To protect the safety and quality of food products processed, packaged, transported, stored, and distributed globally, items should be kept on a timely schedule with rigorous quality-control checks. Products that require temperature and climate control for dry, refrigerated, and frozen storage and shipment should be processed under a strictly maintained cold chain. Cold-chain logistics solutions help storage providers, transporters, and distributors follow industrial guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other organizations that set quality standards, issue certifications, and generally improve supply practices. With a well-maintained cold chain, providers supply consumers globally with year-round nutrition and help to eliminate foodborne diseases. At Minnesota Freezer Warehouse Company (MFWC), we support food safety with state-of-the-art climate-control technology in Albert Lea, MN, and Austin, MN. Our two cold storage warehouses are located perfectly for handling products shipped coast to coast and border to border.
With over 5 million cubic square feet of freezer, dry, and refrigerated storage facilities, almost 30,000 pallet positions, simultaneous handling of up to 18 trucks and up to 6 railcars between our two warehouses, MFWC can import, store, and export a large amount of products daily. One major component of our global export and import operations is our partnership with intermodal transportation providers that operate with climate-control technology and our cross-docking capabilities.
For large packages like pallets, shipping containers, rail cars, and other heavy-duty transit containers, intermodal transportation is an ideal way of moving goods from one kind of shipper to another without having to remove or repackage goods from that unit. Our cross-dock systems are capable of handling intermodal shipments transitioning from truck to rail and back again. Intermodal transportation systems can also load from freight or rail to ship transit at industrial ports.
Benefits of Intermodal Transportation
Intermodal transportation is beneficial when handling large shipments for many reasons. Not only is intermodal shipping faster than single mode transit, it also generally lowers shipping costs, increases the load capacity of shipments, and reduces emissions and the overall carbon footprint of transportation. In addition, intermodal lanes provide greater safety because goods are stored in the same container they are originally loaded into at the start of export. This strategy eliminates the risk of damage from worker interference or loss of product in repackaging, and it allows for a better inventory recordkeeping system.
Modern improvements to secure shipping containers, inventory tracking technology, and precise climate-control capabilities all complement the reliability and efficiency of intermodal transportation. MFWC works with trusted temperature-controlled transportation providers for export and import on intermodal lanes as well as single mode lanes.