It's been just over a month since temperature-controlled intermodal provider Tiger Cool Express abruptly shut down. But shippers whose freight requires a temp-controlled environment still need to move their products, so where do they turn? While Tiger Cool Express is not moving its own approximately 700 53-foot refrigerated intermodal containers, shippers do still have options in the intermodal space - with reliable capacity and service available throughout North America.
What Happened to Tiger Cool Express?
According to several reports, Tiger Cool Express suddenly ceased operations on Tuesday, June 13. The reasons outlined are all financial in nature: "the refrigerated freight market collapsed;" "the private equity group that owned the company pulled its funding;" "the company missed payments on its loans;" "the company over-expanded." While no official acknowledgement came out in the days or weeks following the reported shutdown, an employee did tell FreightWaves that staff were fired during a Zoom meeting that same day.
And more recently, a source told the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business that Tiger Cool has not, in fact, declared bankruptcy or liquidated, but due to declining volumes decided it was "more profitable to park the equipment" than handle loads that lose an "immense" amount of money. However Tiger Cool's status is categorized and regardless of a drop in shipping volume, plenty of food, beverage and other temperature-controlled products still must move, so where should shippers turn?
How a Non-Asset 3PL Can Help
A third-party logistics provider (3PL), particularly a non-asset provider with railroad ties - as in an intermodal marketing company (IMC) - can step in to fill the temp-controlled shipping void without any added stress for the shipper. That's because the right 3PL can mix and match both intermodal and truckload reefer solutions to fit the needs of the shipper, adjusting on the fly to the whims of the market.
For context, see what Tiger Cool Express touted as the advantages of working with them for refrigerated intermodal (on their no longer live website):
Time-definite service capabilities
Sustainable capacity in key markets
Superior fuel efficiency vs. OTR (over-the-road)
Single point of contact customer service
Product integrity and protection in transit
The right 3PL experienced in food and beverage freight using temp-control can offer these advantages as well. For instance, here at InTek, we also offer single point of contact customer service committed to providing the best solution and open communication. And leveraging our direct relationships with Class I Railroads, we can take advantage of the scheduling and fuel efficiency capabilities of intermodal.
Plus, we use the latest technology to monitor loads' location, temperature and more, ensuring we know where products are and their condition throughout the journey. The topper to all this, is that Tiger Cool Express customers were limited to intermodal as their only freight mode. However, at InTek along with other 3PLs, clients can also take advantage of truckload when it's more practical or better priced.
Still reeling from the sudden Tiger Cool Express closure? Or are you just now finding out that intermodal offers reliable temperature-controlled options? Either way, we can help. Drop us a line and we'll work on temperature-controlled solutions that work for you. For more information about InTek, or logistics and supply chain issues in general, check out our Freight Guides.