Averitt Express launches climate-controlled LTL services
February 17, 2014
Freight transportation and logistics services provider Averitt Express recently announced it has added climate-controlled services for shippers in the form of self-powered, less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping units.
Averitt officials said that these units are flexible as they can be combined with dry cargo and other climate controlled units.
“The genesis of this service dates back to a survey we conducted a few years ago with our customers about climate controlled shipping,” said Phil Pierce, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Averitt, in an interview. “At that time, we were primarily focused on the truckload business, however we were surprised by the number of customers who were also interested in climate controlled LTL services. It was clear to us at that point that premium-level, climate controlled LTL service was under served in the marketplace.”
In recent months, Pierce said Averitt established a relationship with its equipment partner, Climate Controlled Containers, and together they engineered the container, tracking technology and processes to make premium climate controlled service succeed in an LTL environment.
The most significant benefits of these units for shippers, according to Pierce, are that they will provide premium level service––as fast as next-day delivery––on climate controlled freight with the flexibility and efficiencies of an LTL distribution model.
And the tracking features available through Averitt Climate Controlled Solutions Climate are made possible by secure satellite tracking via internal GPS. Proactive tracking updates, including proximity details or out-of-compliance alerts, can be sent remotely via text message, email or phone.
“Shippers will be able to use as many or as few containers as they need, and this is a very environmentally responsible way to transport sensitive and even high value cargo,” said Pierce. “We think this service could be a game changer in this segment of the market.”
Pierce provided the following scenario of the new climate-controlled LTL units in action to describe how they function: When a shipment is ready for pickup, Averitt dispatches one or more self contained, self-powered LTL shipping units, depending on the size of the shipment, to the shipper’s location. The freight is loaded into the specially-designed container, and the customer is able to set and/or verify the pre-set temperature of the shipment based on adjustable set points anywhere between -10 degrees F to 140 degrees F. Once returned to the Averitt distribution location, the container is carefully commingled with other LTL freight and distributed through our network until ultimate delivery.
Because of the value and time-sensitivity of the freight, a climate controlled shipment is going to receive a little more ‘TLC’ than a standard LTL shipment. Plus, the container itself has been heavily armored to easily withstand the rigors of LTL distribution and road travel.”
Pierce said that Averitt is currently testing its containers with a variety of customers in different industries, noting that the industries with the greatest need for this premium climate controlled service will be chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biochemical, healthcare, biotech, medical/surgical supplies, medical devices/equipment, as well as art, computers and disaster relief.
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