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20 Business Ideas That Need Refrigerated Vans

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20 Business Ideas That Need Refrigerated Vans

Curious about what type of business needs a refrigerated van or truck? You might be surprised to learn just how many types of companies rely on temperature controlled transport to help them to run their businesses.

Some of the business ideas on the list will be obvious to you, but there are some that might not have occurred to you today. The next time you see a refrigerated truck on the road, you might be curious about what they are transporting and how they fit into the supply chain in their sector.

As a refrigerated truck supplier, we help to connect companies in need of temperature controlled transport options with the vans and trucks that will allow them to reach their business objectives. When you can source reliable transport, you’ll be able to reach more customers and expand to new markets, and this is one of the best ways to scale a successful business.

1. Food Distribution Companies

The food supply chain relies on chiller and freezer trucks to move food and drink items while keeping them at a safe and consistent temperature. The majority of deliveries to supermarkets throughout the UK will arrive in chiller or freezer trucks to help extend the shelf life of the products inside. This will also help to protect the customer from the risks of food being stored improperly.

Fresh produce suppliers

2. Fresh Produce Suppliers

Delivering fresh produce where it is needed is a great business idea as more of us are looking to shop local. Fresh produce suppliers need to keep their produce at a consistent temperature to avoid it going back during transport. You could be supplying local restaurants or even individual customers who are looking to purchase fresh produce from local growers. By keeping the produce cool, you’ll extend the shelf life which can increase your profit margins considerably. 

3. Meat Processing Plants

The meat industry relies on refrigerated vans to help keep their businesses compliant with food hygiene regulations. Meat is at high risk of bacteria growth, so it needs to be stored and transported at a consistent temperature. Dual zone refrigerated trucks offer flexibility when transporting meat products and will allow suppliers to keep items at different temperatures. 

Operating a meat processing plant can be highly lucrative, provided you have the resources to move high quantities of product around. Your reputation will rest on your ability to deliver meat products that have been stored at the correct temperature. Any failure to do so could lead to reputational damage and even legal action. This is why meat processing plant operators need refrigerated vans they can rely on.

Dairy Farms

4. Dairy Farms

Dairy farmers rely on refrigeration in the logistics chain to help bring their products to market. If you decide to move beyond selling in your own on-site farm shop, you’ll need a refrigerated truck to help transport the produce. This could include items like milk, cheese and cream that are destined for the supermarket shelves or directly to commercial customers like restaurants.

5. Seafood Distributors

Seafood is commonly kept on ice to keep it fresh like trawlers bring it to shore, and once it arrives on shore, it needs to be placed in a temperature controlled environment to prevent decay. Fish and other seafood will quickly start to decay if it is left out of the fridge, so it’s important to keep it on ice in a freezer truck. This can then easily be transported long distances and allow those living inland to enjoy delicious seafood that is safe and ready to be prepared.

6. Frozen Food Manufacturers

Frozen food is popular in the UK thanks to its versatility. Brits love to stock up their freezers, but someone needs to take charge of getting the food from the manufacturer to the chiller aisle in the supermarket. Freezer vans are commonly used to help prevent food from defrosting in transit. This will ensure it arrives in supermarkets or other shops frozen and ready to be purchased.

Ice cream manufacturers and distributors

7. Ice Cream Manufacturers and Distributors

It’s not only the big names that are turning to chiller vans to get their ice cream to the masses. Smaller and independent ice cream manufacturers are expanding their operations and using freezer vans to help get their products into shops and restaurants. Without this essential part of the supply chain, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy an ice cream at the end of a delicious meal, or in the park on a sunny day.

8. Bakeries

Companies that sell baked goods rely on refrigerated trucks to get their ingredients into the bakery and then to get their finished products to their chosen distributors. Baked goods often require large quantities of butter, cream and milk. To keep these items fresh, refrigerated vans are recommended. These can then be used to keep items stable and fresh when they are delivered to shops, restaurants or directly to customers. A great example would be a wedding cake supplier, as the temperature control will help to keep the cake fresh and cool, even when driving long distances in hot weather.

9. Floral Wholesalers

Once a flower has been cut, it’s a race against time to get it to the end customer. It might need to pass through many processes before it’s ready to be purchased and displayed. And this is where temperature controlled trucks come in handy. Keeping flowers cold helps to prevent them from wilting, which gives florists more time to put them into arrangements and sell them on. 

Pharmaceutical Companies

10. Pharmaceutical Companies

Transporting materials for pharmaceutical companies is a delicate task that will often require strict temperature control. You could be transporting blood or human tissue, which needs to be kept cold or it will start to break down. You could also be transporting temperature sensitive items like vaccines or drugs like insulin. These all need to be stored at specific temperatures to keep them stable. This is a highly complex and regulated field, and reliable transport is essential to help support the medical supply chain.

