With all of the specialized trucking jobs out there, it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with the changing industry. Everything from the price of fuel to consumer habits affects the way truckers haul their loads. This has been made exceptionally clear by the onset of the coronavirus around the world. Demand for food, as people impulsively cleared the shelves, sent certain freight into overhaul. At the same time, it stopped other freight in its tracks. When it comes to reefer trucking, there are several trends making an impact on the industry that you’ll want to keep your eye on. Reading up on the latest reefer trucking trends will help you keep your cool and make an impact!
Of course, it’s no secret that the trucking industry is constantly in search of the best, brightest drivers out there. This is particularly the case for refrigerated transporters currently struggling to find and maintain truckers during COVID-19. Reefer trucking is so specialized in terms of the types of hauls drivers need to make. With that said, here are some current reefer trucking trends.
3 Reefer Trucking Trends | Keeping Your Cool!
1. Fresh Food and Last Mile Shipping
When it comes to hauling perishable items to retailers, reefer truck drivers are the ones to call. As stay at home orders were issued across the United States in early 2020, it seemed that truck drivers couldn’t get perishable items on the shelves fast enough. However, once mass panic buying slowed, things leveled off and in some areas drastically dropped in demand. Another thing to consider in this fluctuating trend is that some major grocery store retailers are considering the usage of smaller last-mile vehicles to make a bulk of their deliveries. Nonetheless, reefer trucks are still integral to delivering large quantities of perishables to depots where they will be transported by smaller vans or trucks. These lower-weight delivery vehicles — often those that don’t require a CDL. However, on our website as of March 2020, we see a continued increase in job listings for reefer truck drivers.
2. An Increased Focus on Efficiencies
Of course, when it comes to reefer trucking trends, efficiency is on the top of the list of current trends. In addition to efficient gas usage, making sure a refrigeration unit is capable of meeting demands is also critically important. Newer truck models are using less fuel and have electric standby technology, which allows reefer units to maintain their temperatures without running the diesel engine while parked.
If you’re an owner-operator, you’re constantly thinking about ways that you can save costs and make your rig more efficient. When we’re talking about reefer trucking trends, solar power is another way refrigerated trucking is staying ahead of the game. Third-party vendors offer add-on solar panels that can really help lower fuel consumption and reduce emissions, all while extending battery life. These panels can be rather expensive. However, hopefully the cost savings can translate into better pay and driver benefits if you or your company adopt them.
3. Changing Regulations and Duty Cycles
One of the most major things to hit the trucking industry in a while is the supreme court’s mandate requiring ELDs. Most of the time, reefer trucking jobs entail getting the product from one point to the next as quickly as possible. With ELDs monitoring every move, the need to get the trailer load and unloaded quickly has never been so pressing. At the same time, many fleets and companies are moving toward shorter hauls in order to get drivers home more often. These reefer trucking trends also hold true in the rest of the industry.
What reefer trucking trends have you noticed working in the industry? Let us know in the comments below!