« June 2006 Table of Contents
Equipment Focus: Transportation & storage
A finely tuned cold chain protects seafood on its way to market
June 01, 2006
Transporting fresh, frozen or live seafood products from
distant buyer is a well-orchestrated feat. Timing
and temperature control are key to maintaining product quality,
necessitating fail-safe, refrigerated intermodal shipping on
schedule. Along the way are USDC inspections to ensure seafood
safety, and with imports, Customs regulations enter the
picture. Helping to move
seafood through the cold chain are
many skilled players, from truck-body manufacturers, to
airliners and ocean carriers to
refrigerated warehousing and
logistcs providers. Here's a
sampling of companies that make
it all happen.
Alaska Airlines speeds seafood to Lower 48
Alaska Airlines operates the most extensive air-cargo
operation on the West Coast, transporting more than 150 million
pounds of cargo annually to cities throughout the United
States, Canada and Mexico. This year, the airline will carry
more than 30 million pounds of Alaska seafood to market, up
from 26 million pounds in 2005.
Shipments within the continental United States often reach
their destination within 24 hours, thanks to the carrier's
streamlined flight schedules and state-of-the-art storage
In response to the growing demand for Alaska seafood, the
airline is increasing cargo capacity by more than 50 percent. A
$15 million retrofit for five 737-400 aircrafts should be
complete in 2007.
In May, Alaska Airlines delivered the season's first
shipments of Copper River salmon to Seattle aboard flights
chartered by seafood companies. Last year, the carrier
transported more than a million pounds of prized Copper River
As a tribute to its relationship with Alaska's seafood
industry, last October the airline introduced the
"Salmon-Thirty-Salmon," a Boeing 737-400 with the image of an
Alaska king salmon painted along its 120-foot length.
nation's supply chain
AmeriCold is the United States' leading third-party provider
of supply-chain solutions in the consumer packaged-goods
industry, with 100 facilities nationwide. The company handles
60 billion pounds of freight annually, boasts more than a
half-billion cubic feet of multi-temperature storage capacity
and employs some 6,500 associates.
More than 3,000 companies - from food processors to
foodservice distributors to retailers - use Americold's
integrated services, which include the industry's only national
warehouse and transportation network.
AmeriCold offers multi-vendor consolidation,
temperature-controlled warehousing, transportation services,
national LTL transportation, i-3PL™ technology delivering
real-time, online information on orders, inventory and load
status, seasonal product storage and distribution, dedicated
facility management and supply chain optimization.
In response to growing customer demand for frozen storage in
the Southeast, AmeriCold this spring added two blast-freezer
cells and new storage racks to its Columbia, S.C., facility,
doubled the size of its Albertville, Ala., warehouse to 4.9
million cubic feet and created 4,400 new pallet positions in
its West Point, Miss., freezer warehouse.
Araho runs full-service warehouse in Boston
Araho Transfer, located on the Boston waterfront between the
World Trade Center and the Design Center, is a third-party
handler of fresh seafood with easy access to Logan
International Airport and major highways. This
fourth-generation New England company offers Customs clearance
services, an integrated warehouse management system, order
picking, repacking, quality control and transportation along
the eastern seaboard as well as direct delivery between its
Boston and Miami locations.
The company operates 20,000 square feet of refrigerated
warehouse space with dedicated sections for refrigerated or dry
goods and offers refrigerated truck service to the airport,
cold storage or the customer's door.
To ensure quality control of seafood shipments, Araho staff
are HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point) trained
and adherent, and USDC quality inspections can be performed on
site. Experienced re-packers also help monitor quality.
Personnel are skilled in seafood safety, quality and logistics,
and a full-time information-technology specialist is on
Electric standby from Carrier Transicold
Carrier Transicold provides temperature-control equipment
for refrigerated trucks, trailers, containers and rail cars.
The company is a world leader in container refrigeration, with
regional offices on five continents and more than 600 container
service centers worldwide.