11. Beverage Distributors

As a beverage distributor, you could be supplying restaurants, bars, cafes and shops with refreshments. And these will need to be delivered in a temperature controlled van or truck to ensure they are ready to be served. This is particularly important if you’re delivering items like beer kegs. By choosing a chilled van, it will allow you to deliver drinks further away from the source without worrying about the temperature inside the van, even in hot weather.

12. Catering Companies

Running a catering company will allow you to be creative with food while also putting your organisational skills to the test. Food intended for parties and events will be prepared in a catering kitchen and then transported in a refrigerated van. These vans often have a chiller section and an ambient section to help keep everything at the ideal temperature. This will ensure food arrives at the event ready to serve or ready to be reheated.

Cheese Producers and Distributors

13. Cheese Producers and Distributors

Different cheeses need to be stored in different temperature ranges and different conditions. As a cheese specialist, you might be supplying restaurants and cafes with your unique and rare cheese products. To achieve this, you’ll need to be able to transport your cheese in a temperature controlled environment. Without this essential step, you would have to limit the distance you could travel with the cheese and then you would also risk ruining your supply in hot weather.

14. Poultry Farms and Processors

Running a small holding of poultry will allow you to raise free range chickens that could then be served in local restaurants looking for local produce. Poultry is one of the products that is at a high risk of carrying salmonella bacteria, which is why storing it correctly is so essential. You wouldn’t want to eat chicken that has been sitting out on the counter on a hot day, so you also wouldn’t want to eat it if it has been transported in a non-temperature controlled vehicle. 

15. Specialty Food Retailers

Running a deli or other specialist food retailer will allow you to indulge your passion for food and customer service. But you’ll need a temperature controlled vehicle if you want to be able to collect and deliver food. You’ll need to collect from specialist suppliers and then deliver to customers. You might prepare specialist platters for party catering, or you might work with local restaurants to diversify their offering.

Chemical manufacturing

16. Chemical Manufacturers

Working in logistics in the chemical manufacturing sector is lucrative and enticing. It’s a niche sector that will enable you to work alongside some of the most innovative companies around. When transporting components for chemical manufacturing, many of them will need to be kept at specific temperatures to keep them stable. This is why refrigerated vans and trucks are so essential. It will keep components stable and reduce the risk of chemical reactions occurring during transport.

17. Biotech Companies

Similar to the chemical manufacturing sector, biotechnology companies also required specific logistics solutions. Biotech firms often deal with sensitive research materials and samples that require temperature-controlled transportation to preserve their viability. You could be supporting companies at the cutting edge of research and development into new biotech solutions.

18. Frozen Food Retailers

Some supermarkets deal specifically with frozen goods, and they need temperature controlled trucks to help them stock their chests and keep their customers happy. Freezer trucks are designed to keep food and other items in a deep-freeze state, which will avoid the risk of items defrosting and being ruined. 

If items are defrosted and refrozen, the quality will be affected but also the safety of the item will also be called into question. Individuals could get very sick from consuming items that have been defrosted and refrozen, particularly if that includes meat or seafood items.

Pet Food Manufacturers and Distributors

19. Pet Food Manufacturers and Distributors

It’s not only humans that need their food to be delivered in a temperature controlled van. The rise of raw pet food has changed the way we think about pet food items. Some pet food needs to be kept in the fridge or freezer until it is ready to be consumed, and this means it needs to be transported in temperature controlled vehicles like refrigerated vans or trucks. If you’re thinking about going into the pet food manufacturing or distributing sector, you’ll need to consider how to keep your products chilled while transporting it.

20. Florists

And finally, the last business idea that requires a refrigerated van on our list is a florist. Florists will often sell bouquets for special occasions like birthdays and Valentine’s Day and they will also create flowers and floral arrangements for weddings, parties and funerals.

Like a flower wholesaler, florists also need to be able to transport flowers and floral arrangements before they wilt. Refrigerated vans with different zones for keeping flowers at different temperatures will help keep the flowers looking beautiful while they are in transit. By choosing a refrigerated van, the florist will have more flexibility over the distance they can travel and will also be able to continue to operate in hot conditions.


As we have shown, there are many sectors and roles that require specialist vans with the capability of keeping things cold or frozen. Temperature control in logistics can make or break a business, so it’s important to choose the right van for your needs. Rather than adapting your business to your van, you should always adapt your van to your business.

When choosing the right van for your business, consider if you will need to keep things at refrigerated temperatures or in a deep freeze. It’s possible to zone your van and keep areas at different temperatures such as a chiller section and an ambient section.

You’ll also need to consider any regulations you need to follow, such as food hygiene standards. There are also regulations around the maximum weight of your van once fully loaded, and this is something that business owners will often forget. You need to make sure that the van remains roadworthy even after you have loaded it up.

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