More RFP'S or RFQ’s In Freight Transportation

More RFP’S or RFQ’s In Freight Transportation

Lately are hearing  this word more and more, some call it Request of Proposals (RFP) and some refer to it as Request of Quotes ( RFQ ). This time around…

More RFP’S or RFQ’s In Freight Transportation
Are You Importing Legally?

Are You Importing Legally?

The product you are buying might not be as simple to import as you think. Before you order your product, be certain that the product you are importing is allowed…

Are You Importing Legally?
The Government Shutdown

The Government Shutdown

The United States federal government entered a shutdown from October 1 through 16, 2013, and curtailed most routine operations after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014. During the shutdown,…

The Government Shutdown
Cargo Theft

Cargo Theft

It’s not a topic you hear about every day, you may not have heard about cargo theft headlining the news. Crime of such nature had become more organized and more…

Cargo Theft
Abandoned Cargo

Abandoned Cargo

Freight that has not been accepted or claimed by the consignee or is undeliverable due to error or omission on the part of the shipper, consignee, or owner or for…

Abandoned Cargo

    The story continues…

    Get to know: Reefer Containers


    What is a reefer container?


    “Reefer container” is yet another industry jargon that refers to refrigerated containers. Simply put, reefer containers are big fridges that are used to transport goods that require temperature controlled while in transit.

    Examples of cargo that are usually transported in reefer containers are fruits, meat, fish, seafood, vegetables and dairy. Reefer containers also carry non-food products such as flowers and pharmaceuticals.

    We here at MTS are very experienced in handling reefer cargo. In fact, recently we started carrying one of the biggest and most prestigious chocolatiers in the world. For this particular client, we ship chilled/frozen products that require strict temperature control during transport.


    When it comes to reefer containers, there is no wiggle room. Temperature setting requirement must be precise as the integrity of the product depends on it. Reefer containers have the ability to maintain the cargo at the required temperatures for the duration of the transit.


    How does a reefer container work?




    Reefer containers are bottom air delivery units designed to distribute chilled air from the floor, via specific T-shaped decking, with the advantage of producing a consistent and uniform flow of air across the entire shipment, powerful enough to ensure a perfect air exchange with the goods.

    Refrigerated units can maintain or lower the temperature of your shipment. Reefer containers are also equipped to ‘warm up’ the goods for those shipments where required, with the ability to maintain temperatures up to 30°C when required, regardless of outside temperatures. Important point to note is that a reefer unit is not designed to reduce the temperature of the cargo but rather to maintain the pre-cooled cargo temperature.

    The airflow requirements of each commodity varies and there is no one size fits all in reefer cargo movement.

    Example :

    ▪    in the case of chilled cargo, air has to flow through the cargo at all times so that heat and gases are removed, therefore the cartons used should have ventilation

    ▪    in the case of frozen cargo, air has to flow around the cargo so there should be no gaps between the cargo and the walls and the cargo itself, so the cargo has to be block stowed

    Airflow pattern for chilled cargo – Image from website


    Airflow pattern for frozen cargo – Image from website


    While in transport, some fruit types have the potential to carry pathogens. In an effort to prevent this, all shipment from importing countries such as China, Japan and Nigeria require cold treatment of the fruit, colloquially known as Steri shipments.

    For these kind of shipments, the fruit will be pre-cooled to a lower temperature, and in order to monitor this, steri probes (about 3 per shipment) are inserted into the pulp of the fruit, within the carton.

    There is a minimal tolerance allowed in temperature variance. Should the tolerance be exceeded, either additional hours or days will be required to bring it to the required temperature.

    Should one of the probes drift above the tolerance, the cargo will be rejected at country of destination, due to the potential of the fruit still retaining pathogens.

    All in all, cold-treatment cargoes follow the normal pattern of shipping with one or two additional requirements.

    Should the units be packed correctly and cargo post-harvest process followed, barring the unit failing, cargo can be received by the customer on a ready to eat basis or even for further storage.



