Reefer container Unit45

Arctic fuel and withstanding -25° C: the reefer container

The demand for conditioned container transport is increasing, and so is the preference for environmentally friendly products. Unit45 understood these trends and developed the 45ft reefer container, the first in Europe to handle 33 europallets. Managing Director Jan Koolen will present this reefer in a workshop on 27 March at the Freight & Terminal Forum.

With the modal shift to rail of products such as pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical industry is switching to transport with reefers. Foodstuffs such as wine, frozen products such as fries, pizzas, meat and fish and fruits and vegetables require conditioned transport. And in winter electronics must be transported heated due to the extremely cold outside temperatures in for example Kazakhstan and Russia, Koolen explained.

Cooling system

“It works like any other cooling system: you extract hot air from the container and replace it with cool air. By means of air circulation you reach a constant desired temperature which is set in advance.”

Thanks to a built-in cooling system there is plenty of cargo space left. Besides the dual-compartment diesel-electric reefer, which has 2 temperature controlled compartments within the reefer, the company also offers the triple-compartment reefer. This reefer has 3 compartments, meaning 3 different temperatures fully controllable between +25° and -25° C, enabling two or more commodities to be carried at the same time.

New Silk Road

The unique aspect of the reefer is that it is totally self-supported and can be checked remotely by means of a track & trace system. Due to the large capacity of the diesel tank, the diesel electric reefer is suitable for longer distances. It is therefore not surprising that the product is a popular transport option for cargo on the New Silk Road.

Logistics provider New SIlkway Logistics is one of the partners of Unit45, actively utilising the reefer unit for transport to and from Asia. “The container is equipped with protection against freezing and a unique internal heating system prevents the fuel to freeze. If the fuel runs out on the way, this will be detected thanks to various sensors in the container”, CEO Rob Brekelmans explained earlier.

Fossil-free fuel

The reefer runs on fossil-free fuel, something that was previously not possible because this type of fuel becomes gooey when exposed to extreme temperatures. But Unit45 uses the Arctic version of this fuel, which is resistant to a temperature of -47 degrees. “We also use heated diesel filters and a heated diesel tank”, Koolen explained.

“Over the years, environmental requirements have become stricter and companies are more aware of the carbon footprint. This means that they have started to use more environmentally friendly products. We now use the most environmentally friendly insulation, waterborne paint and also the cooling machine suppliers joined in by using environmentally friendly cooling agents.”

Follow the workshop

Are you interested in this workshop? Registration is free of charge. You must first register for the Freight & Terminal Forum, Expo only. Then, you visit the workshop programme and select the workshop of your choice.

Date: 27 March 2019
Time: 11:15 – 12:00

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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