Managing the Cold Chain

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


The new design also allows for easier servicing when on board the vessel because all of the components can be accessed and repaired from the front of the container, including evaporator fans, temperature probes, compressors and condenser fans.

In early November, Carrier Transicold released its new Supra 60 series truck refrigeration units that boast improved refrigeration performance, enhanced reliability and compliance with the EPA’s 2013 emissions requirements. The new Supra 60 series units are available in five single temperature models, which cover the full spectrum of straight truck refrigeration needs, with refrigeration capacities up to 32,000 BTUs (at 35 F).

“Supra diesel-powered truck units have a long-standing reputation for providing high performance and reliability by using systems engineered for lower engine and compressor RPMs than competitive models,” remarks David Dunn, product manager, truck products, Carrier Transicold. “Lower speeds mean better durability, longevity and reliability over the life of the unit. Our new 60 series continues to build upon that legacy.”

Utility Trailer offers two refrigerated trailer models, the 3000R and 3000R Multi-Temp refrigerated trailers. Recently, the company completed an expansion project at its Marion, Virginia reefer manufacturing plant, which included acquisition of over 100 acres of property adjacent to the facility to accommodate additional parking for up to 1,400 trailers. The new 50,000 square-foot modification center will be used for production of high option and complex refrigerated trailers. Utility Trailer has a second reefer trailer manufacturing facility in Clearfield, Utah.

After seven years of intensive in-house and real world testing, Great Dane Trailers’ patented ThermoGuard refrigerated trailer liner has chalked up some impressive results. Specifically, fuel savings for a ThermoGuard-equipped trailer over the seven-year period average close to 1,000 gallons for typical reefer operations (excluding produce).

Rick Mullininx, executive vice president of engineering at Great Dane, notes that, “Our test data shows that most every refrigerated trailer owner can recoup the cost of the ThermoGuard liner in the first few years of operation through lower cooling unit fuel costs. After that break-even point, owners can pocket the additional savings for the remaining life of the trailer, while realizing other benefits such as reduced maintenance costs and higher resale value.”

ThermoGuard is an impact-resistant, glass-reinforced thermoplastic liner made exclusively for use as original equipment on Great Dane’s refrigerated trailers. As part of its lightweight composite construction, the liners feature a proprietary metal barrier layer that help seal the trailer’s insulation from out-gassing and water absorption. Beginning in 2013, Great Dane will also include ThermoGuard on the trailer subpan to help keep moisture from entering the subfloor. Ocean carrier Maersk Lines also uses ThermoGuard for its marine reefer units.

Fuel savings and sustainability are also the goals behind Ryder’s RydeGreen product line of tractors and trailers, which are designed to lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. One of the vehicles in the RydeGreen program is the Durastar Hybrid from International, the first line-produced hybrid commercial truck in North America. The Durastar is designed for medium-duty, in-city use, particularly for beverage distribution, refrigerated food distribution, package pick-up and delivery, local and regional government transportation functions and utility boom work.

Ryder is qualified as an EPA SmartWay partner for both its Ryder-owned vehicles and its supply chain operations.

 

A positive outlook for the sector

Overall, the outlook for reefer manufacturers appears positive. During a third quarter earnings call on November 1, Dick Giromini, CEO of Wabash National, commented that he expects demand to “remain at strong levels for an extended period, driven by an excessively aged fleet, unprecedented pent-up demand following recession, regulatory drivers including CSA, hours-of-service and CARB, and a stable, but still growing economic demand environment that has continued to drive year-over-year truck tonnage growth.”

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