Managing the Cold Chain

New product releases and improved equipment offer shippers greater control while conserving costs.


Cold chain management is critical to today’s food supply chain, which is increasingly made up of fresh and frozen products carried further distances. Not surprisingly, there are more costs involved with refrigerated transportation. However, the good news is that equipment manufacturers and logistics providers are introducing more advanced products and services that result in better efficiency and integrity throughout the cold chain.

Really cool equipment

ArcticStore, a brand of Denmark-based TITAN Containers A/S, specializes in portable temperature-controlled storage containers and cold rooms. There are many storage and cold chain applications for ArcticStore’s units, including easy and quick on-site storage capacity at supermarkets, outlets, distribution centers and production facilities for a wide range of fresh or processed food products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and many other products. Other uses include events (ArcticStore containers were used during the 2012 London Olympics), emergency deployment (in the case of breakdowns or unexpected demand) and specific customer applications (a university uses the containers to store samples collected from Antarctica).

The ArcticStore container comes in standard sizes of 10, 20 or 40 feet. In addition, the company’s SuperStores units are designed and built to be placed next to one another to create larger multi-pallet-wide single temperature zones. Both models come equipped with standard features such as high insulation values, hygienic interiors, accurate and reliable controls, temperature zones that range from -40 C to +60 C, flat floors, easy opening double doors with internal release, personnel alarm, and internal lighting. The ArcticStore containers’ advanced cooling technology helps reduce energy costs required to operate the units by more than 50 percent in many cases.

During the IFDA (International Foodservice Distributors Association) show in October, Thermo King, a brand of Ingersoll Rand, unveiled its Precedent S-600M trailer refrigeration unit, described as the most environmentally sensitive diesel trailer temperature control system for multi-temperature operations. The S-600M is designed to meet both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements in the greater-than-25 horsepower category, which include a 90 percent reduction in particulate matter and a 30 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide from the interim standards that have been in effect since 2008.

“We designed the Precedent S600-M to offer standard, rather than optimal, sustainability improvements especially for the multi-temperature needs of the food distribution and grocery industries in response to customer requests for a solution that reflects their commitment to environmental stewardship,” says Tom Kampf, trailer product manager for Thermo King.

Klinge Corporation, with headquarters and manufacturing facilities in York, Pennsylvania, is a leading provider of specialized reefer and power generation equipment. They target commercial and military customers with custom-designed equipment that exceeds general purpose reefer equipment. Klinge Corporation’s NMF-371 freezer unit is tailored for ocean shipments of ultra-low temperature cargo in the range of zero Celsius to 60 C. Its freezer unit is nose mounted to the container to allow for the use of an integral generator set in case of power loss at the seaport or during inland transport or storage. This feature makes ocean transport of ultra-low temperature cargo extremely safe and reliable.

“In addition to back-up power, customers transporting valuable cargo in our NMF-371 freezer unit are given added peace of mind through our satellite communication program,” remarks Henrik Klinge, the company’s president. “Amperages and pressures are measured, viewed and transferred to GSM modem and transmitted via satellite. This functionality allows customers to use their smartphone to text their unit.”

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