Maritime Shipping’s Troubling Year – A Timeline Making Waves

In March 2021 the Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal. That was just the beginning.

On March 23, 2021, heavy winds buffeted the 400 metre long Ever Given, wedging it sideways between the banks of the Suez Canal. The ship and the 18,000 containers it carried remained stuck for six days, shutting down one of the world’s key trading routes. Over 400 other ships piled up behind it as they were prevented from entering the blocked canal. The incident stalled USD$60 billion in trade and was a defining moment in the global supply chain crisis.

In the year since the Ever Given ran aground, very little has changed, and yet, in some ways, everything has changed. Here’s a look at the major maritime events of 2021 and what it can tell us for 2022.


The Suez backlog continued throughout the next month and quickly spread to other ports, leading to a Trans-Pacific container crunch as ships sat idle. Exacerbating the issue was the impact of North American port congestion on the global container imbalance which resulted in many containers going empty back to Asia. Officials at the Port of Los Angeles referred to the steady stream of incoming ships as their own “March Madness” and vowed to get the average 29 ships waiting at anchor down to zero. Spoiler alert: It didn’t happen. By mid-April, truck drivers represented by the Teamsters union went on strike at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. North of the border employees also went on strike at the Port of Montreal until they were forced back to work by legislators.


In May, container ships failed to keep up as demand continued to grow and the cost of containers surged. Speculation mounted on the production capacity of the three companies producing 80% of the world’s containers. A top maritime official launched an informal investigation into a possible container monopoly. At the Port of Los Angeles, officials continued to deal with a parking lot of ships, further delaying both existing shipments and returns to other ports.


By early June, desperate shippers were paying rates exceeding USD$135,000 per day to secure container ships, while Home Depot opted to contract its own ship in a bid to solve the problem. Chassis and labour shortages continued to hammer ocean carriers and train services while a massive crane collapse took out more containers in Taiwan. The port of Yantian, one of the world’s largest container ports, was shut down by Chinese officials as part of a zero-tolerance Covid policy when five crew members tested positive. It would remain stalled for weeks as upwards of 160,000 containers piled up on its docks. Major carriers cancelled sailings to Yantian, but that sparked a domino effect as other Chinese ports tried to absorb the extra volume and quickly became consumed by it as well.


As demand for ships continued to outstrip supply, ports continued to be plagued by disasters, both natural and manufactured. Wildfires in BC and the Western US fueled the container backlog as inland movement was disrupted by damaged rail infrastructure. Meanwhile, typhoons pummeled ports in China and other parts of Asia. Covid-19 counter-measures in Vietnam shut down both manufacturers and ports in that country, bruising the supply chain further. On the bright side, 106 days after it became wedged in the Suez Canal, the Ever Given was released and finally limped into the Port of Rotterdam.


Canadian Border services began a work slowdown “threatening a dramatic impact to Canada’s supply chain”. In China, Covid cases partially shut down the Port of Nighbo. Chinese coastal ports required a 14 to 21-day quarantine for imported cargoes after they departed from specific countries, further compounding existing shipping delays. Meanwhile, Los Angeles surpassed its own record with over 40 ships anchored and waiting in line to be unloaded. Canadian Tire Corp., in an effort to give itself some more supply chain flexibility, bought a 25% stake in one of British Columbia’s largest inland ports.


Chaos reigned in ports on both sides of the Pacific. The number of container ships anchored off Shanghai and Ningbo surged as 242 container ships waited for berths countrywide. As shipping charter rates topped USD$200,000 per day, Costco and Ikea followed Home Depot’s example and also chartered their own ships. A growing power crisis in Asia and Europe rendered Chinese factories powerless, further delaying manufacturing and exports ahead of North America’s busy holiday season. The TransPacific traffic snarl continued to worsen as the Port of Los Angeles backlog grew to 73 ships. The Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach rolled out pilot programs to test expanding nights and weekend hours.


Walmart joined the list of major companies chartering their own ships. An increase in shipping accidents throughout the year plagued the Pacific threatening traffic on that already clogged route. The latest resulted in more than 100 overboard containers on the Zim Kingston, followed by 10 containers – 2 of which contained hazardous materials – that caught fire aboard the same ship off Vancouver Island.  The Port of Los Angeles announced it would begin operating 24/7 in a bid to reduce the number of ships waiting at anchor. It didn’t work, and the backlog continued to grow. A new threat to shipping emerged as the price of fuel rose to its highest point since 2014.


