Refrigerated transport by reefer trucks and vans
is always an important topic in the logistic and supply chain of temperature sensitive or perishable goods. The technology related to refrigerated transport is moving toward maximal reliability and more economically efficient. In the future, more revolutionary ideas will come up and be commercialized, which will definitely turn previous cold chain logistic techniques on their head.
Together we will understand the future development trends and challenges of refrigerated transport:
◆ Real-time trace management
◆ Advanced cold chain temperature monitoring technology
◆ All-electric solutions and standby system, ideal for overnight stays or operation.
◆ Solar application in refrigerated trucking
GPS tracking is not a new thing, and has been widely used in pre-cooling, cooling, loading and unloading process. It is usually used and linked with temperature monitoring system, to monitor and control the refrigerated truck units
. Real-time cargo monitoring system can include wireless temperature sensors, data loggers or other supplemental devices, so it is most commonly used in refrigerated delivery of high value-added products (i.e., drugs, vaccines).
Picture from linxio.com
Benefits of GPS tracking are as followings:
◆ It can minimize the potential for human error. As it can give the fleet manager real-time temperature data, the compartment door’s position, and the reefer unit’s status, it allows you to keep drivers informed of any potential risk of refrigerated cargo damage along each load that is delivered.
◆ GPS tracking can help you optimize the trip route. For multiple deliveries, it allows the drivers to discover the appropriate and shortest route. Efficient routing is essential for refrigerated trucking business. With GPS tracking, the fleet management can be more effective.
In the future, with the fast development of real-time track management software, the next generation of GPS tracking device will be more accurate and effective. You will be able to keep customers informed of the product location, and share the detailed temperature data with customer for their satisfaction. Besides that, more other unconventional ways GPS will be used by truck companies, for example, dealing with last-mile deliveries,
In the future, with more essential and real-time data are recorded, data security is a top priority for customers, logistics companies and software developers. In the near future, we will see that real-time monitoring system
All-Electric Refrigeration Solutions
Commercial refrigeration is a high-priced process, in terms of initial equipment cost, installation & maintenance cost (e.g., relay, sensor, fan, controller, etc.), and all operating costs such as cost for energy. It was estimated that reefer trucks consume 1/4 more diesel fuel than non-refrigerated ones do. Increased energy consumption is a critical challenge faced by worldwide cold chain industry. Practitioner, contractors, manufacturers and customers are beginning to carry out using different fuel-conserving ways, to minimize operating cost as well as to reduce GHG emissions.
One of the energy saving approaches is truck electrification, and all-electric refrigeration will be the future trends.
All-electric refrigeration benefits customers and businesses alike:
◆ It pushes the manufacturers to update and innovate the brand new product series - all electric truck refrigeration systems to eliminate the negative environmental effects caused by conventional refrigerated vehicles.
◆ Lower-emission refrigerated trucking helps build a greener cold chain. For long-haul truckers, electrically-driven reefer unit offers high efficiency, as the advanced electric compressor technology enables the system run at optimum speed, resulting in greater cooling capacity.
◆ Electrified transport refrigeration units or electric standby option are quieter than diesel engine powered reefer units
. It reduces noise and vibration, providing a much safer and quieter working environment for truckers. Even parking at residential area, you will never worry about the noise pollution generated by truck engine.
◆ All-electric operation can help open a new pathway for future development of energy safety and use of future sustainable energy systems related to refrigerated transportation.
Solar Power Used in Transport Applications
At present, most large refrigerated truck is powered by diesel engine. These leads to higher cost on energy and maintenance, as well as environment pollution in terms of GHG emission and noise levels emitted from engine.
In comparison, solar powered trucks would be a growing trend in the near future. Solar system provides extra on-board energy, and can be used to power in-cab HVAC, and additional electronics like telematics, and other accessories such as lighting.
Picture from tsscgroup.com
Solar can also work with refrigeration. We call such system as Solar-powered refrigeration unit. Solar panels are added to the truck roof which continuously recharge the TRU batteries, thus to power the refrigeration system.
This is a particularly attractive market for solar powered system in that it uses green energy. The interesting application for solar in cold storage will help power eTRUs as an alternative refrigeration option for conventional diesel-powered truck units