Benefits of the SnowSHIP™
Enables Route Optimization and Work Efficiencies
Handling mixed-temperature products in an LTL world can be a challenge. Loading and unloading a mixed-temperature truck, having to use cold walls to create temperature zones or constantly shuffling pallets to access the frozen product are a few of the daily obstacles. These traditional pain points can lead to temperature excursions and an inefficient use of time, both of which SnowSHIP can solve.
It is common practice among carriers is to use insulated totes for temperature sensitive products. One of the biggest challenges is the individual hand loading which is time-consuming for drivers and warehouse workers.
With a SnowSHIP you can directly load and unload a full pallet using a forklift or pallet jack accompanied by our CryoRAMP.
Once the SnowSHIP is full, it can be placed inside any type of transport vehicle, including a dry van. The position can be based on route optimization to expedite deliveries rather than having to be near the coldest area.
2. SnowSHIP Benefit: Maintains Product Integrity
Your customers trust you to ship their products—and they expect that when the load is delivered, the product has retained its quality. Certain products are notoriously difficult to ship, like ice cream, frozen prawns, pharmaceuticals, etc. These types of products can thaw fast and once they have, it’s game over for the shipment. It can get pretty expensive. As the carrier, you’re on the hook, for both the product and your reputation, and your customer accounts are always hanging in the balance.
Some products are so sensitive to temperature excursions that they can’t be shipped without dry ice or other insulating products because traditional reefer (refrigeration) units simply aren’t reliable enough. Unreliable reefers or inefficient loading and unloading procedures like the ones we mentioned above put products at risk of temperature excursions.
Traditional reefer set points vary depending on the manufacturer but commonly range from -29°C to +12°C (-20°F to 55°F). In the LTL world, however, with the frequent stops and door openings, and the sometimes long unloading and loading times, it’s often impossible for reefers to reach and maintain these temperatures. That’s where SnowSHIP is different.
You can set SnowSHIP between -30°C and +8°C (-22°F and 46°F), and it’ll hold at exactly that temperature for days on end. Because it is only cooling a single pallet, SnowSHIP easily maintains the set temperature within +/- 0.5°C for long durations, regardless of how many truck door openings there are on your route.
The SnowSHIP in Action: Real World Data
The above graph highlights real-world data from a 2020 field trial of a SnowSHIP unit in a refrigerated truck. The set point for both the reefer and the SnowSHIP was -1°C (30°F). The route captured in this graph spans 24 hours; the graph highlight above shows a snapshot of one portion of the entire route.
You’ll see that the reefer unit took substantial time to pull down and reach the set point, and when it did, only held the set point for three of the total 24 hours. While that doesn’t necessarily mean there was any damage to the product, the measurements we took during this field trial demonstrate that traditional reefer units aren’t always the best solution for shipping products that demand specific and narrow temperature windows.
A couple more points will help you extract all the meaning from the above graph. Under optimal use conditions, SnowSHIP is pre-cooled in a refrigerated area for several hours before it’s loaded. This pre-cooling allows the unit’s temperature to be right at the set point before the product goes inside. This was in fact the starting condition for SnowSHIP in this field trial, as you can see in the graph.
Once the door of the SnowSHIP unit was opened to load product, you can see that there was a significant increase in the load space temperature. However, once the door was closed, the SnowSHIP went to work fast, pulling down the load space temperature right to the set point within a fraction of the time it took the reefer to do the same. And of course, SnowSHIP held that temperature steady throughout the 24-hour duration of the shipment.
SnowSHIP Benefit #2 Conclusion
With SnowSHIP, there is no potential for temperature excursions. While the unit is operating, it doesn’t matter what is happening around the box; SnowSHIP is working hard to keep your shipment at its desired set point. You can confidently tell your customers that their products are safer than ever.
Adding SnowSHIP to your fleet will allow you to bring on new accounts that have strict and demanding temperature requirements. Its reliability and precision delivers a double benefit, helping to strengthen your existing customer relationships and reducing your claims at the same time (see Benefit #5: Cost Savings for more).
3. SnowSHIP Benefit: SnowSHIP’s IoT Capabilities Increase Load Security
Smart phones, smart watches, smart appliances…everything is getting smarter. Your shipping equipment should be, too. SnowSHIP is IoT-enabled, which is a fancy way to say that SnowSHIP has some cool/smart features.
You can monitor your SnowSHIP in real time (every five minutes) throughout its journey. With near worldwide coverage available, you’ll be able to:
- see where your unit is on its route;
- monitor the temperature of the load space;
- track SnowSHIP door openings; and
- watch your SnowSHIP’s CO2 usage and battery levels.
If the unit loses cellular service throughout transport (like in the mountains or in super remote areas), it continues to log data and will update your dashboard as soon as it regains service.
Lastly, SnowSHIP has a built-in alert system that will notify dispatch should any errors or warnings—such as low CO2 or low battery—pop up during transport.
