profit losses when temperature controls fail. 

Roadtex is dedicated to making temp-controlled logistics safer and more efficient for shippers and retailers alike. 

Roadtex is a well-known provider of temperature-controlled warehousing and LTL solutions. Echo Global Logistics acquired the company last summer, marrying Roadtex’s reputation for superior service and Echo’s standout technological suite to create a next-level temp-controlled solution for shippers. 

Roadtex boasts 32 terminals across the country, and it has a strong reputation for successfully working with retailers and mass merchandisers. In fact, Roadtex is one of the nation’s only providers of temp-controlled solutions with an on-time percentage of more than 98%.

Choosing temp-controlled transportation partners with proven track records is especially important during times of extreme weather, like the heat waves that have been making their way across the nation all month. 

Uncontrolled temperature fluctuations can easily knock a shipment out of compliance with important regulations, including those surrounding food and medication safety. This renders the products useless, leading to lost money, wasted resources and reputation hits. 

“Maintaining and partnering with a carrier like Roadtex provides service and peace of mind because, in temp-control, it is not just about the cost of the physical movement, it is about the carrying cost of inventory and potential charge-backs,” Hurst said. “When you factor all that in, our customers really want to partner with somebody that they know is going to make those must arrive by dates and has the breadth of capabilities we have in our warehousing solutions.”

Click here to learn more about temperature-controlled LTL.

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