September 30, 2023

Running on Ice: UPS doubles down on health care


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)

What can brown do for you? Looks like the Atlanta-based parcel behemoth is doubling down on its position in the health care sector. UPS has acquired MNX Global Logistics, a California company that specializes in time-critical shipments within the health care industry. While no financial terms of the deal were disclosed, MNX is expected to run under the UPS Express Critical side of the business.

Fun fact about MNX: It got its start transporting movie reels and has since branched out to other time-sensitive industries — a wise decision as most movies aren’t delivered to theaters on reels anymore.

Not only is UPS gaining more share of the health care space, MNX, which will continue to operate as is, will be able to access UPS’ aircraft, which is a step up from the commercial and charter air transport it was previously using. UPS is arguably one of the best in health care logistics. This acquisition is likely only the start of its future in the field.

Temperature Checks

(Image: Thermo King)

Thermo King does it again. The masters of keeping things cold have elevated the game through the company’s new TracKing Pro telematics. This offering comprises algorithms that use machine learning to estimate fuel usage and increase fleet uptime, enabling transportation companies to operate more efficiently.

The news release highlights, “In addition, the advanced algorithm and predictive analytics capabilities make it possible to anticipate where failures may occur and provide the necessary alerts in advance. The predictive alert notifications and enhanced alarm details enable proactive issue response and resolution, helping fleet managers and owners avoid costly unplanned downtime. Alarm triage insights provide valuable information to internal fleet monitoring teams, helping them quickly comprehend and address alarms, ultimately increasing uptime.”

This will not be the last we hear of new telematic solutions in the cold chain world.

Food and drugs

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The vegetable about to enter its Renaissance era is none other than the humble potato, specifically in its frozen form. That’s right: One of the most versatile foods is seeing a rise in popularity. Who doesn’t love a good french fry? It’s basically the perfect addition to any dish. 

According to Potato News Today, “The global frozen potato market is on a trajectory to reach a staggering $92.63 billion by 2030, growing from its $65.06 billion valuation in 2022. This growth is fueled by a surge in demand for frozen food products and the rising popularity of ready-to-eat convenience items.”

This might not be the only vegetable to see a rise in popularity. Consumer preference for ready-to-eat microwaveable meals and the rise of one- to two-person households mean that the future for frozen meals remains bright. The rise in disposable income in the Asia Pacific region has increased demand for potatoes as well.

2024 is going to be the year of the french fry.

Cold chain lanes


This week’s reefer market is the home of coffee, Seattle. Capacity is loosening ever so slightly. Reefer outbound tender volumes have dropped 20.97% week over week. In the world of rejections, the Reefer Outbound Tender Reject Index dropped 331 basis points w/w. This loosening does signal easing spot rates. However with rejection rates at 12.84%, the market is still going to have higher-than-normal spot rates as the national average for ROTRI is 8.39%. The one bright spot is that with the loosening of capacity, it’s a good indication that harvest season is nearing the end in the Pacific Northwest. 

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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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