The Wakefield-based operator’s solution, dubbed the Pod, was designed in partnership with Gray & Adams and produced at the trailer maker’s Doncaster manufacturing facility.
The 60-pallet-capacity Pod’s role is to bridge the gap between the deep-frozen production or storage environment and NewCold’s auto-loading 44-pallet double-deck trailers – also designed and manufactured by Gray & Adams.
For example, as soon as the product leaves the production line at -22degs, it is automatically loaded through a sliding door at the back of the Pod, which itself is pre-cooled to the same temperature. After a brief pause to stabilise temperatures, the pallets are automatically transferred into the double-deck trailer, docked to the front of the Pod.
Initial loading into the Pod takes around five minutes, with the whole cycle completed within 30 minutes. Meanwhile, three Carrier TRS refrigeration systems hold the temperature at a constant -25degs.
Effectively, every deep-frozen package or pallet remains at a constant set temperature of between -22 and -25 degrees, and at no time during its journey from production to loading is any pallet exposed to the ambient environment or touched by an operative. This not only ensures absolute temperature integrity but virtually eliminates product damage.
Newcold’s logistics advisor Tom Cassells says: “Automated handling and loading are bringing a host of benefits to the deep-frozen supply chain and this new advancement represents a big step forward for NewCold and their customers – in terms of energy saving, faster turnaround and overall product quality.”
The Pod recently won an innovation award for Gray and Adams at the annual TCS&D dinner.
NewCold’s Wakefield facility handles three million pallets a year, storing up to 143,000 pallets at any time at a constant -23degs. The company is now seeking a site for a second facility.