The top three challenges shippers of temperature-sensitive loads face are capacity, controlling/monitoring product temperature, and cost containment, according to the 2012 Temperature-Controlled Transportation Report from RWI Transportation.
Based in Wilder, Ky., RWI is a transportation logistics company specializing in temperature-controlled perishable loads, including fresh produce.
The annual report is based on an Internet survey that was sent to more than 9,300 people in North America who make or influence decisions regarding temperature-controlled shipping. Of those responding, 17% identified themselves as being fresh produce shippers.
To meet capacity challenges, 27% of respondents said they found new carrier, and 22% said they worked on improving their planning. Another 13% said they signed long-term contracts or commitments with carriers.
About two-thirds of respondents, 65%, reported shipment rejections because of inappropriate temperature variances. Nine out of 10 respondents said temperature tolerances impact their organizations and 38% said the impact is “significant to extreme.”
Richard Bauer, executive vice president and general manager of RWI, said the challenges are significant, but not unmanageable. RWI manages more than 100,000 shipments annually.
“Solutions to these challenges come from understanding and using the data available on shipments, including lanes, location, temperature and more,” Bauer said.
To help RWI customers meet such challenges the company is scheduled to open a new 8,800-square-foot office in April in Fort Thomas, Ky. Bauer said he expects RWI to add about 35 new positions to its 130 existing employees.
Growth has been the rule in recent years at RWI. Bauer said revenue increased 50% from 2009 through 2011.