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Running on Ice: It’s the 2024 Freezer Challenge

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: Shutterstock)

It’s time for the annual Freezer Challenge. What is the Freezer Challenge? Great question. I’d love to tell you. The Freezer Challenge is an annual competition that challenges scientists around the world to be more energy-efficient with their labs’ cold storage. It is run in partnership by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL), two nonprofits promoting laboratory sustainability, according to a McGill Reporter article

The lab community comes together for this challenge to reduce carbon emissions as an industry. This challenge helps participants optimize their labs’ cold storage with tips like removing frost buildup, cleaning coils and updating sample inventories — small things to help reduce emissions. Last year nearly 2,000 labs participated, with the winner being the University of Alabama Birmingham. The winner for this year? Who knows? But if one company can save enough power to fuel six homes for a year, imagine what more can do.

Temperature checks

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Welcome to winter where, if it weren’t for global supply chains, we’d be a month into eating a significant amount of potatoes, onions and mushrooms. Thanks to container ships and a global supply chain, we can add grapes, mangoes and other stone fruits to the winter lineup courtesy of Chile. The Port of Los Angeles had its first 2024 arrival of Chilean fruit this week. The vessel has more than 5,300 pallets of grapes and stone fruit. Fun fact: The Port of LA is the only U.S. West Coast port receiving specialized refrigerated cargo from Chile.



Quoted in a news release, Gene Seroka, Port of Los Angeles executive director, said, “We have become the main stop for Chilean fruit imports on the West Coast that gets distributed as far north as Canada and as far east as Texas. Being able to accommodate and efficiently process a variety of cargo for our customers — such as the fresh break bulk shipment today — continues to be an important priority for our Port.” 

Food and drugs

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Jumping across the pond to Spain, a new medical record has been set. In 2023 Spain carried out more organ transplants than ever for a total of 5,851 procedures, a 9% jump from 2022. The new record-setting year further cements Spain’s role as a leader in organ transplants. The country has the highest donation activity globally, with a rate of 48.9 donors per million people. For comparison, the U.S. has 44.5 donors per million people. 

According to a Reuters article, “Spain leads the way for various reasons, such as having a transplant coordinator at hospitals, usually a professional in intensive care, and it has also improved its expertise in organ donation in asystole, which occurs from donors who die after cardiorespiratory arrest. Spain was the only country that performed all types of transplants from asystole donors.” I would wager that SPain should have some impressive organ transplant transportation tech coming out in the near future. 

Cold chain lanes

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The past week brought winter storms to just about every part of the U.S., even the South, which is not notorious for its ability to handle winter weather. As a result of ice-laden highways and a record number of wrecker services unable to help all semi-trucks that spun off the roads, carriers became less likely to take freight moving into those frozen markets, despite being a part of the cold chain. Poultry plants in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas all paused operations as a result of the severe weather. Now that the worst of the weather is seemingly past, operations will resume and outbound tender rejections in the South should stabilize and freight should start moving freely again. 

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Shelf life

Americold Realty Trust, Inc. sets date for Fourth Quarter 2023 earnings 

Cryoport, Inc. Rings the Nasdaq Stock Market opening bell

Sweetkiwi and Broadus Foods to launch exclusive frozen greek yogurt bars featuring Snoop Cereal flavors

Frozen food boom challenges cold storage supply chain, spurs innovation

Kroger dodges supply chain freeze

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

See you on the internet.

Mary

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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.