Many modern products require not just secure transport but precise temperature control as well throughout their journeys to clients. Floral arrangements, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage products, and more benefit from delivery in refrigerated vehicles. These products are the foundation of a cold supply chain that millions of people rely on. Their careful preservation is of paramount importance for both customer health and satisfaction.
There are many types of vehicles that provide insulation or refrigeration. Among them, refrigerated vans have distinct advantages over a larger reefer truck for some companies. To learn the general benefits of operating your own refrigerated vehicles and the specific reasons your business needs a refrigerated van, read on.
You Have Oversight and Control
Too often, recruiting an outside company to transport your products feels like stepping off a ledge without knowing how far the fall will be. Though good transportation companies offer a transparent look into their operation and processes, you don’t know for sure what you’ll get when they take the reins on transporting your product. Hiring an outside company is an exercise in faith—faith that they’ll keep your food cooled according to FDA recommendations, faith that your deliveries will proceed smoothly, and faith that your client will be happy. Though a successful partnership will earn your trust over time, even one botched delivery significantly tarnishes your reputation.
If you don’t want to deal with the unknowns of hiring an outside company, using your own refrigerated vans is the key. Here are some practical ways using your own vans for transport will afford you oversight and control.
Work on Your Own Schedule
When hiring an outside company, there are natural boundaries between your business and theirs. Though they operate as an extension of your company, they have their own priorities and other clients that they work for. An external party cannot work according to your schedule all the time, particularly when an issue comes up that delays things. Operating your own vans affords you the flexibility to work according to your clients’ needs without the limitations of a third party.
The efficiency you gain in doing so is another reason your business needs a refrigerated van. By controlling these logistical elements, you ensure deliveries consistently get to your customers when they expect them. This further increases customer satisfaction.
Regulate Temperature Precisely
Using company vans also allows you to properly stow and cool your products for the entire trip to a client. You can set your temperatures to match specific products and know that you’re cooling your delivery appropriately. One note—this isn’t simply up to preference. The FDA has standards for keeping products cool and preserved, and you can guarantee that your company is adhering to them more easily than you can verify that a third-party is doing so. This is especially vital when transporting pharmaceuticals that people need to mitigate certain illnesses, something these medications cannot do if they encounter hot temperatures and denature.
You Gain Flexibility
Refrigerated vans also allow your company great flexibility, in more ways than one.
You Can Deliver Locally
Customers typically choose between locally sourced goods and imported or otherwise non-local goods at a chain grocery store. Operating your own refrigerated vans allows you to expand your delivery range and encourage supporting local businesses. Providing customers broader access to your products helps you to connect with eager customers who want to support a local company. After all, 93 percent of shoppers prefer to shop at local small businesses, even if many still also frequent larger chain retailers. By purchasing a refrigerated van, you widen your customer base while maintaining the local quality of your business.
You Can Transport Many Different Products
It’s helpful to take a step back and consider how broad the cold supply chain truly is. Relevant products that businesses deliver include ice cream, floral arrangements, medications, donated blood seafood, produce, alcohol, meat, and many more. While you may specialize in one area, a refrigerated van gives you the flexibility to transport any number of products, offering you room for growth or adaptation as your business shifts in response to expansion or market changes.
Even within your specialty, though, using a refrigerated van opens delivery opportunities you wouldn’t ordinarily think were possible. Products that were previously too risky to deliver—perhaps they require significant cooling or deteriorate quickly in heat—can now arrive at a customer’s door perfectly preserved.
Advantages to a Refrigerated Van Over a Reefer Truck
While refrigerated vehicles are generally beneficial, sometimes a reefer truck doesn’t quite fit your needs. Often, it’s simply too large and costly for your limited shipment sizes. While some companies require a truck’s larger capacity, there are several reasons your business might prefer a refrigerated van instead.
Vans Come in Many Sizes
First, refrigerated vans are apt vessels when delivering smaller orders rather than large-scale shipments. Going this route, you don’t end up wasting space each time it departs. That said, you still have many sizing options when choosing a van. Emerald Transportation Solutions offers compact vans perfect for the smallest loads, full-size vans with more space, mid- and high-roof vans for easier stowing, and even a VanMaxTM option. This VanMaxTM alternative is an ideal compromise between a truck and a van, allowing for a significant but intermediate storage space.
Vans Are Maneuverable
Another marked advantage is a refrigerated van’s relative maneuverability. More compact than a truck, a van can reach where a truck can’t, often allowing you to deliver your product closer to a customer’s point of entry. This cuts down on the time your cool product spends in an unregulated, potentially hot environment. Also, they’re simply easier for your staff to operate.
Vans Are Fuel-Efficient
Intuitively, if you drive a lighter vehicle, you use less gas to propel it. This means van will naturally be more fuel-efficient than even relatively fuel-efficient refrigerated trucks. If your business is smaller and doesn’t need the extra storage, choose vans for a more sustainable and cheaper transportation option.
Though this is a peripheral reason to buy a refrigerated truck, you can’t ignore the unique marketing opportunities of operating your own vehicle or fleet. Using your own branded vans gives your business more outside visibility, increasing would-be customers’ knowledge of your business. Over time, this has an overall positive effect on your business.
If you want to learn more about your van options, contact Emerald Transportation Solutions. We’re ready to find a vehicle that fits your particular business and supply quality commercial refrigerated trucks in addition to refrigerated vans.