Last year RWI surveyed about 9,000 shippers of temperature-controlled products to assess their thoughts on the current environment and their expectations for the future.
These shippers were most concerned about increased government regulations in the area of transportation generally. Their second-biggest worry was how seasonal spikes and a continuing driver shortage would impact capacity in the temperature-controlled sector.
To hedge against these concerns, most shippers in the survey are expanding their carrier base, Taylor says. "They really have to do that to combat the shrinking driver pool industry wide," he says.
Shipper respondents also emphasized the importance of monitoring temperature-controlled shipments end to end. "We see more satellite tracking not only of the tractor, but the trailer as well," he says. Monitoring the temperature on the trailer throughout transit to maintain optimum conditions also is crucial. "Around 65 percent of respondents said that having a customer reject their shipment due to temperature was a big concern and had a huge impact on their business," he says.
Taylor notes that RWI uses satellite technology that enables it to monitor temperatures inside the trailer. "We can monitor where the refrigeration unit is set and when the trailer doors are opened and closed," he says. In addition to enabling remedial actions, this monitoring allows RWI to document any variance in temperature at delivery, he says.
RWI expects to repeat and update the shipper survey later this year, Taylor says. A copy of the report may be downloaded here.
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