Even in difficult economic times the temperature controlled transport industry allows the consumer a wide range of choices in the foods they eat. However, as the realities of the current economic climate begin to bite, consumer buying habits are changing slightly. At a recent conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, cold storage and distribution operators remained cautiously optimistic, even though there is a discernible increase in the consumption of frozen foods across Europe.
This is good news for the temperature controlled transport sector, according to Joe Grealy, Director for Strategic Industry Relations at Ingersoll Rand Climate Control Technology and President of the Consultative Technical Committee of Transfrigoroute International: “As consumers reassess their household budgets, retailers are fighting for every available cent or penny of available revenue. At the same time, they are trying to lower their operating and distribution costs, which in turn puts pressure on the margins in the transport sector.
“Clearly it is much more economic to operate new vehicles as they benefit from the latest technology, fuel efficiency and warranty. For those transport operators who have access to finance this may be one way of surviving the current recession. The current turmoil in the financial markets makes this option increasingly difficult for many. Falling market values for second hand vehicles, even relatively new stock, only serves to compound the issue.
“As pressure on profit margins grows every operator in the temperature controlled transport business must look at optimising their profitability, whether long distance trailer transport, national or urban distribution. Part of this process should include making the existing equipment as efficient as possible. There are two key areas to be looked at, the insulated body and the refrigeration unit. Either or both of these pieces of equipment can cause a waste of money and a lowering of operating margins.”
A business unit of Ingersoll Rand, Thermo King can help in this area, through its extensive network of over 300 authorised service locations in Europe, CIS and the Middle East. Damaged insulated bodies, particularly doors and door seals have a major impact on the efficiency of the refrigeration systems. Thermo King dealers can examine the bodies and carry out simple repairs to improve the overall performance and reduce energy consumption, exhaust emissions and fuel consumption.
Particular attention should be paid to distribution vehicles fitted with roller shutter doors.
Just as a poorly maintained truck will not deliver the optimum fuel consumption, so the same logic applies to the diesel or vehicle powered refrigeration system. A simple check by a Thermo King certified technician can quickly diagnose a poorly performing refrigeration system and restore it to its proper working condition. This can be as simple as checking and adjusting engine speeds to ensure the correct airflow. Leak checking the system for any possible refrigerant leaks ensures the correct cooling capacity. Through the use of modern micro-processor controllers, the operation of the temperature control system can be customised for any specific application, again reducing fuel costs and noise levels.
By fitting genuine Thermo King parts the operator can be assured that the unit is restored to its factory built specifications with the additional comfort of knowing that the reliability is enhanced over units with “will fit“ parts. Operating costs can be lowered by fitting a sliding curtain to keep the heat out of the body when the doors are opened. With a unique range of competitively priced exchange parts, backed by an industry leading warranty coverage, operating costs for a Thermo King temperature control unit have never been better.
One sure way to control costs and to maintain the equipment in the best working condition is to take out a Thermo King Total Kare service and maintenance contract or a local Thermo King dealer contract, to suit the operation of the transporter.
Whichever solution is chosen, Thermo King and its dealer network are here to help the temperature controlled transport industry through these difficult times.
For further information please contact your local Thermo King dealer or visit www.thermoking.com