FFE Transportation Services Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Frozen Food Express Industries Inc (FFEX), has entered into a joint venture with International Transport Logistics Inc (ITL) to provide temperature-controlled and non-temperature-controlled trailer service into and out of Puerto Rico, using ships and barges from ports in Florida and New Jersey.
Key to the service, the companies say, is that the freight will be carried by FFE's 53-foot temperature-controlled highway trailers. Currently the market is dominated by 40-ft refrigerated ocean containers.
Ocean containers have no wheels and must be lifted by crane onto a chassis for highway transportation and lifted from the chassis onto ships. Much of the freight destined for Puerto Rico arrives at port locations in highway trailers and must be transferred into ocean containers.
The new service announced by FFEX and ITL simplifies the ocean container process. The highway trailer is loaded at the shipper's dock; it is then driven on and off the ship at the port, and the freight is not touched until it is delivered to the buyer.
Stoney M “Mit” Stubbs Jr, chairman and chief executive officer of FFEX, said the new service lowers shipping costs because of the larger capacity of the 53-ft highway trailer. “In addition to eliminating the need for handling the ocean container and, often, the goods inside that container. The larger size of our 53-ft trailers can reduce the number of trailer loads shipped annually by a customer by up to 30%,” he said.
The FFEX/ITL service currently offers eight round-trip sailings a week.