A refrigerated van will enable you to grow your business in ways you might not have considered before. Companies delivering perishable goods are typically restricted to a small catchment area, but when they can control the temperature of their payload, this catchment area can expand significantly.
This strategic move to maintain product integrity will help you to meet and exceed customer expectations. In this article, we’ll explore the top considerations businesses should take into account when investing in a refrigerated van.
Temperature control technology
The primary function of a refrigerated van is to maintain a consistent temperature within the cargo area. The cargo area is isolated from the rest of the vehicle and then a cooling unit is used to remove hot air from the area and maintain a specific temperature range.
Look for features such as multi-zone temperature control to accommodate different products with varying temperature requirements. This would enable you to transport items at different temperatures. For example, a catering company could have an ambient zone and a chiller zone. Flexible layouts will make this even more versatile and adaptable.
The efficiency of a refrigerated van heavily depends on the quality of its insulation. Without this essential component, your van will be subject to extreme temperature changes. It will also have to work much harder to keep your van cooler in the summer months and when the van is running.
High-quality insulation ensures minimal temperature fluctuations, even in challenging external conditions. Thoroughly inspect the insulation materials and inquire about the van’s ability to maintain temperatures during hot summers or in cold climates.
Refrigeration unit reliability
The refrigeration unit is the heart of a refrigerated van. Opt for reliable and reputable brands with a proven track record in the industry. Assess the cooling capacity and inquire about the van’s ability to maintain the desired temperature range, especially during extended journeys.
If you’re not sure which unit offers the best reliability, ask around in your industry. Many people will be happy to share their experience of working with refrigerated vans. You can also search for online reviews.
Understanding the payload capacity of the refrigerated van is essential for businesses aiming to optimise their transportation efficiency. Consider the weight and volume of your typical cargo, ensuring that the van can accommodate your needs without compromising performance. You should also think about future demands on your business. If you have plans for expansion, don’t limit yourself to an undersized van as this could hold you back from realising your full potential.
Size and configuration
You’ll soon discover that refrigerated vans are available in various sizes and configurations. Consider the dimensions of the cargo space and the layout to ensure it aligns with the nature of your products and the ease of loading and unloading. Factor in the number of doors and accessibility features to streamline your logistics processes. You may also need a flexible van layout that enables you to adjust the temperatures in different zones according to the requirements on the day.
Refrigerated vans typically utilise either a vehicle’s engine (engine-driven refrigeration) or an independent power source (electric or diesel-powered refrigeration units). Assess the power source that aligns with your operational needs and environmental considerations. Electric-powered refrigeration units are typically more environmentally friendly.
Choosing an all-electric vehicle can also help you save money in the long term by avoiding fines for driving in built-up areas. The ULEZ scheme in London could soon be seen in all bust UK cities. For businesses focused on sustainability and cost-effectiveness, fuel efficiency is a key consideration. Choose a refrigerated van with a balance between performance and fuel economy to minimise operational costs over the long term.
Compliance with regulations
Compliance with transportation regulations and industry standards is paramount when transporting perishable goods. Ensure that the refrigerated van meets relevant safety and hygiene standards, and inquire about any specific regulations applicable to your industry or region. Remote temperature monitoring is one simple way that you can monitor compliance and ensure you don’t fall short of the rules and of your customers’ expectations.
Every business has unique requirements. Look for refrigerated vans that offer customization options, allowing you to tailor the van to your specific needs. This may include additional features, specialised storage solutions, or branding options.
Investing in a refrigerated van is a significant decision that can greatly impact the success of your business in the transportation of perishable goods. By carefully considering these key factors – from temperature control technology to customization options – you can make an informed decision that aligns with your operational requirements and ensures the integrity of your transported products.
With the right refrigerated van, your business can thrive in the dynamic and demanding world of cold chain logistics. You will be able to meet the demands of your customers, expand your delivery areas and grow your business. But before you can do all of this, you need to do your research and consider which refrigerated van would be ideal for your needs.