Transporting refrigerated goods is a delicate and specialised task that requires careful consideration. It’s not as simple as loading up your truck or van with the items you need to transport and setting off on your journey. There are many factors to consider, from temperature control to packaging and more.

However, there are some common mistakes people make when transporting refrigerated goods that can lead to problems down the line.

In this post, we’ll look at 13 of these mistakes and how you can avoid them so your shipment arrives in perfect condition every time.

1) Unsuitable Temperatures

Refrigerated goods need to be kept at safe temperatures to prevent spoilage. If the transport vehicle is not set up to provide adequate cooling, or if the temperature settings are incorrect, then your cargo could suffer damage and loss of value.

2) Cross Contamination

It’s important to ensure that the transport vehicle is clean and free of contamination before transporting refrigerated goods. Items like raw meat and dairy should be stored separately from other cargo to avoid cross-contamination and food poisoning.

3) Poorly Cleaned Equipment

Dirty equipment can harbour bacteria and affect the quality of the goods. Regularly clean and sanitise all transportation equipment, including trucks, containers, and pallets.

4) Unnecessary Openings and Closures

Frequent opening and closing of refrigerated compartments can disrupt the internal temperature and lead to temperature fluctuations. This can damage the goods and reduce their shelf life. To maintain a consistent temperature, you can reduce the frequency of unnecessary openings and closures.

5) Inadequate Monitoring of Temperature and Humidity

It’s essential to keep a close eye on both temperature and humidity levels during transportation. Use a reliable temperature monitoring system that can track the ambient conditions inside the transport vehicle.

6) Incorrect Loading Practices

Improperly loading the goods can obstruct airflow and prevent proper temperature distribution. To ensure a consistent temperature, items should be stacked evenly, and the load should not exceed the height of the refrigeration unit.

7) Overstocking the Refrigerated Compartment

Overloading the refrigerated compartment can impede proper air circulation and compromise the effectiveness of the cooling system. Ensure that the load does not exceed the maximum capacity of the refrigerated compartment.

8) Failing to Check for Leaks or Damage

Any leaks or damages to the refrigerated compartment can cause temperature fluctuations and compromise the integrity of the goods. It’s a good idea to check the refrigerated compartment before and after each delivery to ensure there are no issues.

9) Not Using Insulated and Appropriate Containers

Using inadequate containers can lead to temperature loss and affect the quality of the goods. It’s important to use insulated and appropriate containers that are suitable for the type of goods being transported.

10) Ignoring the Requirement for Documented Temperature Logs

Failure to keep accurate temperature logs can result in compliance issues and hinder traceability. Make sure to document all temperature readings during the transportation process to ensure compliance with industry regulations.

11) Relying on Technology Without Backup Plans

While technology can be helpful in monitoring temperatures, relying solely on it without backup plans can be risky. Have contingency measures in place, such as backup monitoring systems or manual temperature checks to be prepared for any potential issues.

12) Poorly Designed Refrigerated Storage Areas

Inadequate design and layout of the refrigerated storage areas can lead to uneven temperature distribution and compromised cooling efficiency. Ensure proper insulation, airflow, and organisation in the storage areas to ensure optimal cooling performance.

13) Not Planning Ahead For Seasonal Changes

Seasonal variations can significantly impact the temperature requirements for refrigerated goods. Plan ahead and adjust temperature settings accordingly to accommodate changing weather conditions.


Avoiding these 13 mistakes when transporting refrigerated goods is crucial to maintaining the quality, freshness, and safety of the products.

By paying attention to temperature control, cleanliness, proper loading practices, and proactive planning, you can ensure that your refrigerated goods reach their destination in optimal condition.

At Tranzfreeze, we offer transport refrigeration vehicles and equipment designed to keep your goods safe and at the right temperature during transport. We offer customised solutions for different types of goods and provide you with the necessary tools to ensure safe and effective transport. Contact us today for more information on our refrigerated transportation solutions