EVERY INDUSTRY has its own lingo — words and phrases understood by those who work in or have some familiarity with that industry. At a cold-storage operation, the unique vocabulary can be lengthy for a couple of reasons: One, it’s actually part of two industries — public refrigerated warehousing (PRW) and the broader cold supply chain — and, two, interaction with government regulators is considerable.
Here are just a few of the terms that folks in the cold storage arena toss about routinely:
• Reefers — These are refrigerated or cold-storage trailers or containers, typically 24 feet to 53 feet in length, pulled by truck tractors and carried by ships, trains, and planes.
• TTRs — Time and temperature recorders: Small, hand-sized units powered by batteries, which have a typical recording time of 24 hours to 30 days.
• Cross dock — This is the refrigerated transit service where inbound and outbound products are unloaded and reloaded for transport. Its purpose is to maintain the cold chain between a rail car and a truck trailer, between two rail cars, or between two truck trailers. Storage in a cross dock usually is brief — no longer than 48 hours.
• Hot load — This term applies to frozen products that arrive at a temperature 10 degrees above zero or warmer. When a hot load comes in, the shipper is notified and asked whether the product can be accepted or rejected. In a nod to technology and growing food safety practices, product rejection is rare — less than one percent.
• Food defense — Putting measures in place that reduce the chances of the food supply from becoming intentionally contaminated by chemicals, biological agents, or other harmful substances. This has become an international term and national requirement for producers, processors, warehouses, distributors, and grocers.
Next month, we’ll explore a few more terms unique to the PRW industry.
This column is sponsored by Adams Cold Storage.
column by BEN ADAMS, JR.
BIO: Ben Adams, Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage LLC in Auburndale. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing and distribution, as well as state and community support, since 1980. His facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multitemperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion project currently under way.