The Importance of Refrigerated Trucking

Imagine a world where food spoiled after 50 miles, where you could only eat what was in season and local, and where northern states never saw oranges or plums. Before refrigerated (reefer) trucking and transport, that world was very real. Produce couldn’t travel far before spoiling, and consumers were limited to goods that could be grown locally. In the late 1800s, that changed with the development and usage of the ice-based trailer, which channeled chilled air down from an ice box positioned on the roof. Initially only functional in the colder months, it soon was used year-round, with changes to insulation and design.

It wasn’t until the 1940s that the American public saw the rise of ice trucks, a new way to transport goods without spoilage. Pioneered by Frederick Jones of the U.S. Thermo Control Company, refrigerated trucks gained popularity in both the civilian and military worlds, with the U.S. and Allied forces using their technology to transport food, medical supplies, and donated blood. This cross-continental usage spawned the growth and acceptance of the frozen food industry, which took America and Europe by storm at the end of World War II.

Today, over 36 million loads of refrigerated products are shipped annually, world-wide. The science behind reefer trucks is much the same, while the techniques and finesse have changed greatly. From thermostat controls to different temperature zones, these trucks are designed to preserve perishable good on the long haul.

A common term in refrigerated trucking is “cold chain,” which is the logistical chain that ensures the goods never reach above a certain temperature. Most cold chains are instigated at the manufacturing plant, where goods at the correct temperature are loaded in to a truck with the exact temperature needed for sipping, and the process is reversed at the destination. The cold chain has different standards for different goods (hence the developments in reefer trucks). Foods and goods that need to be transported at specific temperatures often spoil if mishandled, which is why we’re committed to our own strict standards of the cold chain. If you’d like to know more information about our logistics and shipping routes, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


As we move in to the warmer months, it’s important to use all the tools at our disposal for safe, effective transport. Refrigerated trucks are a great way to transport meats, produce, dairy products, medicine and medical supplies, donated blood, and other perishable goods like bread or eggs. These trucks make local and international goods available year-round, helping our nation on a road to health. We’re now able to ship and preserve products better than ever before, without the risks of contamination, wasted product, or unnecessary loss.

At Corcoran Trucking, we’re invested in our community and country, which is why we’re part of the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a commitment to cleaner air when it comes to trucking and shipping goods. If you’re interested in becoming one of our partners, and preserving your goods in a smart and environmentally-friendly way, contact us today.