Temperature Protection

Best Practice #1: Get Away From The Wall

Temperature Protection in Heat and Cold Center loading of freight away from the walls is strongly recommended to eliminate the impact of temperature — and the further way from the walls, the less the chance of conduction.

  HEAT/COLD TRANSFER > 1” = 15% | 2” = 10% | 4” = <5%  

Product is loaded tight against the walls in intermodal to prevent load shifts. However, rail providers have approved the use of dunnage to fill voids and maintain a distance of 4” between the sidewall and shippers’ products.

Best Practice #2: Get Your Product Off The Floor

Blankets are effective in slowing the transfer of heat or cold but need to cover the product completely. Recent research simulating temperature changes conducted by the EPA, Protek and Schneider at Texas A&M revealed that blankets or other insulation placed under freight, on the floor of the container, are just as critical as having insulation over and around the pallet. Doing so reduces the loss of heat/cold through floorboards. The research discovered that contrary to popular belief, heat/cold is not being transferred from the floor to the product when sitting directly on it. Instead, heat/cold is escaping the trailer via the floor and putting the product at risk. Knowing this, retention and maintenance of optimal temperatures is a must and can extend the life of a shipment by two to three days. Loads tested side by side showed a 12 degree difference when floor product was used.

Best Practice #3: Use Blankets To Create A Protective Barrier

Blankets are effective in slowing the transfer of temperature but need to cover the product completely. Laying a blanket over the top of a product that is tight against a wall will have no impact other than adding the cost of a blanket.

Best Practice #4: Raise Or Lower The Temperature At Loading

Blankets slow the transfer of temperature but timing is everything. Capturing warm temperatures in the winter and cool temperatures in summer means your product will be protected longer and have more time before exceeding your temperature threshold. By starting at the desired temperature you have made the blanket more effective and given your product more time before it will exceed its maximum threshold.

Best Practice #5: Monitor The Weather

Monitoring the weather is complicated: Not only do you need to monitor temperature and conditions at your points of origin and destination, you need to include all of the points in between. Doing so needs to be an additional task on your daily to-do list and can be done manually via the internet or by using a service which monitors the temperature throughout the planned transit.

Published January 2016

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