In April, Carrier Transicold rolled out the Vector 1800MT
multi-temperature trailer refrigeration unit to help offset the
rising cost of diesel fuel. Featuring patented Deltek™ hybrid
diesel-electric technology, it is the first transport
refrigeration unit with built-in 460-volt electric standby,
which allows a parked unit to be plugged into an AC power
source, eliminating the need to run the diesel motor.
Electric standby conserves diesel fuel, reduces engine wear,
eliminates emissions from the refrigeration unit, eliminates
engine noise during loading and unloading and complies with
diesel-emission regulations. Electric standby reportedly
reduces operating costs by more than 50 percent. Matched with
Carrier single- and dual-discharge evaporators, the Vector
1800MT offers 11 different trailer configurations. Late last
year, Carrier introduced three new diesel-powered truck
refrigeration units: the Supra 650, 750 and 850 units for
medium-sized to large refrigerated trucks. The Supra line is
designed for quiet operation and easy maintenance, and all
units have an electric standby motor option.
Carrier Transicold is a business unit of Carrier Corp.,
headquartered in Farmington, Conn.
complete cold chain
Hellmann Perishable Logistics, a global, multimodal freight
forwarder, is 100 percent committed to the perishables
industry. The company is a division of Hellmann Worldwide
Logistics, founded in 1871 by Carl Heinrich Hellmann in
Osnabrück, Germany. It has 41 offices in 19 countries and 500
HPL is headquartered in Miami, the main U.S. port of entry
for perishables, accounting for 69 percent of all perishables
imports in 2004 and 66 percent of fresh fish imports. The
company's other U.S. office is in Los Angeles, which is the
second-largest entry port for seafood at 11.1 percent.
The Miami facility contains 2,960 square feet of seafood
freezer space, 7,700 square feet of seafood cool storage and
9,050 square feet of seafood-related working area.
HPL says it's the "only perishables forwarder that maintains
a complete cold chain" for door-to-door delivery. Its services
include air, sea and land transport, computerized inventories,
nationwide Customs brokerage, distribution services, Internet
tracking and tracing, labeling, quality control, re-icing and
re-packing, refrigerated storage and refrigerated trucking. HPL
also handles all government requirements on imported goods as
well as inventory control and distribution reports.
The company offers daily LTL service to Northeast
destinations from Miami and daily FTL service to and from all
Hellmann Perishable Logistics
sets Johnson apart
Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, in business since 1932,
is the only manufacturer of molded-fiberglass refrigerated
truck bodies from 6 to 36 feet long. The durable bodies can be
customized for fresh or frozen seafood delivery and have been
known to last 15 or more years on multiple chassis.
Johnson is also an innovator in cold-plate transport
technology. A Johnson truck body utilizing cold-plate
refrigeration reportedly reduces operating costs by 80 percent
over a mechanical-blower refrigeration system.
Cold-plate technology is not only cost effective but is also
the most reliable refrigerated transportation method available,
protecting product for up to two days in the event of a truck
breakdown; mechanical blower units often preserve product for
just two hours.
Built from the ground up, rather than as retrofits, Johnson
molded-fiberglass bodies are ideal for seafood-transport
applications because the seamless fiberglass roof and wall
panels are impervious to moisture and easy to clean.
And the void-free, 2.1-pound-density urethane insulation
provides the highest thermal-efficiency R-values in the
Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies
Rice Lake, Wis.
OOCL ships seafood in 'Perfect Climate'
Orient Overseas Container Line, a subsidiary of Orient
Overseas (International) Limited, is one of the world's
leading container transport and logistics service providers.
Based in Hong Kong, the company has more than 230 offices in 58
countries, encompassing Asia, Europe, North America and
Australasia. OOCL's cold chain expertise includes advanced IT
and logistics solutions and superior reefer technology to
ensure maximum product shelf life at destination.
