What is the purpose of an in-transit temperature recorder?

The vast majority of perishable food personnel would respond that temperature recorders are used “to hold a trucker responsible for a bad arrival.”

This isn’t wrong. When temperature controlled shipments arrive out of the desired temperature range, a temperature record can be used to verify if a carrier fulfilled the conditions on the Contract of Haul. In such disputes, it is common for a temperature record to determine liability for loss—often in the tens of thousands of dollars. However, there’s more to the story.

The rest of the story:

A temperature recorder has a far greater value—it can be a tool to help receivers and quality assurance professionals identify which products are most likely to spoil prematurely—the source of what is often called “hidden shrink”.

Consider this real world scenario:  A major grocer has strawberries on promotion. Eight truckloads arrive at the distribution center on time with good quality upon arrival.  All eight loads are accepted. However, the temperature recorder from one trailer reveals that the shipment experienced more than eight hours above 40°F while in-transit. The receiver can use this temperature information to identify which product should be:

A) The first to be shipped out


B) Shipped to the destination best able to sell the product quickly

This simple exception to basic FIFO (first in, first out) procedures is likely to save thousands of dollars in product loss due to spoilage.

In the scenario above, the receiver maximizes the value of a temperature recorder. This inexpensive tool that most receivers already have available lets them predict which shipments require expedited handling. Hidden shrink is sharply reduced, retail customers have a better quality product to purchase, and retailers will better returns.

Picking the right temperature monitoring system makes these results even more compelling. Cargo Data Corporation’s Lightning NFC can display temperature charts on a smartphone or tablet while simultaneously saving all data to the cloud. This automation simplifies and adds value to receiving and quality assurance operations for high-volume perishables. Online temperature data access and archiving also reduces documentation hassles related to Food Safety Modernization Act protocols.

If you’re interested in getting better use out of your temperature recorder, contact Cargo Data Corporation at 800-338-8134. We offer free consultations on how to best maximize profits by using temperature recorders to reduce hidden shrink.