Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cold Supply Chain Veteran Celebrates Reefer History and New Shipping Container Technologies

Intermodal Exhibition Provides Carrier with an Excellent Excuse for Self Congratulation
Shipping News Feature

US – GERMANY – WORLDWIDE – The name Carrier Transicold is familiar to people everywhere, although often they may not remember exactly why. The brand appears on reefer units right across the globe and the company’s place in cold supply chain history is assured as it approaches production of its one millionth ‘picture frame’ refrigeration unit, so called because with its flat, square frame, that first self-contained system fitted compactly on the front wall of a corrugated steel insulated shipping box. Now the derivatives of that system have been universally employed throughout trucks, trailers as well as containers.

The name Carrier should be remembered for far more however, it was Willis Haviland Carrier’s early work which resulted in modern air conditioning, an invention he came up with in 1902 at the tender age of 26 before going on to form the corporation which still bears his name. Now part of the United Technologies Corporation (UTC), Carrier Transicold has just used the occasion of this week’s Intermodal Europe 2013 Exhibition to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the reefer box system from which has evolved into modern temperature controlled transport.

The ‘picture frame’ design quickly defined the shape of generations of marine refrigeration systems to come. It took Carrier 25 years to reach the 100,000 unit plateau. With steady growth in the container industry over the past 20 years, Carrier's output increased ten-fold, onto the present course to producing its one millionth unit. David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold, points out that the steady growth of his company’s container refrigeration business is virtually a mirror image of the rise in containerised refrigerated trade through the decades, saying:

“Today, 52% of world seaborne trade is delivered efficiently and economically by container vessel, and 65% of refrigerated products are transported in containers, the majority of which are efficiently and reliably temperature-controlled by Carrier Transicold systems. On any given day, the value of cargo delivered by Carrier Transicold units alone is valued at $6 billion. Indeed, Carrier Transicold systems and our global service and support network play a significant role in ensuring the well-being of a growing global population, by providing the safe, reliable transport of produce, meat, seafood, vaccines and medicine from hemisphere to hemisphere, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

"We're grateful for the continued support of our customers propelling us toward the one millionth unit milestone. As the marine industry's preferred brand for refrigeration, Carrier Transicold has maintained a leadership role over the years, helping move shippers toward more environmentally sustainable refrigerants and bringing further innovations in system efficiency and cargo protection along the way."

Carrier Transicold has used the Intermodal show this week to showcase a variety of new technologies it says are designed to improve container shipping, these include NaturaLINE™ the world's first natural refrigerant-based container system which is now commercially available, XtendFRESH™ atmosphere control, designed to manage oxygen and carbon dioxide within a container to precise levels while also removing harmful ethylene in order to extend ripening time and QUEST™ II power saving mode, refrigeration software control. The QUEST II algorithm can reduce energy required to cool certain perishables by up to 65% while reducing ship emissions related to power generation.

Photo: Carrier engineers check stacked units.