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How AI-based forecasts can help refrigerated trucks keep their cool

November 29, 2022 by Rich Kurtzman, Brand Communications @ Fathym

In this piece

  • An intro to the trucking industry
  • Habistack weather forecasting helps refrigerated trucks avoid delays, stay cool
  • Use case: Las Vegas, NV to Phoenix, AZ

It’s no secret that the trucking industry is responsible for bringing most of our everyday products to our doorstep in America.

From clothes to food to televisions and smartphones, over-the-road trucking is likely part of the delivery process along the way.

In fact, the trucking industry brings in over $700 billion per year while transporting 72.5% of American freight.

As technology and regulations change around trucking, the companies and drivers can also utilize tech in new and exciting ways. Specifically, knowing what weather and potential delays to look out for while they’re on the road.

Refrigerated trucks

Finding those delays can be even more crucial when it comes to a refrigerated truck, shipping highly perishable goods, like frozen and refrigerated food.

Grocery stores across the United States would be without food in three days without semi-trucks and their drivers, and those stores know how important the refrigerated trucks are to their dairy, meat and produce sections.

For frozen truck drivers, there’s an added stress of not only getting the food to the store on time, but keeping the trailer at optimal, frozen temperatures. That can be difficult to do on longer trips, especially in summer or in hotter climates like the south and southwest.

Those frozen truck drivers also know when they pull up to the grocer’s back docks, someone will be waiting with a thermometer to measure the temperature of their food with logs. If any of that food is too warm, the entire truck must be refused at times.

In order to limit the stress on drivers, Habistack weather forecasting API allows users to create timesaving apps, giving drivers all the information they need, as they need it. This goes not only for refrigerated truck drivers, but all truck drivers and companies.

Habistack introduction

Habistack is a robust, feature-rich API that offers a powerful suite of weather forecasting and open-source data visualization tools.

Habistack combines the world's best weather forecasts with statistics-based, machine-learning techniques to tackle the largest datasets, including road weather. Habistack offers developers comprehensive weather forecasting capabilities over freely chosen locations and routes across the globe. The API delivers a unique suite of highly specialized forecast variables derived through statistically based machine learning models.

It uses 15 data measurements and then evaluates them using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Habistack is open and free to the public to use. There are also pricing plans for developers and companies that want to use Habistack APIs to forecast weather and road conditions in their own applications.

Road weather

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what weather to expect on the road level while traversing treacherous mountain passes? And to know when and where there could be delays?

Now you can.

Habistack allows drivers to input their route and predict the weather along the entire way. That brilliant technology can be used on shorter drives, like the daily commute, as well as for longer, multi-day and cross-country trips like truckers make.

Use Case | Keeping frozen things cool, avoiding delays

Proadject is an application Fathym created to show off the power of Habistack and what developers and companies could do using machine learning and AI in the API.

Using Proadject, we looked at a trip from Las Vegas, NV to Phoenix, AZ, two hot, arid, desert towns.

Luckily, this time of year the two aren’t that hot, but it’s still interesting to look at a feature of Proadject, which is road temperature.

As you can see here, just over the Nevada-Arizona state line, the road temp is as hot as it will be on the trip, at 75 degrees. Again, that’s not too hot for a refrigerated truck, but one can imagine how useful this would be in the summertime along this same route.

Proadject – the sample app we created – also lays out potential delay risk due to the weather. If it were 115 degrees outside, and there was some sort of big delay, that could wreak havoc on the truck’s systems. Similarly, Proadject tells drivers what the fastest route is, as well as the weather all along the way. Meaning there are simple ways to pick the better, faster and even cooler routes.

Crosswind on Las Vegas, NV to Phoenix, AZ trip

Of course, there’s not only the challenge of getting food to the destination on time and at the right temperature, but driving those giant trucks means fighting with crosswinds, too.

Again, Proadject brings in important crosswind risk evaluations, allowing drivers to pick and choose the safest and easiest route.

As you can see here, the crosswinds along the route which is inside eastern California are the worst of the trip, rated at “moderate.” They last for a few hours, too.

In this alternate route, the crosswind only hits “moderate” for a very short time and then drops back into the “slight” range and eventually into “low” for the second half of the trip.

And when it comes to delivering goods in cold weather regions, and mountainous areas, Proadject gives drivers the road temperature, conditions (like icy, wet etc.), snow depth and more.

The limits of what trucking companies can do with the API are nearly endless.

Start using it today at