The ITT and Cold Chain Hubs joined forces for the first time to great effect this week. With our new MD Alan's recent background from the transport sector, the show was a fantastic opportunity for Alan and the wider team to put faces to names. Equally, there was plenty of buzz throughout the event with respect to the electrification of the industry.
The Future Is Now
It became even more apparent that the industry has long since passed the dawn of the electrification revolution. Trudy Harrison, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT) exclusively announced a fresh £200m zero emission HGV Funding, whilst there was plenty of debate about the pros and cons of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in general. For anyone interested, our own Marketing Manager Pete wrote this blog post about this subject matter last year.
Outside-despite the first day's washout, there was plenty of evidence of many British manufacturers embracing this revolution, including from industry stalwarts such as DAF, and exciting start-ups like Volta Trucks.
A future embraced by Blue Cube.
As Blue Cube operates our own fleet, these changes will affect us as well. Small, positive steps are already in place, including the installation of recharging points at both our Tuxford and Stafford sites. Keep your eyes peeled across our socials in the coming weeks for an official announcement on that front.
Cold Chain Hub
A bold, strategic move was made to bring Cold Chain Hub into the ITT Hub. The synergies between the industry we directly support and the wider Logistics/Transport are natural. This synergy was clear as the many visitors attended both. Blue Cube are looking forward to working closely with the organisers for next year and beyond. We will announce our plans in the coming weeks, again across our socials.
Cold Chain Celebration
Blue Cube has been purposely strengthening its relationship and reputation within the Cold Chain sector, including fostering a blossoming partnership with the Cold Chain Federation. It was therefore a great occasion last Tuesday (10th May 2022) to accept the invitation to attend the CCF's Celebration of the Cold Chain. Held at the Houses of Parliament, the event combined both members, MPs and the wider industry to celebrate its superb efforts during the Pandemic. Simply put, the industry kept us all fed. Why not read this engaging post from the CCF Policy Director Tom Southall?
For Alan, it was an ideal opportunity to meet the industry for the first time in his new role.
Let us know what you think!
What do you think about the electrification revolution? Where do you see the ultimate, final goal? Hydrogen/Fuel cell? We'd love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, do follow us across our socials as we share, engage and opine about this topic. Remember, we have solutions tailored to benefit the logistics sector, so please contact us for advice, for any portable temperature control challenges you may be facing.
Blue Cube has begun the new financial year with a new Managing Director Alan Hunt, who most recently held the same role at leading trailer manufacturer Schmitz Cargobull. This key appointment comes after a hugely successful tenure of Steve Blakemore. Blue Cube's Marketing Manager Pete caught up with Alan to enable the boss to share his initial thoughts, plans and what makes him tick.
1) "What are your initial thoughts about Blue Cube?"
"The pride and the quality of our team is exceptional. It was immediately clear to me that everyone is genuinely interested, fully committed and on board with our ambitious company's plans. This team all helped enable the business to report its two most successful years on record, concurrently. This is even more impressive given the well-reported challenges all businesses have had to navigate these past few years. This opinion is validated by our own customers, partners and suppliers."
2) "What excites you the most?"
"The aspirations of our team. All want to achieve more; invest in themselves and the future of the business. This all-team aspiration forms the foundation for us to continue to offer the best possible product and service for all the expanding business sectors we provide solutions to."
3) "Aside from further strengthening our all-round customer experience, what is your vision for Blue Cube?"
"My vision is to expand and lead with our technology-based solutions, wrapped around a best-in-class service. This in turn will enable our team to have more intelligent, informed conversations with our customer partners. Conversations about their specific operational requirements; using the technology' our own team has created to provide evidence-based solutions. The success of our exclusive Ultra range was borne out of this approach."
4) "The business landscape and outlook remains challenging. What solutions do Blue Cube have in place to assist our existing and potential customer partners?"
"We differentiate. We are increasingly well-known for offering a high quality, "more than just a box" solution that resonates with our customer partners. As one example, our proactive monitoring, which allows for real-time efficiencies to be reported our customers. One of our mantras is to increase "uptime."
5) "Tell us a bit more about yourself:"
i) "Tea or coffee?"
Tea (FYI Milk, no sugar!)
"Whisky!" (Scottish, single malt, should anyone wish to buy Alan a drink at a bar!)
iii)"Favourite pastime, besides family time?"
