In 2018, Americans consumed an average of 38.9 gallons of soda. Although that is a 25 percent decline from the all-time high of 53 gallons in 2000, shipping soda by the truckload is still a big part of a thriving business both internationally and domestically. For example, Coca-Cola saw a total revenue of nearly $32 billion. So there is still a thirst for carbonated beverages that got their start in the late 1890s.
Knowing the ins and outs of shipping soda by the truckload can help prepare your shipment to arrive to stores undamaged and in the fizzy, sweet condition which customers expect.
This is probably the most important aspect of shipping to deal with for soda. Depending on whether the liquid is in glass bottles, plastic bottles or cans, and how it is pre-packaged, it will have an effect on how much care to take in packing them during transit.
Take a 12-pack of soda in aluminum cans; they are already securely placed in a cardboard packaging and can just be stacked on a pallet and shrink-wrapped. You’re good to go without thinking too much about it.
But two-liter bottles are best stored in hard plastic stackable containers where the bottles can’t move much and they are stable.
Plastic bottles are pretty durable. Combined with the pressurized beverage inside, the bottle will be fairly rigid and not susceptible to minor dings. However, that same pressurization can cut the opposite way if the bottle is impacted very hard.
The soda could come gushing out of the bottle, ruining that product and making other soda bottles surrounding the busted bottle sticky. This will waste time at the least and might make more product unsellable.
Aluminum cans, on the other hand, are prone to being easily dented, which isn’t the end of the world in the soda world but makes the packaging of the soda less visually appealing.
If you want the most refreshing version of soda, it is best served at about 40 degrees fahrenheit. When shipping soda, the biggest thing is to not subject the drinks to big swings in temperature.
Leaving soda in a hot car (or truck) will alter the taste and consistency of the liquid, which would then prevent those sodas from being sold or have customers asking for refunds or replacements should they get an unsavory flavor from their cans or bottles.
Soda can be kept at a fairly wide range of temperatures, but keeping it away from the extremes is the best rule of thumb. If the soda gets too hot — as previously mentioned — its freshness will be compromised. If it faces extreme heat and is stored in a can or bottle, it could explode due to extreme pressure built up inside.
On the flip side, if the temperature drops to freezing or below, the can or bottle will also explode. Since soda is a mix of water, syrup and carbon dioxide, the water begins to expand when frozen and pushes the carbon dioxide out, which causes the can to burst.
So there is about a 40-degree range where soda can be kept at to ensure no undesirable flavor profiles or lost liquid occurs while being shipped to its destination.
Outside of making sure the temperature doesn’t get extremely hot or at freezing or below as discussed above, there are a few other things you can do to keep soda the freshest during transit.
Also, we’ve already talked about how to pack liquids for shipping but taking it a step further, from a flavor perspective, it’s important to try to limit movement of the freight as much as humanly possible. Of course, preventing all movement during transit is impossible but there are several minor things that can be done to really restrict the product.
Using bracing locks and packing pallets densely together will prevent additional, unnecessary movement.
Soda is not all about just Coke or Pepsi. Many companies you may have never heard of before produce beverages you’ve probably consumed before.
A freight company that operates in the 21st century should give those companies — and you — the ability to approximately know where the soda shipment is at all times.
The freight hauler will be outfitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) that will connect to a computer system. The coordinates will be transmitted, often in real time, and usually there will be a website or application (also known as an app) that allows the customer to view the exact location.
In other cases, where real-time visibility is not available, GPS might be used in conjunction with timestamps, where the truckload freight is scanned in and the time, date and place is posted as text on the website or app — basically as check-ins along the route.
When you’re ready to start shipping soda by the truckload, let the pros at R+L Global Logistics handle your fizzy products. We have a plethora of experience and success in getting valuable freight from its starting point to the finish line.
First off, we will take the utmost care to make sure your sugary beverages stay inside the bottle — undamaged — until customers are ready to buy them in the stores and pop the top at home.
We offer real-time freight visibility so you know where your soda is at every step of the way. This feature is coupled with our 99.5 percent on-time delivery rate so you can experience peace of mind during the transit.
We also offer climate-controlled truckload freight and warehousing to keep your drinks at an appropriate ambient temperature so they stay at the height of freshness for as long as possible. For those orders that just have to be filled immediately.
If you have any questions during the process, our customer service is around 24 hours a day to serve you.
If you’re ready to begin shipping soda by the truckload, have R+L Global Logistics do what it does best in getting your freight there in great condition and on time. Call (866) 353-7178 to get a free freight rate quote and learn about the difference in shipping with an experienced and trusted carrier.