Cybercriminal activity targeted the vulnerable shipping industry over the past several months, selling off access to critical information and logistics. Massive flooding in British Columbia essentially cut off Vancouver from the rest of the country, issuing in a state of emergency as rail lines and highways closed. Labour shortages continued to wreak havoc at most ports, with Covid-19 illnesses and lockdowns causing most issues.  The Port of Vancouver was then hit with another labour obstacle as truckers threatened to strike.  Marine fuel was up 47% since the beginning of the year and an estimated 3 million containers waited on ships at ports around the world.


The container shortage worsened as empty containers piled up at global ports, most simply at the wrong place or at the wrong time. Customers with spoiled products or outdated seasonal imports simply abandoned their containers. The Port of Vancouver ship backlog hit 60 while the empty container situation worsened across the globe. Over 70,000 sat empty on Los Angeles terminals or dock depots, with more than half remaining there for nine days or more. Worse, delays on routes from China to the US west coast increased steadily, with only three in 10 container vessels arrived on time at their destination.


Los Angeles hit a new record with 105 container ships waiting to berth. Waiting times to discharge or pick up cargoes in Long Beach near Los Angeles reached 38 days to 45 days. Multiple ports in China once again faced restricted access or shutdowns due to zero-covid policy impacting goods ahead of the Chinese New Year.


The number of ships waiting off the coast of California dropped to 66, however, this reflected ships being rerouted to other US ports, as countrywide the total number of vessels waiting for berths was comparable with early January numbers at 147. These reroutes continued to add cost and transit time to shipments on board. Nearly a year after the Ever Given, the Suez Canal toll hike adds to shipping costs, but it looks like that might be just the beginning. New annual contracts will likely lock in much higher shipping rates to compensate for higher fuel costs, longer transit times and port layovers. Despite a multilateral probe looking at possible collusion with shipping lines, it is unlikely these rates will drop anytime soon.

The Ever Given did not cause the current shipping crisis, but it did herald a series of unfortunate events that fed the current crisis. And now the world faces a new threat with Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. This devastating war that has already claimed thousands of lives and the destruction of Europe’s “breadbasket” also threatens to increase inflationary pressures. Prices for fuel, food and metals are expected to soar. The ongoing computer chip shortage will be further devasted as Ukraine cannot ship necessary neon gas exports. Ukrainian ports have been closed, affecting trans-European shipping and by association world trade.

What’s ahead

It does look like global Covid restrictions are easing in some parts of the world which could help ease clogged ports. It will take time for the supply chain to recover from the events of 2021, and no one expects a quick fix, but there are hopeful signs. Inventories are slowly being rebuilt across the globe, and higher interest rates could help ease inflation and demand. The US has pledged $450 million in port grants to relieve congestion and improve efficiencies which would have a positive impact on the global supply chain as North American port congestion greatly impacts global container availability and equipment imbalances.  As supply chain woes dominated the airwaves, it also led to an uptick in maritime tech deals, which could bring greater visibility to the industry, allowing for better planning and more streamlined operations.

With so much disruption and uncertainty these past couple years, one thing remains consistent: partnership and communication are more important than ever. Whether your freight moves by ocean or not, you will have undoubtedly experienced delays at the hand of these maritime events. Marine disruption and container imbalances directly impact rail, road, air and warehousing services. Staying on top of current issues can be challenging when individual incidents create such a ripple effect, and that is why we have taken the time to piece together the major maritime events that continue to impact the current global supply chain.  We believe understanding how and why costs have been increasing helps us navigate the current crisis, find solutions and mitigate the impact. Even though 2022 will continue to be a difficult year for shippers and carriers alike, together, we can create supply chain solutions. Visit our website to learn more about our end-to-end, transport, logistics, intermodal and distribution services.

