Making More Use of the Railroad in the Cold Supply Chain

Making More Use of the Railroad in the Cold Supply Chain

“All aboard!” In the glory days of passenger railroad, it was the call of the coachman to get passengers on the soon-departing train. Today, “All aboard!” is also the call for all kinds of industries to use the resurgent transportation railroad sector to get their products from production to consumer.[emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]

Last month, we noted the evidence of rail’s comeback. This month, we will focus on why it makes sense to make more use of it in the cold supply chain.

First, rail transportation is highly efficient. You might have heard commercials from CSX Corporation with a claim that its freight trains can move a ton of material 500 miles on a single gallon of diesel fuel. It’s not hype. Rhett Allain, a physics professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, has done the math and science for WIRED magazine and determined that the CSX claim is “plausible.” More math shows that rail provides a 33 percent savings versus truck transportation. With rail, you can haul three truckloads of goods for the price of two.

Secondly, rail technology is much better, particularly when it comes to safely moving refrigerated and frozen food. Today, railcars can be fitted with a large, diesel-powered refrigeration unit, and, by satellite, these refrigerated cars can be individually controlled and monitored for location, temperature and fuel levels. We’ve come a long way from the 1950s when the famous Orange Blossom Special carried Florida citrus up the Eastern Seaboard in box cars cooled by blocks of ice stored under the flooring.

Here at Adams Cold Storage in Auburndale, we’re located adjacent to a series of railroad tracks, and as part of our current expansion, we’re answering the call from customers who want to add rail to their mix of transportation services. We will upgrade our current warehouse rail siding and rail dock doors to meet specifications that apply to moving refrigerated goods to and from warehousing and railroad box cars. This will ensure that there’s absolutely no break in the cold chain.

CREDITS

column by BEN ADAMS, JR.

BIO: Ben Adams Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage LLC in Auburndale. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing and distribution, as well as state and community support, since 1980. His facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion currently under way.[/emember_protected]