Truck shipping on highway in winter

How to Transport Temperature-Sensitive Goods Dry LTL

Posted onApril 09, 2021

LTL (Less Than Truckload) shipping is advantageous for small manufacturers and companies that divide their products among multiple destinations. If that cargo is temperature sensitive, however, the difficulty and cost of shipping increases greatly:

  • You have to find trucks sharing cargo that requires the same temperatures as your products.
  • Many LTL reefer carriers, then, have fixed schedules based on temperature and shipping lanes, reducing schedule availability.
  • These scarcity and logistical challenges can make it hard to find and book carriers, especially on short notice.
  • The cost increase from dry to refrigerated LTL is a steep jump, even more by percentage than from dry to reefer full truckloads.

The cost and complexity of LTL shipping temperature sensitive goods leaves manufacturers stuck between a rock and a hard place – protecting their products without breaking the budget.

Pallet covers offer an effective alternative to reefers. They work just like insulation in a picnic cooler or coffee thermos: The originating temperature of the product is conserved within the barrier while the impact of the temperature outside the cover is mitigated. Because this thermal insulating barrier is passive, it protects both from freezing in the winter and overheating in the summer months.

This graph shows a typical winter shipment and the difference between the air temperature under an Astro-Cooler Thermal Pallet Cover and the ambient air temperature inside the truck.

Pallet Cover Temperatures in Winter


In a nutshell: Instead of depending on the temperature in the trailer, a pallet cover manages the temperature around your products.

This puts dry LTL back on the table.

Astro-Cooler’s Thermal Pallet Covers and Astro Quilt have become the industry standard for facilitating Dry LTL and LCL. Our Pallet Covers:

  • Protect from both extreme heat and cold
  • Keep products 20-30 degrees warmer or cooler than ambient temperature
  • Mitigate temperature fluctuations across multi-day transport
  • Are lightweight and easy to install
  • Come in both reusable and one-way models
  • Come in standard heights and custom sizes as needed
  • Cost per shipment is far less than a reefer

Contact Us to learn if Thermal Pallet Covers are the right solution for your Dry LTL shipping needs. For goods pushed against the sides of trailers or containers, our Side Guard adds even more protection.