Photo by Suez Canal Authority/Handout/AFP via Getty Images


  2. Truck drivers strike at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – Splash247
  5. North America responsible for the world’s container shortages – Splash247
  12. Port of Vancouver Reports Congestion Delays as Rail Service Resumes (
  13. Northern California wildfires damage BNSF’s rail infrastructure – FreightWaves


Breaking the Bias: Correcting the Gender Imbalance in Trucking & Logistics

“The industry’s gender imbalance is a complex issue but one that requires us to think about the most appropriate strategies to get it right.” – Trucking HR Canada

As we celebrate International Women’s Day and this year’s theme of Breaking the Bias, XTL recognizes the importance of women in the workplace and industry of Trucking & Logistics. At XTL, women have been given every opportunity for success and development. 44% of our management team are women which is significantly higher than the industry standard of less than 5% according to Trucking HR Canada.

XTL believes it is important to have a diverse and equal representation of both genders on our team. According to Truckers Human Resource Sector Council (THRSC), companies with higher percentages of women outperformed those with the least by 66%. XTL encourages women in the transportation industry by providing professional development, leadership programs, mentoring, and career advancement. 

XTL is breaking the bias with women in the workplace, especially in the Trucking & Logistics industry. Let’s celebrate our team! 

“The transportation industry is still perceived as a “male-dominated” industry. As we advance and have more representation of women, we will be able to reverse that perception. Breaking the bias also means taking risks and joining an industry that is considered to have that bias and recognizing for yourself that you can make a difference. I personally encourage any women I know to learn more about our industry and for those that are already in our industry that there is nothing stopping them from growing in the industry! The sky is the limit!” Merany Khun, Chief Financial Officer 

“Slowly, the ratio of women is increasing in the industry and also in key positions. We see more and more women who are role models.”- Valérie Blanchard, Senior HR Advisor

“It makes me proud that we have come this far and women in our country can hold any job they want, go to any school and any program they choose.  There is still lots of work to do in other countries but as a Canadian woman I am proud of where we are today.” – Stephanie Gagnon, Director of Western Terminals

“The transportation industry has always been considered a “man’s world” or “male dominant.” Today, we’re seeing women make huge strides, not only in their careers but in the industry as a whole.” – Kamilia Baroudi, Senior HR Director

XTL celebrates women in the workplace and Trucking & Logistics industry. We aim to attract and retain women to grow our talent, improve our company culture, and increase our economic success. We are proud to have such a diverse group of women as employees will continue to grow!

Happy International Women’s Day! 


Additional Quotes: 

“At XTL, women have been given every opportunity for success and development. We hold key positions in every department, even in areas that typically would be held by a male.” – Heather Savage, Billing and Settlement Manager

“To those women in the transportation industry – you can achieve everything you put the work in for, go get it!” – Audrey Belair, US Operation Manager

“Our industry has evolved a lot over the decades that I’ve been in it.  It’s more sophisticated but still all about the people.  I never intended a career in transport but once I got in, there was no going back.” – Lorraine Koehler, Vice President of Shared Services

 “Keep Trucking! Changes are coming and don’t be afraid to apply for those male-dominated jobs.” – Ann-Marie Pereira, Credit Manager

“Having great female role models in this business is huge!” – Sukhy Hayre, Controller

“International Women’s Day is a powerful commemoration day that unites us, women, to celebrate social, economical, and political achievements. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the progress that has been made over the years to achieve equality in the workplace and acknowledge the steps that still need to be made.” – Laura Galvis, Terminal Manager

“We need more people in the transportation industry, women can be a great source of recruitment if we give them the opportunity.” – Caroline Francoeur, General Manager Savoie Express

“I have been a driver for almost 20 years!” – Hélène Dupuis, Driver

“International Women’s Day allows me to look back on progress as a society and also my personal progress.” – Cynthia Héroux, Driver


A Shortage of Trucking Parts is Affecting More Than Just Trucking Companies

Factors impacting the part shortage and what it means for companies and consumers

We all know there is a supply chain crisis. Alongside the pandemic and rising costs, it has dominated the news cycle over the last few months. Issues in the supply chain have directly impacted the trucking companies and the industry that supports it, triggering a severe shortage of parts which, in turn, has driven up the costs of both new and used trucks.

