Refrigerated motor carriers may need to adjust their trailer trade cycles in light of new food safety transportation rules that went into effect this year, argues one US trailer leasing specialist.
Don Durm, vice president of customer solutions for PLM Trailer Leasing, said during a presentation at the 2017 International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) conference, that fleets could potentially shorten their refrigerated trailer trade cycles as a result of the rules.
As reported by Fleet owner, Durm said temperature control matters when it comes to the new food safety rules and shippers and carriers will be paying close attention to gradual “degradation” of trailer insulating properties – degradation that can be significantly speeded up due to damage, he stressed.
“Some 35% to 40% of [refrigerated] insulation degradation occurs within the first five to six years of a trailer lifespan,” he noted. “The impact of age is pretty substantial on reefer trailers.”
He emphasized that local law enforcement in the U.S. will most likely not allow much variance. For example, he noted that in Indiana, foodstuffs just two degrees out of their recommended temperature range can be destroyed.
Yet Durm also pointed out that shorter trade cycles can offer refrigerated carriers cost savings over time.
“Older reefer trailers burn more fuel,” he said, largely due to the need to run their refrigeration units longer to compensate for degraded insulation.
“It’s all about driving cost out of a [foodservice] business that exists in a 2% margin world,” he stressed. “You need to periodically evaluate your current trailer spec and operating lifecycle for, remember, [reefer] trailers lose efficiency as they get older.”
Full Fleet Owner article here.