What is a Refrigerated Transportation Vehicle?
Refrigerated transportation vehicles are designed to hold various refrigerated food and non-food items such as medications, keeping them at a consistent, cool temperature throughout the journey. Often lorries or vans will safely store products that need to be kept at a safe temperature, such as frozen goods, fresh or perishable food items to ensure that they are not spoilt before arriving at the destination they need to be at. If they are, it can cost a lot of money for the company.
Why Do Businesses Use Them?
There are a lot of businesses that deal with both chilled and frozen products, which are mainly food items. If any item becomes defrosted then it cannot be refrozen, it must be discarded which can be costly for businesses. For businesses that are transporting these goods across the country and around the world, their products will be in transit for a long time and this, without appropriate refrigeration, will easily mean that the contents will spoil at which point they are unacceptable and often unsafe for human consumption.
While businesses need to make cost savings, safety is the most important concern. Investing in a transportation vehicle is important allowing you to safely and confidently transport your food items from where they are to where they need to be.
Why Are These so Important?
These vehicles are extremely important for a lot of different businesses, such as food transportation, medicines and more. The allow for goods to travel for prolonged periods of time without the requirement for stopping and freezing.
If we look at food as the example, the rules and regulations are very strict to protect the goods from becoming dangerous and unsafe for consumption. If the contents of the vehicle stray outside of a specific temperature range then the entire cargo of goods will need to be discarded, which can cost a company a lot of money for a lorry full of goods. The driver has to complete regular checks and document the temperatures recorded to ensure that its safe and at an acceptable temperature, so it’s vital for companies to be using the equipment to protect their stock and keep their customers safe.
What Could Happen if These Vehicles Were Not Used?
Companies have a responsibility to ensure that the products that they deliver are safe for their customers and that appropriate care has been taken to ensure this. If they aren’t or fail to do so, there are serious consequences. For example, if a company is repeatedly recording unsafe temperatures, or not recording temperatures at all, then this is an instant failure in the eyes of the due diligence officials, deeming the company’s techniques and methods as ‘unsafe’. This could result in a fine or worse.
If a company was found to be transporting goods unsafely, showing a clear disregard for the appropriate storage of goods, then the punishment could include prosecution and closure of the business. Companies have a legal and moral obligation to make sure that the food they distribute is transported in the right way and it is only through temperature controlled vehicles that this can happen.
Types of Refrigerated Transportation Vehicles
These vehicles play an incredibly important role in our food safety, ensuring that the food we eat is not compromised and remains safe for consumption. Below explains the difference and the roles of these vehicles:
Vans are a commonly used vehicle for businesses as they’re small, but still can carry a good amount of stock. Depending on the nature of the business however will depend on the type of van that is required; with four different types it’s important to understand what they all do.
Insulation-only Van – These are often used by businesses with non-perishable goods; the main bay of the van is lined with thick insulation (usually at 50mm) to ensure the contents of the van doesn’t heat up or cool too quickly with the weather.
Chiller Conversion Van – This type of van is the same as an insulation-only van except with the added chiller. Due to the insulation, this allows the storage bay of the van to typically achieve cooling temperatures between 0°C and 8°C, allowing for chilled products to safely be transported.
Semi-freezer Van – A semi-freezer van allows companies to safely transport frozen goods, with temperatures commonly residing between -10°C and -15°C in the main storage compartment. These vans have a large amount of insulation, often being 75mm thick. This type of van allows for a reverse cycle defrost, reversing the effects of the freezing technologies to quickly defrost the contents.
Full-freezer Van – This type of van works in a very similar way to a semi-freezer van, except being able to reach cooler temperatures commonly reaching between 20°C and 25°C.
Refrigerated Lorry – A refrigerated lorry uses the same style of technologies as a refrigerated van, whilst having a much larger area for storage. Lorries of this size often range between 3.5 Tonne to 26 Tonne, allowing for a much larger quantity of goods to be transported at any one time. These lorries are sometimes like a big van, with the trailer being an integrated part of the vehicle, and some are a separate refrigerated trailer for an LGV. These trailers can commonly be split in two within the container, having one side for refrigerated goods and one side for chilled goods, allowing for the safe transportation of both frozen and chilled produce on the same journey.
Reefer Ship – A reefer ship is a cargo ship with refrigeration built in, designed for the transportation of perishable produce such as meat, fish, dairy and other products. The refrigerated ship allows for a large amount of produce to travel across the seas without any concern for the safety of the products on board.