Rising prices for truck parts and both new and old trucks

Parts shortages, particularly with chips and rubber, are impacting the whole automotive sector, including commercial and consumer vehicles alike. In response to this and ongoing labour shortages, manufacturers have increasingly shifted their focus to the consumer market. This has limited the availability of new trucks, and as supply has dwindled, prices for new equipment have risen. Used trucks, however, have also sharply increased in price as companies increasingly turn their attention to used vehicle options. Used truck tractor prices rose in Canada by 14% this year alone, while used vocational trucks cost an additional 20%, according to used truck dealers Ritchie Bros.

These shortages are happening just as trucking companies have a unique opportunity amid increased capacity to expand their fleets and step in to help mitigate supply chain issues. Instead, many are committing additional resources to sourcing the parts needed to keep their older equipment in service as orders are reduced, delayed or even cancelled outright.

From the pandemic to freak weather events- a perfect storm.

Equipment shortages began early in 2020 when the pandemic shut down factories and led to a scarcity of the computer chips used in many modern goods, including medical equipment, cell phones and, of course, trucks. Most modern trucks contain 15 to 35 chips powering everything from rear cameras to emergency brakes. However, while the chip shortage continues, a perfect storm of weather, labour and other issues have now made things much worse.

A year after the pandemic began, the Evergreen ran to ground and blocked the Suez Canal for six days, virtually freezing delivery of various goods, including oil, and doing long term damage to the global supply chain. At the same time, global ports were heavily affected by government-mandated shutdowns and labour shortages and continue to be. Pandemic related lockdowns and illness have slowed down the movement of goods and contributed to a growing shortage of the labour needed to keep these goods moving. And this is occurring even as e-commerce and government stimulus increases demand. Trucks and parts are often caught in the middle as manufacturers, ports and even distribution centres are affected.

Weather events have exacerbated the impact of these events. Tornadoes, hurricanes, forest fires and massive winter storms have shut down highways and ports alike, slowing down the delivery of goods including parts.

Stockpiling is also a global issue for some products. Tire manufacturers continue to struggle with China stockpiling rubber just as the world’s rubber crop was heavily damaged by disease and floods. Volatility in steel pricing spurred by trade wars and other factors have led to issues with certain parts. The availability of specific lubricants, including oil, have been affected by halts in production caused by the pandemic and weather events. Even the wood used to build trailer beds has been in short supply.

The delivery of these products has been an ongoing issue throughout the pandemic. Many other parts, which used to ship overnight, are now taking weeks, with some orders cancelled outright. Other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have limited the number of parts that companies can order to manage availability.

Even though demand for trucks and parts is surging, material shortages have halted growth

What does the shortage of truck parts and equipment mean for you?

The higher costs of parts, labour and equipment, have translated into higher operating costs for transportation companies. It is also reducing the capacity of fleets even as demand for their services has grown. These higher costs are often passed along to customers, who then charge higher prices to consumers.

The end could be in sight, but price reductions may lag

Most experts believe that the parts shortage will ease, but they also warn that the existing pricing structure may outlast the parts shortage, at least in the short term as manufacturers catch up. While much of the rising cost associated with the parts shortage is unavoidable, our customers can take steps to reduce the impact on their operations and consumers.

How XTL secures your supply chain

XTL runs new-model equipment. Our tractors have an average age of two years, while trailers are five years old on average. We are constantly turning our fleet over to take advantage of greater aerodynamics, fuel savings and producing lower emissions than ever before.

To accomplish this, we leverage long-standing partnerships with suppliers whom we have worked with since our inception, including Manac (for trailers) and International (for tractors).

We plan in advance for new equipment and have recurring annual orders with these suppliers. Supply chain issues might reduce order sizes or cause delays, but our established relationship with suppliers and our proactive approach keep us at the front of the line for deliveries.

We also have full-service bays at many of our terminals to ensure a well-maintained fleet for both your inbound and outbound logistics. And, of course, we keep spare parts stocked to further reduce downtime for equipment and keep trucks on the road.

What you can do to protect your interests

XTL continuously works to mitigate the effect of these shortages and rising prices on our customers through the combined key strengths of our three distinct offerings: asset-based transportation, logistics and warehousing & distribution. By leveraging an end-to-end solution, like that offered by XTL, you can take advantage of our extensive network of partners and our dedicated team of professionals focused on helping you develop effective, efficient supply chain solutions throughout North America. Learn more about the end-to-end solutions offered by XTL.


