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Running on Ice: Finishing the year cold 

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)

It may be a muted season for dry van loads, but the same cannot be said for new cold storage facilities. Since there are quite a few across the country celebrating breaking ground or completion, a roundup is in order. 

Breaking ground in Kansas City, Missouri, is Vertical Cold Storage. The new facility will be in south KC and will be more than 300,000 square feet and have about 50,000 pallet positions. The facility will also offer blast freezing and have four rooms that are convertible to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The best part about the location is that it’s within 30 miles of BNSF, Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern terminals, meaning rail service to anywhere in the U.S. is an option. 

In the works is a new fulfillment center in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, for Flexport. The new facility will offer Flexport’s full suite of omnichannel services, including e-commerce fulfillment. Anticipated to be 1.1 million square feet, the new facility will give Flexport access to about 26% of the U.S. population and major transportation hubs in New Jersey and New York. While the company did have mass layoffs earlier this year, this new facility is part of its return to profitability plan. 

Grand opening time has come for Lineage as it opens a new Houston facility. The new warehouse is approximately 315,000 square feet and is the sixth location for Lineage in the greater Houston area. This facility is near the Jacintoport Terminal at Port Houston and is coincidentally named Houston ColdPort in the Lineage network. Houston ColdPort offers integrated and streamlined transportation and drayage operations to customers. 

Food and drugs

(Photo: Micron Biomedical)

Facing a fear of needles is about to be a thing of the past, at least in regard to vaccines. Micron Biomedical has received $23.6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to mass produce the first needle-free vaccine. This new technology could be revolutionary to the child vaccine industry. 

How it works is that there are dissolvable microneedles attached to a patch-like device. Basically the same way that a diabetic might apply a new blood-glucose monitor, someone could receive a vaccine. 

Current trials are happening in Gambia with the measles and rubella vaccine. If this new technology can be scaled up, it changes everything about the vaccine game. The patch technology reduces the need for cold chain distribution and doesn’t require a trained medical professional to administer the vaccine. 

Quoted in a Reuters article, James Goodson, senior scientist in the immunization division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the technology “could help overcome some of the most substantial barriers to eradicating measles and rubella globally.”

Cold chain lanes


This week’s SONAR market is Rock Island, Illinois, which, if you’re like me and unsure where that is, it’s the Quad Cities, where Illinois and Iowa meet. Outbound tender rejection rates in Rock Island are almost 3.5 times the national average for reefer outbound tender rejections, which is 9.4%. Rejection rates in the 30s signal that there are extremely inflated spot rates in the area. Rock Island isn’t a large market for reefer volumes, but what is there is going for top dollar. Carriers with any excess capacity should look at sending trucks to the Quad Cities, whereas brokers and shippers watch for low routing guide compliance and higher than usual rates. 

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

Shelf life

Handyman Hints: The obstacle of what to do with your cold-storage room

UPS unveils integrated supply chain platform

Bite-Sized frozen meals 

Why rugged devices are the stone-cold solution for cold chain management

Pure Prairie Poultry launches new retail brand

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.