September 15, 2014

Reliable Refrigeration … Unplugged


New passive technology delivers continuous cold chain operations for fresh produce

Thermo King’s new passive refrigeration technology is an autonomous concept for intermodal applications that combines the best of intermodal transportation: the operational simplicity of a dry container with the cooling capacity and functional benefits of a reefer. With no energy supply needed during operation, the Thermo King-patented concept offers the utmost flexibility in global transport.


How it Works

Uniquely, this system uses a food-grade eutectic solution to store thermal energy for self-sufficient operation during transport.  With no need for plugging and unplugging, like in the case of a conventional reefer, passive refrigeration ensures the cargo is transported at the right temperature and humidity conditions to preserve the quality of fresh harvested produce, regardless of the region, time or operator. This feature gives the cargo owners access to new markets with limited or inadequate conventional reefer services.

This game-changing technology offers:

  • Continuous cold chain operations. The autonomous operation for sea transport and post-harvest applications enables uninterrupted temperature control for reliable transport of fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, pharmaceuticals and flowers.
  • Optimal quality and reduced weight-loss. Natural convection eliminates the need for forced ventilation, thereby maintaining the desired humidity levels and preserving the freshness and weight of perishables.
  • Reduced cost of ownership. The absence of moving parts results in lower maintenance and Pre-Trip Inspection (PTI) cost, and the autonomous operation results in simplified operations and lower handling cost.


Flexibility for Access to New Markets

The new Passive Refrigeration concept has been tested by several customers including EMS Seven Seas, a global marine and offshore supply and service provider, and Van Oers United, an internationally active supplier and producer of year-round fresh vegetables.

“We tested the new passive refrigeration technology from Thermo King delivering food and supplies to oil rigs in remote offshore areas,” said Alex Trincado, commercial director at EMS Seven Seas. “In an area of inadequate reefer facilities, this technology enabled us to simplify the transportation process and offer our customers an even more efficient, reliable and sustainable cold supply chain.”

Erwin Franken, the manager of Van Oers United’s Logistics Department, said, “Global exportation of perishable goods is complex and demanding. To be successful, we need innovative technologies that give us peace of mind and offer simplicity, reduced cost and the same performance levels we are accustomed to. We tested this new technology transporting fresh produce from Morocco to the Netherlands. Thermo King has delivered a new way to move goods all the way from harvesting in the fields to end consumers’ plates without the loss in quality, taste or weight.”

This unique technology concept has already been shown at various tradeshows including Intermodal 2014 in Rotterdam and FRUIT LOGISTICA in Berlin, attracting much interest. It is expected to be commercially available sometime in 2016.

For more information, contact a Thermo King representative.