Heat Season: Stress-Free Solutions from DSN
Brisk winds and falling autumn leaves remind us that months of shorter days, longer nights – and much colder temperatures – lie ahead. Here at DSN, it’s also the time when we begin to review the challenges of “Heat Season” with our customers to ensure that your temperature-sensitive freight needs will be met during the winter months.
Many products cannot tolerate extended exposure to cold temperatures without freezing while others must be kept within a defined temperature range or even above a specific temperature. Chemicals, liquids and gels, food products, and pharmaceuticals often require temperature control in winter, but high-value cargo such as consumer goods and specialty electronics can be negatively impacted by exposure to frigid temperatures as well.
Choosing the appropriate temperature control service is very much dependent on the characteristics and requirements of whatever you are shipping. Regardless, the overall goal is to avoid compromising the stability and structural integrity of your products while in transit and prevent the potential for damage claims.
Two Types of Service
OPTION 1 :
Temperature Control Service
“Temperature Control Service” is DSN’s choice for any commodity with specific temperature requirements. It is an explicit and specific requirement for the freight to stay at, or above, a certain temperature while in transit. Many chemical products in particular will sustain damage should they fall below or rise above a specific temperature range.
Achieved by one of the following methods:
- Refrigerated trailers: “Reefers” cool — or warm — the interior of the trailer thus ensuring cargo temperature can be moderated.
- Heated trailers: Designed to transport cargo in extremely cold climates, they have specially insulated trailer walls which work in tandem with the interior climate control system.
OPTION 2 :
Protect From Freezing (PFF)
“Protect from Freeze” is a simple, singular requirement that the product should not be allowed to freeze in transit. This can be addressed in various ways, but it does not guarantee that your freight will be handled or stored at any particular temperature. Not recommended for any product which has specific temperature requirements or cannot tolerate near freezing temperatures.
Achieved by one or more of the following methods:
- Overnight Storage via heated cross-docking: Dependent on availability of facilities while in transit. Commonly offered by LTL carriers who, unlike DSN, do not provide direct point-to-point service
- Blankets / Electric Blankets: Freight can be wrapped in blankets to provide some insulation from ambient trailer temperature
- Portable heaters: Most effective for cargo in the front half of the trailer since the heater typically is placed in the nose.
- Agitation and idling: While in transit, the motion of the truck agitates liquid cargo thus reducing the possibility of it freezing.
11 Take-Aways for Heat Season
- One Size Fits Nobody: Your company is unique. There is no single best way to address the movement of temperature-sensitive freight. You know what your goods can handle, you know your organization’s tolerance for risk, and you know your budget constraints. At DSN, we’ll work with you to review those facts, clarify and document your products’ requirements, then recommend the equipment solution best suited to your unique needs. By completing this analysis with us early in the season, you can have confidence that your freight will move by the best means possible in the winter months ahead.
- Specialized, Seasonal Equipment: Demand for temperature-controlled solutions will be high during Heat Season. In order to secure the right equipment and meet your scheduling requirements, providing as much lead time on orders as possible will be key.
- Laneway Awareness: If your freight is shipping from – or delivering to – a location experiencing cold temperatures, temperature-controlled service should be considered.
- Point-to-Point Service: In inclement weather, your temperature-sensitive cargo should travel to its destination along the quickest route possible. DSN provides direct point-to-point LTL and TL service.
- Details Matter: Provide full specifications, including MSDS sheets for chemical cargo, and confirm temperature requirements when you book an order. This will guide us in choosing the most appropriate equipment to meet your needs and will avoid any misunderstandings.
- Teamwork: The Bill of Lading should clearly state the temperature requirements. Warehouse staff loading the trailer should be aware of the product’s requirements and are welcome to discuss specifics with the driver.
- Weather Watch: Be aware of winter storms predicted along your regular shipping routes. These can potentially cause delays or bring conditions that might force the driver to stop for safety reasons, thus delaying delivery as well as exposing the cargo to unexpected temperature stresses.
- TGIF?: If your load is picking up or delivering late in the week and there is no option for delivery before Monday, moving your freight indoors to a temperature-controlled environment for the weekend will add complexity and significant cost. While advance coordination with the consignee can often avoid this problem, rest assured that every shipment is monitored daily by our Operations staff. We will advise you if any issues are expected.
- Liquid Bulk Steaming: Adding to the stressful situation above, when a chemical tanker is housed in a temperature-controlled facility over a weekend, it may require steaming in order to bring the product back up to the desired delivery temperature. Again, another cost and time delay to consider.
- Duration: Although Heat Season can begin in October and end in April, in practice, it depends on the weather in any given year, in any given geographic area. A good rule to follow is that if you have concerns about the weather given the characteristics of your cargo, don’t take a chance, book a temperature-controlled truck.
- We Do This ALL The Time: DSN Chemical Transportation has been moving freight, North America wide, for almost thirty years. Our trucks have picked up and delivered through every condition that winter can throw at this continent. If you have any questions, concerns, or winter worries that you’d like to chat about, just call 1-800-388-3487, extn. 9422 or contact your DSN Account Manager.