2021 Year in Review – XTL and the Transportation Industry

2021 was a challenging year for everyone.  While industry, economic factors and COVID-19 brought many hardships, XTL continued to grow.  Here’s what we were up to in 2021 and also some of the major market forces that challenged us last year.

2021 Milestones at XTL

Key Industry Trends and Challenges in 2021

Port Congestion

Port congestion was, and continues to be a major issue in the transportation industry. Through a combination of factors such as the imbalance of shipping containers, changes in consumer spending, high volumes, unavailable chassis, disrupted rail lines and labour issues to name a few, ports all over North America saw record numbers of ships at anchor with compounding factors increasing average dwell times on equipment. These delays resulted in higher levels of safety stock, impacting warehousing levels and further driving up shipping volumes.

Equipment and Part Shortages

In the face of COVID-19 lockdowns and absences, many part suppliers and manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up with demand.  Lack of key truck parts and raw materials such as rubber, steel and semiconductor chips impacted not only the supply of new equipment but also in maintaining and keeping existing fleets on the road. Lumber shortages and price increases also impacted trailer production with wood being the primary flooring material for dry vans.  All of these shortages were even further exacerbated by the increase in demand coupled with shipping delays.

 Natural Disasters in BC

There were more than 1600 fires burning more than 8,700 square kilometers of land this year according to the CBC.  In addition to the fires, 2021 was also a dire year for flooding and mudslides for the province. This led to many road closures and delays that effected the transportation of goods throughout all of Canada. In both instances, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railway had to suspend service on their lines, putting further pressure on the trucking sector as container shipments were converted over the road, drawing in truck capacity that would have otherwise serviced alternate North American markets.

Bright Outlook for 2022

While we don’t know exactly what challenges 2022 will bring XTL is focused on growth and customer service.  Our Nation Wide team of drivers, logistics professionals and distribution facilities will continue to rise to meet the challenges ahead.  Contact XTL Today if you need help with your shipping needs in 2022.


As part of XTL’s strategic growth plan, we are expanding our asset-based refrigerated transport and dry trucking operations in Alberta and British Columbia. By increasing our presence in Western Canada, we aim to enhance our domestic and cross border services.

XTL is adding a significant number of both dry and refrigerated units to our fleet to meet our customers’ evolving demands. A key objective of our Western expansion is to provide the best equipment to attract qualified drivers with the experience and training to eliminate downtime, increase efficiencies and operate in the safest manner possible.

Our new temperature-controlled trailers are state-of-the-art and designed with the future of refrigerated transport in mind. Not only are they equipped with live diagnostics and 2-way communications, but they are insulated with 100% recyclable materials. We’re proud to be among the first carriers to invest in these recyclable units, demonstrating our commitment to protecting the environment by eliminating waste when our vehicles are decommissioned.

Our expansion into Western Canada will help us meet our customers’ needs and open opportunities to further improve our processes. We  look forward to our new advancements as XTL keeps evolving as a leader in our field.

XTL Just Received HACCP Certification, Why It’s Important to Your Business?

What is a HACCP Certification and Why is it Important for Your Business?

HACCP is a food safety management system that was created to ensure the safety of food. It was developed by NASA and the US Department of Agriculture. It combines “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” with “Good Manufacturing Practices” to work towards preventing any food borne illnesses or diseases.

The HACCP certification is a necessity in the world of food and beverage industries, as it ensures that your business meets all requirements needed for safe production, handling, transport, storage and distribution of foods.

What Do the Regulations Involve in a HACCP Certification Program?

The HACCP plan is not a one-size-fits-all solution to a food producer’s safety and quality needs. Therefore, the HACCP plan must be tailored to the specific operation, with management’s commitment to continuous improvement and zero tolerance of risks.

How do You Become Certified under the HACCP System?

The HACCP certification process is a rigorous and demanding process that features multiple levels of approval, such as validation and verification.

For XTL, the first step is the validation phase which consists of setting up the processes on physical readiness and risk evaluation to make sure that products stored are safe for consumption. The next step is the verification phase which consists of analyzing records and documents to make sure that business processes are following HACCP guidelines accurately.

