Monday, July 22, 2024

Running on Ice: Watch out for those EPA violations 

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: Roller news release

Roller, a cold storage cooler manufacturer, has introduced a range of narrow air coolers for commercial refrigerators, refrigerated cabinets and counters. The new space-saving design allows the coolers to be placed between door openings of cabinets and can cool both sides of a unit.Roller also has a new flat ceiling unit. In cold storage every inch matters. As a bonus, these units use 80% less energy than previous models, and the powder-coated aluminum housing protects the unit against corrosion.

RLS Logistics has added independently owned cold storage company Merchants Cold Storage to its network. Merchants is a Cincinnati-based cold storage warehouse company. Merchants’ warehouse is 250,000 square feet and has nearly 8 million cubic feet of storage. New Jersey-based RLS is inheriting blast freezing services as well as rail access serviced by Norfolk Southern. Leadership is expected to stay on at Merchants. 

Temperature checks

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

With all the growth of cold storage warehouses, it is more important than ever to ensure Environmental Protection Agency guidelines are followed — a lesson learned the hard way for Maritime International and its subsidiaries, Bridge Terminal and Connecticut Freezers.

They just paid $195,000 to the EPA for violating federal laws that regulate the handling of hazardous chemicals. This specific settlement was for improper disposal of ammonia at facilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In addition to the settlement to the EPA, the company is paying $163,000 for supplemental environmental projects and to make safety upgrades to its facilities and provide training for first responders. 

The ammonia that was improperly disposed of is anhydrous ammonia, an efficient refrigerant with low global warming potential, but it must be handled with care because it is highly corrosive to the skin, eyes and lungs, per the CDC.

EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash said in a news release: “EPA’s work is designed to protect all communities from chemical releases, and we have a special responsibility to reduce the burden of environmental pollution and risks of chemical accidents to the workers and residents of communities that have shouldered a greater share of these impacts. This case clearly illustrates the critical importance of complying with chemical accident planning, prevention, and mitigation requirements.”

Food and drugs

Photo: Jim Allen/Freightwaves

Agriculture’s demand on cold storage is likely to rise in the coming months. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported that total red meat stocks at the end of the month came to 1.052 billion pounds, which is about 2% higher than last year. That is surprising given that the winter beef yield was on the smaller side.

Turns out the demand for beef took a dive, which worked out to be a happy accident as beef stocks have dropped 6% year over year as a result of lower monthly production and less demand. That trend has continued since it started last October.

Poultry, though, saw quite the increase: a 10% jump y/y. Heavier chickens made for higher yields. The category of “other parts and forms,” where typically chicken backs, necks, feet, etc. are listed, is seeing significantly higher demand for cold storage, whereas thighs and thigh quarters are seeing the least.

Cold chain lanes


This week’s cool market is Indianapolis. Reefer outbound tender volumes are on the rise after taking a 7% dive earlier in the week. Volumes are still low compared to last week but rebounding nicely. Reefer outbound tender rejections, though, are rising aggressively. Levels have risen by 529 basis points week over week. This sharp increase indicates that capacity is beginning to tighten in the market. Spot rates will start to increase in the next few days if they haven’t already. Adding some extra lead time on outbound tenders wouldn’t be the worst idea.

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Shelf life

Cold Storage movie in the works 

IHOP introduces largest menu evolution to-date

A fancy frozen food startup backed by chefs lands in Boston

Freight cycle expected to bottom out sooner than later

California expected to accelerate deadline for zero-emission trucks

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The post Running on Ice: Watch out for those EPA violations  appeared first on FreightWaves.

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