Willy Yeo

Director of Marketing

Carrier Transicold


Session: Challenges and Solutions in the Global Reefer Market


Can you provide an overview of your session? Why is this an important topic to discuss?

My topic is The Future is Now: Solutions for Global Container Refrigeration. New technologies are helping container shipping lines optimize and fine-tune the performance of their container operations. Refrigerated containers are a significant and complex part of this because of the high value and perishable nature of the cargoes they transport. It is important to understand how technology can help and which technologies are best for them to deploy.

What has been the biggest challenge to the refrigerated container shipping industry in 2019?

There are many challenges and, importantly, some of them involve controlling costs of refrigerated operations. In response to this, this September we introduced our new-generation Micro-Link® 5 controller together with the DataLINE Connect™ smartphone app, which boosts container visibility for improved worker productivity. We also offer TripWise™ diagnostic software, which enables refrigeration systems to conduct self-checks while in transit, reducing cost and operator time spent on pre-trip inspections before the next turn. Building on these developments, we are very excited to unveil even more new and exciting technologies at Intermodal this year that will boost cost
savings to the customer through receiving critical diagnostics and actionable intelligence on their cargo while in transit.  On top of that, our power-saving software can help shipping lines address fuel costs related to the IMO 2020 air quality standard by reducing reefer system energy consumption. Finally, for environmental compliance reasons the refrigerant landscape is changing, creating new cost and availability pressure on both traditional refrigerants and new substitutes, even while excellent low-cost and environmentally sustainable refrigerant solutions exist. On that front, we continue to see success in our NaturaLINE ® container units, which are powered by CO2, a natural, low cost refrigerant with a GWP of 1.

What kind of changes have occurred in the refrigerated container business over the last year?

It is an ever-evolving business. One change in particular has been the growing adoption of controlled-atmosphere (CA) shipping. With CA, oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors make refrigerated containers more intuitive so they can slow down ripening of perishable cargo. Pioneered by Carrier Transicold with the original EverFRESH® system, controlled-atmosphere technology has become more affordable and mainstream, even adding built-in technology for ethylene removal, as found in our XtendFRESH™ system. We will also introduce a new and exciting option for customers in the CA space at Intermodal, which provides both cost savings and efficiency.

Is new reefer technology at odds with sustainability?

At Carrier Transicold, we design our new technologies with sustainability in mind. Our NaturaLINE® container refrigeration system is a great example of how shipping lines can use a sustainable long-term and relatively low-cost natural refrigerant solution with an ultra-low global warming potential and also enjoy the kind of energy efficiency they have come to expect from a modern container refrigeration system, such as quiet operations and capabilities to reach minus 40 degrees Celsius. Our CA systems enable perishable cargo to maintain quality better than refrigeration alone, helping to reduce the potential for spoilage and food waste.

What measures should be taken by the industry to ensure market sustainability and growth?

Container shipping lines have an opportunity to see how new technologies can drive efficiency, perform sustainably and ensure that cargo quality and integrity are maintained during voyages. Those that do will enjoy greater success in supporting the global cold chain that delivers food to an ever-growing global population and reduces spoilage.

Why do you think events like Intermodal Europe are important for the industry?

It brings people from all parts of the industry together to share issues, solutions, technologies and experiences in a collegial atmosphere.