Guides / An Introduction to Reefer Monitoring / Reefer compliance issues

Reefer compliance issues

Compliance issues must be a top concern when it comes to operating reefer trailers. Certain perishable goods, such as food and fresh beverages, are under federal regulations when it comes to the temperature at which they must be stored and transported. 

The Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food, cited in the FSMA mandate, affects companies involved in the transportation of temperature-controlled foods, including shippers, carriers, loaders, and receivers. These companies must:

  • Maintain adequate temperature controls to ensure food safety
  • Retain records of transportation conditions for 12 months
  • Provide the operating temperature to the receiver and demonstrate that it has maintained temperature conditions during the transportation

Top compliance issues companies can face

When working to stay compliant with federal mandates, there are several issues companies can face. Companies who stay focused on addressing these issues will have a much easier time ensuring they stay compliant. The most common compliance problems include:

  • Not adequately cleaning and sanitizing trailers – Inadequate trailer maintenance is an easy way to fail an inspection. Companies must have thorough and rigid cleaning procedures in place, and have good policies and practices in place for enforcing these procedures. A clean, sanitized trailer is a must when it comes to staying compliant.
  • Not keeping a record of procedures – Failure to keep adequate records puts a reefer trailer company at risk of noncompliance. Companies need to be aware of all record-keeping requirements mandated by the FSMA, and make sure there is a process in place to adhere to these requirements.
  • Issues with temperature logs – Any issues with temperature logs raise an immediate red flag when it comes to staying compliant. Companies who operate reefer trailers must be able to demonstrate via temperature logs that adequate temperatures are maintained during all trips. In addition to staying compliant with the FSMA, reefer vehicles also need to meet stringent customer SLAs (service-level agreements) around temperature and/or humidity, and often need to provide these logs to the customer before the load is accepted. 

Solutions for reefer trailer compliance issues

Being proactive in establishing solutions for the possible compliance issues companies can face is the best way to avoid possible penalties associated with noncompliance. 

There are three key solutions for reefer trailer compliance issues: 

  1. Keeping a digital record of temperature logs – To avoid any issues with temperature logs, companies should look to a digital solution. Keeping a secure digital record of temperature logs is a much more reliable way to ensure proper record keeping. 
  2. Collecting temperatures with multi-point wireless environmental sensors – Another way to ensure compliance is to avoid hot zones with wireless environmental sensors. These sensors can be placed anywhere in a reefer trailer to capture humidity and temperature levels and catch hot zones. 
  3. Having the ability to immediately access temperature logs when needed – In addition to the ability to keep a secure digital record of temperature logs, the ability to immediately access temperature logs when needed (without taking a reefer unit out of circulation to pull the data) is a big benefit in staying productive and compliant. This immediate access saves valuable time and ensures accurate log reporting. 

Reefer freight management made easy with Motive’s Reefer Monitoring solution

Reliable technology is an excellent way to address the challenges that come with the complicated process of managing reefer freights.

The Motive Reefer Monitoring solution improves the compliance, profitability, and productivity of businesses by centralizing the management of reefer trailer fleets. Our Thermo King Integration helps you analyze live and historical telematics like fuel use, fault codes, and reefer telematics to proactively address any issues.

Learn more about the difference Motive Reefer Monitoring can make in your reefer trailer operations. Contact us today.