OOCL operates 150-plus vessels with capacity ranging from
2,500 TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) to 8,063 TEU. Its MAG+
reefer containers hold perishable cargo at the "Perfect
Climate," with temperature capabilities ranging from minus 38
degrees F to 86 degrees F. OOCL's overland generator sets
guarantee the same constant, ideal temperature by road, rail or
A new addition to OOCL Logistics' e-business offerings is
Reefer Podium, a system customized for refrigerated and frozen
seafood. Providing supply-chain visibility from production to
cargo loading to doorstep delivery, Reefer Podium includes such
functions as product catalogs and price quotations for
individual buyers and a profile of product grade, value and
San Ramon, Calif.
Peninsula of Boston a Northeast seafood hub
Peninsula of Boston has provided refrigerated storage,
consolidated distribution, specialty transfer and freight
forwarding for fresh seafood for more than 35 years. It is the
leading independent transfer point for fresh-food distribution
in the Northeast, with service from Logan Airport to anywhere
in the world. Peninsula is HACCP approved and provides
inventory control, repackaging, re-icing, inspectional
services, local pickup and delivery and daily pickup and
delivery to Logan Airport. Peninsula also offers on-site
inspection services by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In response to requests for more timely delivery, the
company has increased worldwide LD3 and LD7 airfreight services
significantly, along with smaller overnight deliveries by
Peninsula's facility is just one block from the entrances to
Interstates 93, 95 and 90. Twelve loading doors feed directly
to the staging area, and three 7-by-9-foot automatic cooler
doors provide quick and easy access to the 44,000-cubic-foot
cooler, reducing handling.
Peninsula of Boston
Preferred Freezer keeps it cold, gets it there
Since 1989, Preferred Freezer Services has grown from one
facility to a network of 13 state-of-the-art refrigerated
warehouses located throughout North America. With three more
sites planned to open this year, PFS is poised to expand its
capacity of 60 million cubic feet.
Its list of customers is also growing, as all facilities are
strategically located in close proximity to major U.S. ports
and roadways. Its newest site in Newark, N.J., serves the New
York metropolitan area with more than 8.5 million cubic feet
kept at 0 degrees F. Other sites are located near Boston, New
York, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.
PFS has designated inspection areas for the Food and Drug
Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S.
Department of Commerce. All its facilities are
HACCP-certified. Its full range of services also includes
computerized inventory management, cross-docking, freight
consolidation and mo re.
Preferred Freezer Services
USCS leads the way
in logistics, storage
United States Cold Storage is a leading public refrigerated
warehouse company based in Cherry Hills, N.J. Since its
acquisition by John Swire & Sons in 1982, its capacity has
grown to 130 million cubic feet.
USCS now operates 30 facilities that employ approximately
1,350 people. Its regional and national distribution centers
are located in California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois,
Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and
Its wide array of storage and logistics services allows USCS
to serve many leading American and international food
With more than 35 percent of its handled goods destined for
international use or consumption, USCS has become an integral
part of the global food distribution and supply chain.
USCS also develops and integrates technological applications
that facilitate and expand logistics services for its
customers. By managing the receiving, storage and
order-assembly of about 6 billion pounds of
temperature-sensitive foods each year, USCS has created fully
integrated warehouse, transportation and information systems
that improve day-to-day operations and save money for its
United States Cold Storage
Union City, Calif.
(national sales headquarters)
Versacold offers full spectrum of services
Logistics-management expertise and a solid reputation for
reliability and quality follow Versacold wherever it goes. The
Vancouver, British Columbia-based company operates 74 modern,
temperature-controlled warehouses across Canada and the United
States with a combined storage capacity of nearly 272 million
Seafood companies represent about 20 percent of Versacold's
business. Founded in 1946, it specializes in custom freezing
and food processing as well as third-party logistics and
Versacold also offers handling, multi-temperature warehouse
storage and cross-docking services, as well as container
drayage on imported products. The company additionally provides
facilities for Food and Drug Administration and U.S.
Departmen t of Commerce inspections.
Versacold serves seafood companies and retailers in the
Western, Southwest and Northeast United States. Its customer
base includes Landry's Seafood Restaurants, H.E. Butt Grocery
Co. and The Kroger Co. The company also operates facilities in
Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
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