Supply Chain Intermodal Shipping

Adapt to Supply Chain Problems With Passive Thermal Protection

Posted onDecember 01, 2021

Even before the Covid-19 Pandemic and the current international supply chain woes, domestic truck and driver availability was tight. Now as ports are crammed with backed-up products and the holiday shopping (and shipping) season is upon us, the lack of trucking capacity is driving up cost and delivery times. Transportation Insight – a U.S. based third-party logistics (3PL) provider – reports that “Performance indices for Parcel, LTL and Truckload increased year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter as capacity constraints persist across all modes.” Of particular note:

  • Truckload index increased 28.5% year-over-year and 12.8% since January 2021
  • LTL increased 9.1% compared to 2020, and 4.1% compared to January 2021
  • Parcel also continues climb, rising 7.8% year-over-year 1

While intermodal rail offers a less expensive shipping option during the mild seasons, manufacturers that produce temperature sensitive products typically switch to over the road temperature controlled trucks in November to avoid freezing risk. These shippers are feeling the supply chain crunch in more than just cost increases – bottlenecks at ports and driver shortages are making an already tight shipping season even more difficult to find trucks.

Increase Your Shipping Options

Passive Thermal Protection can be an extremely valuable tool in your belt for shipping temperature sensitive products. By reducing the risk of freeze damage in dry containers, thermal blankets and pallet covers are a low-cost investment in increasing your shipping flexibility and opening up your shipping options. Astro-Cooler’s products are lightweight, easy to install and are available in one-way and re-usable options. Hundreds of our clients manage freeze risk during winter months while still shipping by rail with the Astro-Cooler Blanket.

Plan Your Shipments

Intermodal has also been impacted by the supply chain crisis: Rail prices have also increased and delays in route and slower travel time can be of concern for temperature sensitive products. Even so, InTek Freight & Logistics Inc TM reports that domestic intermodal spot rates are only up 9.3% compared to truckload spot rates at 18.9% year-over-year. 2  And to mitigate freeze risk during travel, Astro-Cooler has developed the Astro Assure Intermodal App that allows you to enter your route and see the temperatures that your shipment will encounter. You can expand your intermodal shipping window and still adjust for extreme weather conditions as needed.

Add Astro-Cooler to Your Shipping Strategy

Adapting to rapidly changing supply chain dynamics can be the difference between getting your products to their markets and watching them sit on a loading dock. Astro-Cooler’s passive thermal protection products can not only help you stay on top of the current shipping challenges, they will provide you ongoing cost benefit and flexibility long after the supply chain has returned to normal.

  1. Transportation rates Forecast: Q4 2021, Transportation Insight