September 15, 2023

Running on Ice: Good things come in small packages


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: LinkedIn)

There’s big news for small batteries in the medical supply chain. Artyc PBC, a cold chain startup, has developed a small battery-powered cooling container designed to transport medical goods. 

“The Medstow Mini is a reusable active temperature stabilization and cooling container for shipping blood samples, blood vials, and cells collected within the home or clinical settings,” the news release said. “The Medstow Mini can withstand varying ambient temperatures, prevent temperature excursions, and provide live data insights on the unit’s location and the temperature of its samples via a user-friendly app.”

Before this type of in-home technology, patients would have to rely on cold packs and reefer trucks to get their samples to the lab, which leaves a wide margin for error. Given that the alternative is a contaminated sample, this tech is a welcome addition to the medical supply chain, especially in regard to sustainability. The rechargeable nature of the Medstow Mini dramatically reduces the amount of waste in the supply chain. 

Temperature Checks

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

There is another partnership to announce, this time between Paxafe, B2B software focusing on risk, and Carrier, a provider of cold chain monitoring and intelligence. This new partnership is poised to tackle the pharmaceutical supply chain, mainly to help reduce waste. The pharmaceutical industry loses about $35 billion of product each year due to compromised product integrity as a result of temperature variations in the supply chain. 

“The collaboration will offer supply chain leaders and logistics managers risk management insights to unlock greater control and resiliency within their distribution networks that will help enable them to better predict, prevent and resolve risks before they occur,” Alice DeBiasio, vice president and general manager of truck trailer Americas and digital solutions at Carrier, said in the news release.

Food and drugs

(Photo: Instagram)

Twinkies have found a new home.  In an unexpected twist J.M. Smucker has bought Hostess brands for a cool $5.6 billion. Hostess most infamously known for twinkies, cupcakes, fruit pies, and dozens of other sweet treats. This offer was a mix of cash and stock and Smucker paid Hostess shareholders $34.25 per share, roughly a 54% premium on the stock price. 

Analysts have questioned this decision as most brands are looking to expand health conscious offerings, instead of comfort food type sweets, especially at a higher price point. Hostess was seeinking an acquisition after getting its financials right post bankruptcy in 2012. 

As a connoisseur of delicious treats i can say that deep fried twinkies are overrated but deep fried hostess cupcakes are worth a stop at whatever fair you are in. 

Cold chain lanes


This week’s SONAR market of the week is Little Rock, Arkansas, where capacity is tightening as the Reefer Outbound Tender Rejection Index (ROTRI) has increased 779 basis points week over week (w/w). Rejection rates above 10% signal that there are inflationary spot rates. Not only is the ROTRI increasing, but reefer outbound tender volumes have increased 29.74% w/w. Rejections are increasing at a much faster rate than volumes, which is where the crunch in capacity will come from. 

As rejections get closer to 20%, spot rates will continue to increase just as quickly as rejections. The increase in demand for reefer shipments is likely from late-summer harvest season and blistering temps across the central U.S. The massive heat wave has broken, but temps in the upper 80s aren’t helping matters.  

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

Shelf life

Kraft Heinz debuts a pouch that makes a microwaved grilled cheese crispy

California Senate passes bill outlawing self-driving trucks without a human driver on board

Seatrade expands South American shipping fleet

We’ve got a truck parking crisis. Who should solve it?

American manufacturing is coming back. So are strikes. 

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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The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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