What is a Reefer Truck? The Ultimate Guide is Here

What is a Reefer Truck? The Ultimate Guide is Here

If you’re new to the shipping industry, you might be raising eyebrows at some of the terms you keep hearing about. 

Does the word reefer ring a bell? This is a common term that stands for ‘refrigerated’ or a refrigerated trailer. 

In this post, we’ll connect all of the dots regarding what a reefer is and why it’s used for transportation.

What is a reefer truck?

In the drayage world, there are all sorts of trucks and vans used to ship various types of cargo. They fall under 3 categories: 

  • Reefers
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Dry vans

As mentioned above, reefer stands for refrigerated, as in trucks that have refrigeration units installed within the trailer. 

What are reefers used for?

Reefer trucks are used to ship perishable goods that must stay at a specific temperature at all times. Shipping these types of goods can be tricky, since a long haul truck travels over long distances.

Reefers cut out the hassle because they offer climate control. Temperature sensitive cargo stays in pristine condition while traveling over the road, because the reefer keeps it at the perfect temperature.

Reefers: a brief history

Since the mid-1800s, the demand for a refrigerated automobile was high, but for years the refrigerated train was the only option for shipping perishables.

The first portable refrigerator was invented by Frederick McKinley Jones in 1938. He was a self-taught mechanical and electronics inventor, who patented numerous gadgets. His portable refrigerator was an instant success, and was immediately installed in trucks for shipping. 

And so, the first reefer was born. By 1949, the innovator had built a multi-million dollar company with his brilliant inventions.

Conclusion: Reefers keep our food, beverages and medicines fresh

Reefer trucks are used to ship perishable items, which includes some of the most essential goods that we rely on every day. I’m talking about food, medicine, beverages and animals.

Basically, if a load needs a certain climate to stay fresh, then a reefer truck is the best option for shipping.

True Carriers Group is a non-asset based group of carriers that has been helping drive America’s supply chain for over 40 years. We offer a full range of logistics services, including Intermodal, Reefer, Van, Flatbed, Brokerage, LTL and Heavy Haul.

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