Social media has brought to the forefront of many of our lives nationally celebrated days, such as the upcoming National Ice Cream Day on July 17 and National Hot Dog Day on July 23. Something we don’t think about is that distribution of these products makes our modern lifestyle possible. Without the “cold chain,” the logistics of moving cold freight, perishable foods could not find their way to your grocer, and eventually your dinner table. The cold chain literally provides a safe, consistent, reliable means of transporting perishable items from one place to another, oftentimes, far, far away. The transportation process can sometimes take days to achieve, making cold storage and transport an absolute must. Without the existence of the cold chain, our food choices would be severely limited to foods grown or produced locally.
AAGEX Freight Group LLC, whose operating entities include AGX Freight Logistics and AGX Freight Carriers, is one of the leading logistics companies in the United States. The primary responsibility for nearly all safety risks during transportation falls to the shipper, and AAGEX works with the best, most compliant cold and frozen freight shippers in the industry to assure quality control, safety and on-time deliveries.
When it comes to cold and frozen freight, AGX Freight plays an integral role in the cold chain process which requires precise timing and temperature control. A vast network of trucks, rail lines, and storage facilities make up the cold chain.
Many Products Rely on the Process
It is estimated that some 70% of all food consumed in the United States passes through the cold chain at one point or another. When you consider the average American consumes about 2,000 pounds each year, over 440 Billion pounds of food depends on the cold chain process.
Some of the most common foods passing through the cold chain include:
- Fresh Fruits: Bananas, Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Berries, Melons & Other Fruits
- Fresh Vegetables: Potatoes, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Onions, Carrots, Broccoli, Peas & Other
- Meat & Seafood: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Turkey, Fish, Shellfish
- Eggs & Dairy: Eggs, Milk, Butter, Cream & Cheese
- Prepared Meals: Canned Foods & Frozen Meals
- Some foods such as corn chips, noodles, cereals, etc.; are not fully dependent on the cold chain and are sold at room temperature but stored in cold warehousing. Peanuts, for example, are always stored between 34 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
Refrigerated trucks are lovingly referred to as reefers in the trucking industry. Reefers and rail cars, combined with a vast network of cold storage warehouses, processing centers, and packing plants are integral components of the cold transport process. This wide network enables food to get from the farm or production facility to the shelves in your local grocery store.
Food generally goes from the farm directly to a packing house. From there your food enters pre-cooling houses where the heat is quickly removed from the product. This critical step ensures the freshness of your food.
Cooled meat and produce is usually transported in refrigerated trucks. These trucks are constantly inspected and monitored to ensure they are maintained in optimal working order.
When the food arrives at the cold storage facility, it is sorted and prepared for distribution. Oftentimes, the refrigerated warehouse performs as something of a middle man, selling food directly to grocers and manufacturers. This is where a packaged meal provider might purchase the individual components for his end product. After that, the product will again enter the cold chain for further transportation and distribution.
The end of the logistical chain is the delivery to the market where you, the general public, makes their purchases. The cold chain continues at your grocer’s where they store food in walk-in freezers and coolers, refrigerated display cases, etc.;
Contact an industry leader today, AGX Freight for all your shipping needs or simply to learn more about the cold chain and other shipping options.