Monday, August 4, 2014

Reefer Container Design Aimed at Long Haul Intermodal Freight Market

Dual Power Defeats the Problem of Inadequate Electrical Supplies on Rail Routes
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – A Rotterdam container manufacturing specialist appears to have solved a problem which often afflicts boxes which are required to be subjected to intermodal carriage, specifically reefers intended to be switched between road haulage and rail freight. UNIT45, has developed an innovative long range diesel-electric refrigerated container which contains an independent fuel supply enabling carriage when electrical power from the rail carrier is unavailable.

The 45ft combination powered container can be used for journeys up to 10,000 kilometres by rail carrying, for instance, temperature-controlled goods from Europe to China and vice versa for up to 20 days, whilst an advanced track and trace system controls and records the temperature throughout the entire journey, including the positioning of the container, as well as any door openings, with real time alerts. UNIT45 Managing Director, Jan Koolen, explains:

“By incorporating a specially designed 800 litre diesel tank into the power unit, we have solved the problem that most rail operators cannot provide a reliable power supply for all-electric reefers. Our diesel-electric refrigerated container gives shippers the flexibility to use intermodal operations, safe in the knowledge that their goods will arrive at their destination in the required condition. The long distance diesel-electric reefer not only guarantees visibility and recording of all transport data from door to door, it also allows companies to choose the most efficient and cost-effective service for their particular needs.

“We constantly work with our customers to develop exactly the products they need [and] the diesel-electric reefer with an 800 litre diesel tank, for instance, expands the opportunity for companies to ship goods such as pharmaceutical products, computers, car parts, meat and wine all year round. It makes the use of long distance rail journeys a viable option.”

Maintaining a good distribution of air throughout reefer containers to ensure constant temperature control is of paramount importance, so the long distance reefers are equipped with an air duct system which evenly distributes the air output from the refrigeration unit into the container, making sure all products are held at the required temperature.

The new box design will doubtless enhance the reputation of a company which has developed a name for innovation in the container market and designs and builds a wide range of containers. UNIT45 was the first to launch a reefer that had the capacity to carry 33 Europallets, designing a lightweight container constructed of an ideal combination of aluminium and high-strength steel. Both this unit and the new long distance reefer have built-in refrigeration systems that save space as well as using sophisticated technology that guarantees maximum refrigeration capacity coupled with enhanced energy economy.