We’ve deliberately designed these peace-of-mind features into SnowSHIP so you and your customers can ship confidently.
4. SnowSHIP Benefit: Offers A Greener Solution
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the transportation sector, which accounts for moving both people and goods, generated 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2018. This number is staggering.
Governments around the world are responding to these high emissions by adopting new environmental policies. For example, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has a laundry list of compliance requirements, including a plan to mandate truck manufacturers to transition a portion of their sales away from heavy diesel trucks to electric zero-emission vehicles.
Whether the industry is ready or not, these regulations are going to require companies in the shipping and logistics space to adopt unique solutions.
SnowSHIP is one of these solutions. SnowSHIP repurposes CO2 that is otherwise released into the environment—and it doesn’t generate any of its own emissions. So carbon dioxide that would have otherwise been emitted directly to the environment is now being put to work first. Additionally, SnowSHIP enables carriers to reduce their reefer usage or run their reefers warmer. And in many cases, SnowSHIP eliminates the need for reefer trucks altogether—all of which lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
When you crunch these factors, SnowSHIP delivers a net-carbon-neutral footprint.
An added bonus? SnowSHIP’s near whisper-quiet operation offers another advantage over traditional reefer transport. Many urban areas restrict deliveries due to the noise emitted by reefers. With SnowSHIP, you can further optimize your routes (as stated in Benefit #1 above) and make deliveries at any hour, without being restricted by noise bylaws.
SnowSHIP is a leading green solution for the transportation and logistics sector that can help your company achieve regulatory compliance.
5. SnowSHIP Benefit: SnowSHIP Confers Cost Savings & Comes With A Free Field Trial
All the above benefits are icing on the cake compared to the cost savings associated with implementing SnowSHIP in your operations.
There are dozens of factors that could contribute to an optimal return on investment, and given that each carrier is unique, it’s difficult to give a blanket answer to just how much you will save. For example, your cost savings will be different depending on:
- whether you’re running 15 SnowSHIPs on your routes, or 45;
- how many new reefers you haven’t had to order this year;
- whether you’re implementing SnowSHIP on dry-van routes you previously couldn’t service with cold deliveries;
- how many loads never again get rejected for being out of temperature; or
- how many customers you gain once your reputation begins to spread as being a carrier whose goods always arrive in perfect condition.
At the very least, SnowSHIP lets you cut down on reefer usage, and therefore reefer maintenance. And it lets you add cold shipments to your dry-van routes.
But, like any wise consumer, you’ll want to test drive the new car before you sign the cheque! CryoLogistics will work with you and your team to ensure that SnowSHIP is indeed right for your operation. We do this through our free field trial program.
The Sixth SnowSHIP Benefit: Free Field Trials
We said this was a Top 5 article and here we go adding a sixth. But seriously. The field trials are a big, awesome deal.
We recognize that as part of your job of validating new solutions, you’re going to want to take a SnowSHIP out for a spin. We developed the field trial program to do just that. During a field trial, you will not only get to use a SnowSHIP for up to two weeks with no-out-of-pocket expense, but you’ll also be paired with a CryoLogistics team member who will work to develop your ideal use case, understand your current challenges, work with your team to execute the trial, and help you collect the necessary data to ensure the SnowSHIP is right for your operation.
After your field trial, we’ll present you with a comprehensive report outlining all of our findings, as well as a detailed business plan that outlines your potential cost savings if you were to implement the SnowSHIP in your operations.
In 2020 we completed a field trial with a carrier who, for the sake of privacy, we will call “ABC Carrier”. As you can see from the chart, the data we were able to gather from our two-week SnowSHIP field trial showed a projected monthly cost reduction of 34% for this carrier when SnowSHIP was implemented in their most troublesome lane. That’s some pretty powerful savings.
A Real World Return on Investment Calculation
Keep in mind that everybody’s use cases will be different—for example, this carrier uses a lot of dry ice each month to keep temperature-sensitive shipments cool, and not everybody will do so. But this chart (right) gives you an idea of the things we measure when we’re calculating the impact SnowSHIP will have on your bottom line.
This field trial showed the company—now our customer—that they could:
- lower CapEx by extending their reefer and trailer life cycle;
- lower OpEx by reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs;
- increase mixed-load capacity and optimize equipment utilization;
- minimize touchpoints;
- improve route and scheduling logistics;
- eliminate multi-trip deliveries to the same location;
- reduce labour costs by simplifying the load / unload sequence;
- control, trace and account for all shipments;
- achieve a net-zero carbon footprint; and
- preserve product quality by maintaining temperature integrity.
All this positive change from a little refrigerated shipping pallet. (And it’s kind of cute, too.)
If you’re sitting at your desk with your curiosity piqued and your brain spinning a mile a minute, thinking of all the ways SnowSHIP could work for your business, give us a call. Whether you want to learn more about SnowSHIP, ask us the hard questions, or schedule your own complimentary field trial, we love to connect with fellow industry leaders.