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Running on Ice: Cold chain goes international 

Hello, and welcome to the coolest community in freight! Here you’ll find the latest information on warehouse news, tech developments and all things reefer madness-related. I’m your controller of the thermostat, Mary O’Connell. Thanks for having me!

All thawed out

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Americold has gone international with the recent investment in Dubai’s RSA Cold Chain. Americold is now a minority shareholder of RSA Cold Chain. This partnership serves as an entry into the Middle East and India for a more accessible cold chain. “We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Americold, a global player that can connect the world’s food production markets to our region with a seamless service at origin and destination,” Abhishek Shah, RSA Cold Chain’s co-founder and CEO, said in a news release. “We are excited to create a regional brand across our markets that our customers can trust.”

Temperature checks

Peli Bio Thermal news release
  • CREST has developed a new clean room, which might be weird to hear because when we typically hear Crest we think of toothpaste. It is in fact not that. It’s Stancold’s Clean Room Envelope Specialist Team’s new solution to clean rooms. These rooms are fire-rated and can accommodate specific temperatures and humidity-controlled requirements crucial to many research and development practices in the biotech and pharma world. “Initially, we were only supposed to build the box, install all the refrigeration components and leave the rest to the client,” Steve Gunning, CREST’s contracts supervisor, said in a news release. “But as it often can be with construction sites, the plans changed, and the team returned for a few hours for a third visit to build over the structure.”
  • Peli BioThermal has announced the expansion of its Crēdo shipper range for deep frozen payload protection. This cube is expected to help with the dry ice shortages hitting the pharmaceutical logistics industry. The design uses less dry ice to maintain the optimal temperature within the package. “With dry ice shortages causing issues within the supply chain infrastructure, our Crēdo Cube Dry Ice range can help address this ongoing problem,”  Lee Stopher, product manager at Peli BioThermal said in a Packaging Europe article. “The product’s highly efficient VIP [vacuum insulated panel] insulation reduces and, in some cases, eliminates the need for in-transit topping up of dry ice, which reduces cost and the potential for temperature excursions.”

Food and drugs

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Every time you go to the grocery store, it feels like your budget gets busted. Turns out that’s happening to everyone.

The consumer price index, a measure of economy-wide inflation, is up 0.8% from December 2022 to January ’23 and has increased 6.4% year over year. The CPI shows food prices were 10% higher than in January 2022.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, price jumps are expected to continue in eight food categories at the following rates:

  • Eggs: 37.8%
  • Meat: 4.7%
  • Dairy products: 7.2%
  • Fats and oils: 16.7%
  • Processed fruits and vegetables: 9.9%
  • Sugar and sweets: 11.5%
  • Cereals and bakery products: 12.8% 
  • Nonalcoholic beverages: 9.9%

The driving factors for the dramatic jumps in prices are the costs incurred by producers. Growing, sourcing, manufacturing and shipping costs are all increasing, which unfortunately hits the consumer the most in the bank account. 

Given the U.S. winter cattle yield was lighter than anticipated, rising beef costs are just around the corner. Maybe now that we’ve entered Mexico’s produce season, that will help offset some of those costs. I’m not holding my breath about it though. 

Cold chain lanes


This week’s coolest market is Omaha, Nebraska. Capacity there is loosening as Outbound tender volumes and rejections are on the decline. Outbound tender volumes have dropped 6.17% week over week, while outbound tender rejections have dropped 967 basis points. Significant decreases like these indicate a lot of open capacity — so much so that shippers can reduce their outbound tender lead times below 3.5 days. Last week it was closer to four days. Rates in the market should improve and capacity easier to source in the future. 

Is SONAR for you? Check it out with a demo!

Shelf life

Chipotle gets a new protein on the menu 

Equipping your supply chain for ESG reporting

Frozen food distributor causes chaos

Vaccine development accelerated

OK with the change in management? Shoot me an email with comments, questions or story ideas at [email protected]

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