    Checklist for stowage of reefer cargo







    Some general tips on stowage of reefer cargo:

    ▪    Cargo should not be stuffed beyond the end of the T-floor

    ▪    Cargo should not be stuffed above the red load line

    ▪    Cargo must be stable on the floor and tightly wedged so it doesn’t shift during passage

    ▪    Unit must always be set at the proper carrying temperature and this set temperature will vary according to the cargo being loaded

    ▪    Dehumidification controls must be checked

    ▪    If pre-cooling is required, it must be the cargo that is pre-cooled and not the container, unless the container is loaded in an airlocked cold tunnel in the cold storage

    ▪    Ventilation setting is of utmost importance and must be set at the correct level

    ▪    As air will follow the path of least resistance, there should not be any restrictions for air flow and any gaps between the pallets and the doors must be closed using cardboard or even wood. This will then force the air to circulate correctly and reduce the potential for heat sinks (warm air continuously circulating) near the doors


    Brace yourselves, the shipments are coming!

    Brace yourselves, the shipments are coming!

    ‘Uberization’ of Logistics

    According to the American Trucking Association, trucks move almost 70% of total freight in the US. At the same time, the gross revenue from freight trucking barely exceeds $600 billion annually. The old model works and it’s been working for quite some time, but it can be really inefficient. One reason for that is empty containers, the re-positioning of which is almost as costly as moving a full container.

    To move empty loads that will not make any money on shipping; the industry has to spend on average, $16 billion per year, which accounts for 15% of all operational costs related to container assets. The longer the truck waits to be filled, the higher is the cost of maintaining and re-positioning it. [Read more...]

    Refrigerated Container

    What does TSA stand for ?

    April is already here, so we all started to talk about how ocean freight rates will increase specially going towards Peak Season for Asia to US freight market. Lately, we have been hearing some interesting news about freight rates announced by TSA. I decided to search more about TSA (Transpacific Stabilization Agreement). We all know that TSA is a research and discussion forum about container shipping lines offering supply chain, logistics and freight transportation between Asia and the U.S.

    Now let’s take a look at TSA’s contract guidelines for 2015-2016 .

    TSA lines made an announcement on Oct 1st 2014 their contract program of 2015-16 eastbound service. They outlined some adjustments to  freight rates and charges effective May 1, 2015. What are the key issues addressed in this program? Some of the most important subjects are the continuing short-term rate volatility; surging fuel prices; and inland inter-modal congestion resulting in higher costs facing Asia-U.S. container lines. [Read more...]

    The 5 Biggest Problems of Global Logistics


    Global logistics is such a diverse topic that it is almost impossible to narrow down the possible issues into five. However below issues are the most common ones that I have experienced throughout the years. [Read more...]

    Secure Cargo Loading


    Caricaturist: Deniz Ilhan

    How to Lower Your Freight Cost

    Container terminal at night

    Don’t get excited, there is no discount coupon or promotion code at the end of this article, but I am offering some suggestions to importers to save on freight. ‎ [Read more...]

    2015 – A crazy year just started!!

    Port warehouse with cargoes and containers

    2015 started as a crazy year which affected all of us, from freight forwarders that arrange imports from China, to grain exporters in Illinois, to customs brokers in La to warehouses in US Gulf. The West Coast Ports’ slow down peaked the last 3 months (and finally reached an agreement), which not only locked US West Coast Ports but also the exports from Gulf, imports in East Coast, and others nationwide. We heard freight rates of $5000/40′ from Asia to US East Coast.  We saw roll overs of 3 weeks in Port of Houston/Port of New Orleans. We saw 30+ ships waiting out-side of Long Beach. It had such a chain reaction that it affected the trucking and container availability in major cities like Chicago, Houston, New York, it even pushed Norfolk Port to shut down its rail connections just because of the excess flow of containers. [Read more...]