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Running on Ice: A new player enters the game

Your latest info on all things cold chain

The place for all things cold chain.

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 

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

RealCold, backed by Related Fund Management, part of 50-year-old real estate developer and operator Related Companies, announced its new full cold chain logistics firm. RealCold is starting with two facilities, the first a 376,000-square-foot cold storage facility in Lakeland, Florida, and the second in Lockhart, Texas. 

According to a CoStar article, “Related, a company that’s undertaken the high-profile development of the mixed-use Hudson Yards in New York City, isn’t the only company jumping on the cold storage bandwagon. About two-fifths of respondents in a CBRE investors survey last year said they were pursuing cold storage assets, up from 22% in 2021, and 7% in 2019.”

RealCold’s facilities will include e-commerce; personalization and gifting programs; marketplace and selling platform integration; each pick, kitting and order fulfillment; and dry ice and freezer pack management.

Temperature Checks

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Recycling is not just for cardboard anymore, it’s for energy, more specifically power for reefer trailers. Ecolution Power Co. has entered a partnership with Avalon Wheeler Freight Services (AWFS). Avalon will be the first customer of Ecolution by using recycled power in its fleet of reefer trailers. 

Where does the recycling part come in? Ecolution’s Module Active Response System (MARS) uses kinetic energy to recharge the battery while in motion. Not only can this technology be used in the trailer, but it can also be used to heat and cool the tractor’s cabin, which can amount to about $1,000 savings per month. Testing will begin with AWFS in the first quarter of 2024. 

With lowered fuel costs, a boost to sustainability initiatives and the added bonus of cutting-edge technology, I can’t wait to learn about the trials in February. 

Food and drugs

(Photo: Business Wire)

TGI Fridays is bringing more than potato skins and mozzarella sticks to the freezer aisle. The home of Friday Happy Hour has expanded its frozen offerings to include entrees. Spicy Cajun-style chicken fettuccine alfredo, chicken and rice with spinach and artichoke sauce, whiskey-glazed chicken and mashed potatoes, and pulled pork mac and cheese are hitting the freezer aisle at Walmart. 

In a news release, Kathleen Schloth, senior vice president of Brand Licensing, said, “We are excited about extending the TGI Fridays brand in the frozen meal category. These new entrées bring restaurant quality and innovation to the frozen aisle, providing convenience and ‘That Fridays Feeling’ to enjoy at home.”

A Market Scale article said: “Recent research has found that shoppers turn to frozen foods to reduce food waste. Because frozen foods have a long shelf life, consumers actually eat what they purchase, which helps extend their food dollar. The frozen food category in the U.S. has seen strong growth over recent years, propelled in part by the pandemic but continuing to grow. Sales have increased by nearly $20 billion since 2018. Today, a $72 billion category at retail.”

Cold chain lanes


This week’s SONAR reefer market is Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Reefer volumes have started declining over the past week in Cedar Rapids. Outbound tender volumes have risen significantly to 22.45% rejections. There will continue to be significant routing guide disruption through the next few weeks as harvest season comes to a close and capacity returns to the market. 

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

Shelf life

Chemours and Honeywell announce reclaim and recycling program 

Villa Dolce Artisan Desserts Opens Manufacturing and Storage Facility in Arizona

Hy-Vee builds in-store digital media experience with Samsung

The slow climb of multistory warehouses 

Wanna chat in the cooler? Shoot me an email with comments, questions or story ideas at [email protected].

See you on the internet.


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Mary O'Connell

Former pricing analyst, supply chain planner, and broker/dispatcher turned creator of the newsletter and podcast Check Call. Which gives insights into the world around 3PLs and Freight brokers. She will talk your ear off about anything and everything if you let her. Expertise in operations, LTL pricing and procurement, flatbed operations, dry van, tracking and tracing, reality tv shows and how to turn a stranger into your new best friend.