Transporting the extraordinary

29th August 2022

All kinds of cargo find itself in the care of temperature controlled transport. Let’s have a look around…

Often, food is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about temperature-controlled transport. But a lot of interesting things can be found between the cooled (or heated, for that matter) walls of a temperature-controlled vehicle. These eccentric passengers highlight the versatility of the cold chain! Let’s explore the many sides of Thermo King’s units and how they impact our lives in unexpected ways.

Chilling with penguins

Let’s start with the basics. The first and most obvious function of temperature control units: cooling. Among the most unique passengers of cooled trucks are penguins. It’s no surprise these frosty critters need to be kept in strictly controlled temperatures.

To minimize the stress of moving, most animal transportation is done by air. Quicker delivery times mean the animals need to spend less time in a cage. Of course, airplanes don’t land at aquariums or zoos, so the final leg of the journey is done by truck, where the animals are kept at the same temperature as the previous stage of the transport.

Penguins need to be kept between -7°C and 11°C, depending on the species. Emperor penguins for instance should not be exposed to temperatures above 4°C for long periods of time. They are prone to overheating and high temperatures can make them cranky. Units with quick pulldown temperatures, like the T-Series, are indispensable for these critters, so they can be nice and cold as soon as possible.

Sitting Pretty – Cosmetics

Another thing you might not think needs cooled transportation is cosmetics! After all, we don’t store our cosmetics products in the fridge at home, do we? But then again, home isn’t a truck driving for long periods in scorching sunlight or a container ship crossing an ocean without any shadow.

Lots of cosmetic products are sensitive to heat. High temperatures can cause the oils, water and waxes contained in foundations, lipsticks or eyeshadows to separate. This means the products can lose their effectives or spoil before they even hit the shelves. In the worst case, the products can become infested with bacteria if not properly cooled. The cosmetics industry spans the entire globe, and products often spend weeks in shipping containers, as cargo ships ferry the cosmetics across the oceans. The Magnum Plus offers precise temperature and humidity control, making sure the cosmetics are kept safe while they traverse the globe.

Likewise, perfume also needs strict temperature control during transport. Fragrances are valuable and chemically complex and sensitive. Both high and low temperatures threaten the integrity of a bottle’s contents. High temperatures can cause the essential oils to evaporate or mingle in a way that spoils the perfume’s scent. Likewise, too cold and the liquid freezes, threatening the integrity of the bottle and the fragrance contained within. 

The traveling F1 circus

Temperature control units cool, but they also keep things warm. Formula 1 tyres, for instance. F1 is often called ‘The traveling circus’. A fitting name, as the transportation of all the equipment is quite the logistical challenge. And as any F1-fan will tell you: for racing tyres, temperature control is absolutely critical.

During the shipping process, the three thousand tyres taken to each event need to be kept at a steady 20°C. Ideally, the batches of tyres are transported in single trailers, with units like the Advancer™ keeping them at optimal temperature. When delivering to races outside of Europe, the tyres are transported by boat, where the same consistent temperature can be insured by units like the Magnum Plus. Once they arrive at port, the tyres are loaded into a trailer for the last leg of the journey towards the paddock. When approaching the race venue, the temperature is increased to 35°C to ensure the tyres can perform their best on track.

F1 tyres are delicate items, so a dependable supply chain with tight temperature control is crucial.

Artistic Visions

Finally, let’s talk about humidity control. Food transports need humidity control to combat mould, but other cargo can be equally as vulnerable. Art, for example. Nobody wants to see the painting they’d purchased for their living room emerge from the delivery truck cracked or destroyed under heat of the sun. Art needs to be transported in very specific circumstance to avoid damaging the work beyond repair.

Increased humidity levels cause water vapour to condense and land on nearby surfaces. If that surface happens to be a canvas full of paint, it will result in a corrosive reaction that ruins the paint and appearance of the artwork. But low humidity can be equally as bad. In extremely arid environments, the work may lose the small amount of water that holds the work together, causing the paint to crack and crumble. It’s a delicate balance, but one that is vitally important to get right. Nobody wants a painting that falls apart on their walls. The E-200 is an ideal choice for the last mile delivery of art. The all-electric unit offers precise controls, right in the cabin, so the driver can keep a close eye and make sure the artwork being transported is kept in the best possible conditions.

The world of cold-chain transport is a lot more varied and interesting than it seems. All kinds of fascinating passengers need the services of reliable, high performance cooling units, across all kinds of transportation methods. Whether it’s penguins huddling together in the cargo hold of an airplane, perfume bottles crossing oceans or a van full of paintings on its way to a museum, Thermo King is there to keep them at the right temperature! Whatever the challenge, Thermo King is ready to tackle it, making sure any and all cargo – however weird and unexpected – finds its way safely to its destination.

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