Friday, June 21, 2024

Running on Ice: Answer to sustainability might be vegetable oil

Hello, and welcome to the coolest community in freight! Here you’ll find the latest information on warehouse news, tech developments and all things reefer madness-related. I’m your controller of the thermostat, Mary O’Connell. Thanks for having me!

All thawed out

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

When was the last time vegetable oil really went above and beyond for you? I mean, sure it’s great for frying some chicken, and when hydrogenated it becomes Crisco and makes delicious cookies, but specifically in the world of trucking it hasn’t done much. Trane Technologies is aiming to change that. Trane has approved the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a fossil-free fuel substitute in its Thermo King reefer units. Using this new HVO fuel brings a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions while still maintaining peak performance for the units. 

“We are excited to now extend the option of HVO to our customers in the Americas who share our passion for creating a more sustainable world,” said Karin De Bondt, president of Trane Technologies’ Thermo King Americas business, in a news release. “Through our advanced technologies, with efficient, all-electric-units as well as fossil-free fuels, we are enabling our customers to decarbonize as we continue to execute our strategic roadmap to net zero.”

On top of using environmentally friendly fuel for refrigeration units, Thermo King has committed to delivering all-electric, zero-emission solutions for every segment of the end-to-end cold chain by 2023 for Europe and 2025 in the Americas. 

It represents a major win for sustainability initiatives and advancements. As the Securities and Exchange Commission is still deciding what emissions disclosures will look like and how actions like this will propel green programs forward. 

Temperature checks

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Council Bluffs, Iowa, has gained a cold friend. IceCap Cold Storage completed the first phase for its new state-of-the-art cold storage facility. It features more than 7.3 million cubic feet of freezer space and can house 24,000 pallets in temperatures ranging from 5 degrees below zero to negative-35 degrees. It’s also  right down the road from a Union Pacific railyard. 

“One of the exciting things about this location is that we’re in the center of the breadbasket of the world,” said Monte Froehlich, owner and CEO of IceCap Cold Storage. “And world hunger is an issue, and we have an opportunity to play a key role in that, ship what is produced by the hardworking people of this region to the rest of the nation and even around the world.”

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, there was a playlist of cold-themed songs, including Bruce Springsteen’s “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and Vanilla Ice’s eponymous “Ice Ice Baby.” Bet you $20 “Let It Go” – made famous in the movie “Frozen” — also was heard.     

Food and drugs

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Tyson Foods Inc. is looking to spend $70 million on a new hatchery in Arkansas. This additional facility will serve two poultry production complexes in the southwestern part of the state and be open at the end of next year. 

“This investment is another way to demonstrate our long-term commitment to our home state of Arkansas and the Hope and Nashville [Arkansas] communities,” Donnie King, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, said in a news release.

In related news, Tyson recently announced it would be closing two hatcheries in Van Buren, Arkansas, and Glen Allen, Virginia. The company said the reason for those closures is to phase out these less-efficient and older facilities to improve operations. 

Cold chain lanes


Capacity is tightening in Des Moines, Iowa. Outbound tender rejections are up 277 basis points week over week, and outbound tender volumes are down 20.73% w/w. Rising capacity spot rates are on the rise, likely taking outbound tender lead times with them. As long as rejections continue to increase, capacity might be a little tougher to source in Des Moines.  

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Shelf life

Lincoln police arrest 2 men on suspicion of stealing $59,000 of cold storage panels

Arcadia Cold Storage preleases Phoenix-area facility

Merchants Cold Storage joins RLS warehouse partner network

Labor shortage, retention top list of supply chain concerns 

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