Understand the Basics When Selecting the Right Carrier for Meat Shipments

May 23, 2014

The logistical task of transporting the nation’s food supply from the processing plant to your local grocery store is largely a job for the trucking industry. An estimated 21 million trucks hit the road daily to transport meat products across the country.

Meat products have specific guidelines when it comes to transporting this temperature and time-sensitive commodity which presents several challenges for producers and haulers. Here’s more information on selecting the right carrier for meat shipments.

The top four challenges to transporting meat are:

  •  Controlling consistent temperatures for the duration of the journey
  •  Ensuring these goods are transported with the right equipment
  •  Having available resources in place to deliver on time
  •  Having the ability to keep these high value shipments secure

Temperature Control

Fresh meat must be stored and shipped below 40 degrees. The FDA reports that the danger zone for fresh meat is when it gets above 40 degrees because of threat of contamination and spoilage.


Therefore, both the warehouse and shipping container must be able to consistently keep the cargo below the 40 degree threshold from the dock to the truck. Refrigerated trucking trailers supply cold air to the front of the trailer that is channeled along vents running the length of the trailer to maintain cool air circulation. Well-maintained equipment is mandatory — there is no room for error.

Equipped for the Load

Trucks transporting meat products must be designed to allow proper storage, temperature control, inspection, and sanitation. Companies using technology-based tools in trucks like temperature-controlled monitoring systems can provide this data to customers who want to check the status of freight.

Drivers and Time

Delivering this sensitive freight on time is a race against the clock. The amount of time behind the wheel for drivers is governed by federal regulations which allows for a limited number of hours per day. For carriers moving processed foods, the ability to have drivers in the delivery area is crucial. Only carriers who have the resources to have both equipment and drivers available can carry the load.

Shipment Security

In the post 9/11 economy, food safety is paramount. Secure cargo isn’t only for high value or hazardous materials. Carriers are now mandated to provide secure trailers in transporting food products. Trucks and trailers are often equipped with GPS tracking equipment so the location of the cargo is always available to the shipper and carrier.  Sealed locks on trailers and tamper-proof seals help carriers deliver goods that are guaranteed to arrive tamper-free.

The West Is Calling


In March 2014, in an effort to meet customer demand for the shipment of meat, specifically beef, ABCO Transportation moved assets to metropolitan Kansas City. The ABCO West terminal in Kansas City, Mo., now houses a modern fleet of truck cabs along with state-of-the art refrigerated trailers. This new fleet has enabled ABCO to ship fresh and frozen meat to local and regional customers from Kansas City.

The region has a long history of shipping beef. Area farmers, dating back to 1871, started transporting goods from the Kansas City Stockyards via Kansas Pacific and Missouri Pacific railroad lines. At their peak in the 1940s, the Kansas City Stockyards were the nation’s second largest behind the Chicago Stockyards. Today the area still ranks as the country’s third largest beef producing region following Cincinnati and Chicago.

ABCO is currently delivering within a 150-mile radius of Kansas City, which includes the cities of St. Joseph, Mo. to the north, along with the Kansas state capital of Topeka to the west; Kansas City suburbs of Overland Park and Leavenworth; and to the south Fort Scott and Columbus. This radius makes it possible for us to ensure products are shipped with the right equipment, arrive on time, are kept at the correct temperature and remain safe.


Our fleet is equipped with temperature monitoring systems which allows us to keep constant check on all freight. In addition, we have partnered with a leading security vendor to design a seal system for ABCO trailers to protect freight. We are committed to providing safe, reliable services while excelling to provide the highest level of customer service.

If we can be of help meeting your expedited and temperature-controlled shipping needs in Kansas City, please contact us today!