XTL Distribution is Now HACCP Certified

XTL Distribution has recently achieved HACCP certification and now stores and distributes foodstuffs that are required to be handled by a HACCP certified warehouse facility.

Resources and Further Reading on the Topic of HACCP Certification

– Wikipedia article on HACCP

– Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Hazard Analysis Control Points Program

– Hazard Analysis Control Points (HACCP) – CODEX Alimentarius Commission


United States Department of Agriculture. “Hazard Analysis Control Points.” Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Hazard Analysis Control Points Program



XTL Enhances North American Footprint Through Second Acquisition

TORONTO, Ont. – XTL Group (“XTL”) is proud to announce today the acquisition of CBT Inc. (“CBT”), a logistics company based in Oakwood, GA. 

CBT was founded in 1989 by Connie Banks and is strategically located in the Gainesville/Hall Country area of Georgia famously known as the “Poultry Capital of the World”. Over the past 32 years, CBT has built an extensive transportation network around major food processors, food service providers and the grocery/retail industry that is abundant in this region. Refrigerated and frozen transportation service is a key part of their customer network. CBT has been recognized for many years as a certified woman-owned, family business, and Connie will continue to be an integral part of both CBT and XTL’s mutual success. 

This acquisition is the second of its kind in XTL’s history, the first taking place in February of this year with the acquisition of Transport Savoie, a refrigerated, x-border carrier now operating as Savoie Express Inc., and is another strong example of XTL’s strategic refrigerated growth strategy and expansion.  

“After many years servicing the domestic refrigerated market, we expanded into the x-border refrigerated market in 2018. Since then, we recognized the opportunity to advance our organic growth strategy with strategic acquisitions that further enhance our geographical footprint in North America.” states Serge Gagnon, President and CEO at XTL, “We knew we had the right fit when we met the exceptional team of dedicated professionals at CBT who embody our core values”. 

In addition to being in alignment with the refrigerated segment of XTL’s business, CBT brings additional synergies to XTL’s Logistics offerings, including US domestic dry van, flat bed, heavy haul, over-sized, specialized, and hazmat services. The strategic location of Northeast Georgia also allows for XTL to increase their presence in the United States, open up opportunities between Canada and Mexico, and access US capacity.  

“Serge Gagnon and his committed team of leaders at XTL complement the similar characteristics that CBT has built its reputation on. Together with my experienced team of employees we have brought to realization a dream I started 32 years ago and we are proud to have been chosen as XTL’s first US transportation partner. We are excited about the future growth and fresh ideas available to us.” -Connie Banks, founder and CEO of CBT.    

This acquisition caps off a tremendous year for XTL in 2021 from a growth and diversity perspective. In addition to the two strategic acquisitions, XTL added 300,000 sq. ft. to their Distribution business through two new distribution centres in BC and ON bringing the total warehousing space to 1.2 million sq. ft., while also expanding their refrigerated Transport service in Western Canada to include the x-border US. 

Press Release: XTL Transport is Expanding in Western Canada

As part of XTL’s strategic growth plan we are committed to expanding our asset based refrigerated transport and dry trucking operations in Western Canada; to and from the United States.  Alberta and British Columbia are key Canadian provinces where our growth initiatives are focused.

XTL is adding a significant number of both dry and refrigerated units to our capacity to keep up with the growing demand from our valued customers.  A key objective of our expansion plans are to provide the best equipment and experience to attract the best, most experienced drivers who will help us eliminate downtime, increase efficiency and operate in the safest manner possible. Interested drivers can apply for western trucking jobs on our website.

Our new temperature controlled trailers are state of the art and designed with the future of refrigerated transport in mind.  Not only are they equipped with live diagnostics and 2 way communication; they are also 100% recyclable.   XTL is the first carrier to invest in recyclable units addressing end of life for their equipment and strengthening our commitment to the environment.

XTL has operated based in Canada for over 36 years and we continue our dedication to service into the future.  XTL is a C-TPAT, CSA, FAST, PIP and Smartway carrier.  XTL has operations based throughout Canada and offers full service logistics from 3PL warehousing, asset based transportation to 3PL transportation services.


Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion, awarded to XTL Transport Inc.

