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Shipping in the Summer Heat

June 8, 2022 Kevin Baxter

Summer Melt

The summer season brings the heat that sends people retreating to pools, beaches, lakes and air conditioning to stay cool. Freight shipping in the summer also requires beating the heat – though dipping products in water is generally not recommended. While not every load is sensitive to hot conditions, many do require special measures to get to their destination fresh and undamaged. This includes items like produce, foods and beverages as well as medications, cosmetics and even batteries and electronics to name a few. To combat the summer heat, shipping these types of freight requires at the very least temperature-monitoring, with many products requiring temperature-controlled reefer transport.

How do you ship heat-sensitive items?

Shipping heat-sensitive items necessitates considering the temperature of the goods throughout the supply chain process. Some heat-sensitive products need to remain at a specific temperature every step of the way to prevent spoilage – requiring temperature-controlled transportation, while others can handle a little bit of heat without becoming compromised. The key steps to keep your goods good even through elevated temperatures include:

  • Know your products – be aware of the temperature requirements of the products you’re shipping
  • Plan your route – avoiding the most extreme temperatures whenever possible and ensuring the fastest possible transport to keep things fresh
  • Secure temperature-controlled transportation – reefers are available via any form of freight transport to offer a consistent temperature throughout shipment
  • Ensure a cold chain – beyond just temperature-controlled transportation, securing temperature-controlled storage so goods don’t go bad awaiting transfer
  • Monitor temperatures – ensure you know the temperature of the container or trailer your goods are using at all times, allowing you to make quick adjustments if necessary

Each of the above factors depends on the needs of the loads you’re shipping, but all are worth considering as you execute your shipping strategy and plan for capacity needs.

What is a hot shot in freight?

While some may think of summer heat when hearing the term “hot shot” in freight, a better corollary is the game “hot potato.” As in, hot shot freight - or hotshot freight for those who prefer eschewing the space - refers to smaller, typically LTL (less than truckload) loads that are extremely time sensitive, both at origin and destination. In other words, a hot shot load is an opportunity that comes up with little or no notice, often requiring pickup and delivery on the same day.

And who transports a hotshot load? Hot shot truckers, who are often owner-operators who get hot shot opportunities via load boards. These hot shot drivers stand at the ready to drop everything and take on a job that may be a short distance, but could also take them across the country. The type of truck used for hot shot freight varies, but a common choice is a medium duty, one-ton pickup that can haul a pretty substantial trailer. Hot shot freight is just about anything needed urgently, like construction materials, vehicles, medical equipment and more.

Keeping your heat-sensitive loads at the right temperature throughout the shipping process is vital. And here at InTek Freight & Logistics, we can help with intermodal and over-the-road (OTR) reefer options. Need something delivered yesterday? We can help with that, too. Tell us about yourself and we'll discuss a plan for your temperature-controlled and/or expedited shipping needs. 

Learn more about freight and logistics - and what we do at InTek - in our Learning Center. Or you can start with a few of the links below: 

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