Why Are Reefers Hot When the Weather Is Colder?

White semi-truck driving along snowy highway

Refrigerated, or “reefer,” trailers keep food, medicine, and other perishable cargo cold and suitable for market. It seems reasonable to assume the demand for reefer trailers would be greater in the warmer times of the year. However, this isn’t the case. Statistics show the demand for refrigerated trucking is actually greater during the colder winter months.

What Makes Reefers Special?

Manufacturers build temperature-controlled trailers to stricter standards than a regular trailer. They depend on sturdy walls and layers of insulation to maintain the proper temperature, which also makes them strong and durable.

Now what about those refrigeration units? They can do more than just keep things cool. A properly functioning reefer trailer can maintain a temperature range anywhere from -80 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (-62 to 40 C). This makes a temperature-controlled, refrigerated trailer the ideal choice for transporting many types of goods year-round. Everything from meat and produce to medicine and electronics can be held at a stable temperature.

Some Things Don’t Freeze

Some foods can’t tolerate being frozen—for example, fresh produce and meat lose some quality when they’re exposed to subzero temperatures. Because so many families gather to share meals during the winter holidays, there’s more pressure on shippers to transport foods at the proper temperature, warm or cold, this season. As outdoor temperatures drop, maintaining the proper temperature inside becomes even more crucial. Failing at this goal means ruining a valuable cargo.

Some cargo must stay cold. Some cargo must stay warm. In either case, a temperature-controlled trailer is the right tool for the job. When shippers don’t have this hardware available, they cannot accommodate certain loads. Losing a customer is a difficult proposition for any business to swallow, especially in a low-margin business like trucking. A refrigerated trailer may cost more than $50,000, but the cost of not having the proper equipment could be much higher.

Even as temperatures drop, the demand for temperature-controlled trailers grows. This may seem counterintuitive, but there are compelling reasons for the trend. Next time you see a refrigerated trailer on the road, remember that they are more versatile than they seem.