The weather outside is frightful in many areas across the nation. And between temperatures dropping below freezing and peak shipping season, shippers need to be prepared for any issues that can arise with their temperature-sensitive LTL freight shipments.
Many shippers assume their temperature-sensitive cargo will arrive intact in winter, but unfortunately, shipments without freeze protection service are at risk of damage as the temperature dips below 32 degrees. Sub-freezing temperatures can cause extensive damage to fragile items such as paints, glues, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemicals, wine, perishable food and batteries.
The good news is that you don’t have to take your chances when cold weather strikes. Many of our freight carriers offer “Protect from Freeze” services to ensure your fragile shipments stay above freezing temperatures.
Most freeze protection services include:
- Weather forecast monitoring
- Specific labeling on shipments and waybills to identify freezable goods
- Holding freezable cargo in designated sheltered areas during severe weather
- Protecting goods from freezing while in transit
These services typically involve heated trailers, heat shelters and blankets around cargo to keep shipments above 32 degrees. Before you add freeze protection to your shipment, here are a few pointers about these services to keep in mind:
- Protect from Freeze services are usually available only for commodities with a freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- Carriers usually offer freeze protection during a specific time of the year, typically between October and May.
- Carriers may suspend Protect from Freeze service during times of extreme cold when temperatures drop below approximately 10 degrees.
- You can increase your shipment’s chance of arriving intact by selecting the fastest possible transit time, reducing the amount of time your freight is exposed to the cold.
- Marking “Protect from freezing” on the bill of lading and/or your shipment is not enough to protect it. Reach out to your dedicated Unishippers shipping expert to make sure your shipment is protected.
While freeze protection is a great service for keeping cold-sensitive cargo safe in the winter, there are no guarantees and there are some limitations, such as:
- Not all carriers offer freeze protection services.
- Protect from Freeze service requires careful planning to ensure equipment is available on the required dates and your shipment won’t be required to sit for long periods. For example, shipments typically can’t be in transit over the weekend, sit in customs or move over holidays due to closures and limited service.
- There may be weight and accessorial restrictions such as a required delivery appointment.
- The weather can impact freeze protection service, so services are not guaranteed if the temperature dips more than a few degrees below freezing – that amount varies by carrier.
You wouldn’t go out in the cold without a winter jacket, so make sure your temperature-sensitive shipments are bundled up to handle the frigid temperatures, too. Freeze protection is well worth the small additional cost.
Our knowledgeable experts can help you determine whether freeze protection service is the right choice for your next cold-sensitive shipment. Contact us today for a free shipping quote.