We are proud that XTL was awarded at Trucking HR Canada’s Top Fleet Employers Awards Gala yesterday with the Achievement of Excellence for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion as well as A Top Fleet Award for Employer of Distinction 2021.
We could not achieve this status without the hard work and dedication from each of our employees, and so; this award is dedicated to every member of the XTL Team!

5 Important Facts That You Should Know About Refrigerated Transport

The refrigerated transport industry is an important part of our economy. It delivers food and medicine to keep our population fed and in good health. XTL Transport is a key player in refrigerated transport and temperature controlled transport. XTL’s recent acquisition of Transport Savoie expands their market capacity and deepens their experience into the US Market.

While XTL has offered dedicated domestic reefer service for over two decades, a key area of growth in recent years has been the expansion of its refrigerated service into the US market. Transport Savoie’s refrigerated experience, particularly throughout the Eastern United States, is a great fit with XTL’s existing network and is in strategic alignment with XTL’s refrigerated growth strategy.

With 9 other locations across Canada, this acquisition extends XTL’s presence in the Centre-du-Quebec region; a central location that supports industries in both the Montreal and Quebec City areas.

The Market is Growing

The challenge of perishability and the need to keep food and non-food categories at the optimum temperature to prevent spoilage are the main growth factors for the refrigerated truck market in the United States and Canada. The global market for refrigerated vehicles reached USD 12 billion in 2020 and will grow by 4% from 2020 to 2025.

A major driving factor of the market for refrigerated transport is the significant increase in demand for frozen products by households and food service operators such as fast food restaurants and other restaurants that require frozen food. This is due to the increasing globalisation and technological development of refrigerated transport systems for fresh, temperature-controlled food. The growth of the refrigerated transport market is expected to be driven by the increasing use of modern cold storage facilities, strict government regulations on the production, processing and transport of high-quality frozen foods and the rising international trade in perishable goods. In addition, the need for temperature controlled pharmaceutical products in a post COVID world will increase as the World prepares for high vaccination rates.

Reefers Cost More to Purchase and Operate

refrigerated transport, refrigeration unit temperature controlled transportThe average temperature controlled trailer used for refrigerated transport has a capital purchase price approximately $50,000 more than a regular dry van used to transport non temperature controlled goods. In addition, the refrigeration unit that keeps the trailer cool requires fuel to operate. This is an additional cost on a per mile basis that increases the cost of transport and can be up to 2% more in fuel costs. Keep this in mind when booking temperature controlled shipments as they are typically a premium over regular dry freight.

Refrigerated Transport Carriers are Doing Their Part to Save the Planet

Equipment manufacturers are doing their part to reduce emissions in both the power units and refrigeration units with the goal of zero emissions. The pressure on the equipment manufacturers is both from refrigerated transport carriers and government regulators. Future ideas being explored by the industry include battery operated refrigeration units and solar powered refrigeration units with solar panels being installed on top of the refrigerated trailer. In addition, the trailers purchased by XTL transport have high R values, which reduce the need for mechanical refrigeration. Plus, all new 2021 models contain 99% recyclable insulation which reduces environmental impact when a reefer unit is decommissioned.

The Driver Shortage is Increasingly Affecting the Refrigerated Transport Industry

While the industry wide driver shortage is affecting all modes of transport, the refrigerated transport industry is affected more so. Drivers who are trained and experienced at delivering food-stuffs and pharmaceuticals that require a high degree of temperature control and monitoring are even harder to find. The challenge for the entire transportation industry, including temperature controlled carriers is going to be not only to attract skilled drivers but also encourage new drivers to take up the profession and increase the capacity of the labour market for long haul truck drivers.

The Refrigerated Transport Industry Depends on Technology

With greater government regulation and safety procedures, the refrigerated transport industry increasingly relies on technology for compliance.

At XTL Transport for example, all reefer trailers are tracked via GPS and their clients have remote access to download GPS data for compliance and to verify their shipments were delivered according to plan. In addition, XTL’s electronic monitoring systems send out alerts to fleet managers if the temperature of any shipment is outside of the shipment parameters for the temperature controlled shipment.


The refrigerated transport market is complex and growing. XTL is not only an expert, but is playing a key role in this market and has invested for the future. Contact XTL Transport for all of your refrigerated transport needs.

refrigerated transport, temperature controlled transport logistics warehouse