"Cycling and motorcycling. I am also a keen Crown Green Bowls player."
Alan (and Blue Cube) will be attending the ITT Hub in a few weeks' time. Blue Cube is also increasingly involved with the Cold Chain Federation, so keep an eye out across our socials for exciting news in this capacity.
You can engage directly with Alan on LinkedIn, whilst the whole Blue Cube team is on hand to assist wherever, whenever, on 0333 320 26 20.
We want to reassure our customers that with the latest updates from the government relating to the Coronavirus pandemic, Blue Cube IT systems are set up on a cloud based system meaning that during this changing situation the team are able to work from home to provide account management and service support if needed. Our engineers are currently still out on the road able to attend breakdowns, and we also work with a network of trusted suppliers and contractors who we are receiving regular updates from.
Each site that our engineers attend will have their own
systems in place, and we will work with your requirements. Please ensure that
you communicate any changes of protocol to the service team as soon as possible
so they can let our engineers know before they arrive to site.
As usual, the team can be contacted on 0333 3202620.
Cold storage specialist chooses high performance BFT28 62kW models for energy saving, cost and efficiency benefits
Rick Bestwick – part of the Magnavale Group – has recently installed three blast freezers from Blue Cube Portable Cold Stores (www.bluecubepcs.co.uk; tel: 0333 3202620) at its state-of-the-art Warrington and Scunthorpe facilities. Representing an order of nine blast freezers in total, the contract packer and cold storage specialist chose the high performance 28-pallet 62kW and 115kW units for their energy saving, cost and efficiency benefits.
Rick Bestwick offers some 1.5 million sq ft of warehouse space and approximately 200,000 pallet spaces across all temperature regimes. It provides a complete range of supply chain solutions and added value services including frozen, chilled and ambient storage, blast freezing, microwaving, order picking and despatch, rapid air tempering, repacking, labelling and date coding.
Blue Cube – one of the UK’s leading providers of rental temperature controlled storage solutions for the food and logistics industries – has supplied five 28-pallet blast freezers offering 39.49m² of usable space to Rick Bestwick’s Chesterfield site and another four units across the Liverpool, Scunthorpe and Warrington facilities where they are attached to the cold store areas.
Jonathan Gagg, Engineering and Procurement Director at Magnavale Group comments: “It became obvious that we needed to increase our blast freezing capacity to meet the demands of our expanding customer base. We reviewed the blast freezer market and Blue Cube’s systems offered the highest energy efficiencies and best value proposition for us and our customers. We also liked the more personal service approach we receive from them”.
He continues: “Blast freezing is a key part of our service and helps ensure that our customers’ products maintain the highest quality and the longest shelf life possible. It also increases production efficiency and minimises waste.
“The service from Blue Cube has been very good and we’re pleased to be able to offer additional capacity to our customers in these areas from now on,” Jonathan concludes.
Rick Bestwick has four sites located in Chesterfield, Scunthorpe, Liverpool and Warrington and offers one of the largest blast freezing capacities in the UK. The company has been using blast freezers since 2000, and provides the service under BRC Accreditation against the Global Standard for Storage and Distribution.
Blue Cube’s blast freezers are available in cross or end flow designs and in 7, 19 and 28 pallet capacities. The systems offer blast freeze, chill and temper functionality and can be ground based or elevated.
The latest generation screw compressors ensure greater efficiencies at lower temperatures. Plus LED lighting provides up to 300 lux of light meeting the standard required for loading and unloading.
Each blast freezer is fitted with impact bars, lockable doors and locking door bars whilst emergency lighting, externally mounted audible and visible man trap and temperature alarms provide all the necessary safety features.
In addition, side doors, ramps, dock level platforms and racking are available as optional features. The units can be linked to either a building or each other in order to help improve workflow.
Note to editors:
Established in 2009, Staffordshire-based Blue Cube offers a wide range of technologically advanced, eco-friendly temperature controlled storage solutions including blast freezers, blast chillers, portable cold stores and tempering units. The company provides both standard and bespoke rental systems to suit individual performance and budgetary requirements.
Understanding that flexibility is key, Blue Cube is able to link its portable units to a customer’s existing facility to provide additional production or storage space, and fill unused or odd shaped areas. As well as rental, the company offers lease to buy options and ex-fleet units for purchase.
For press information please contact Emma Hulse, ELH Communications, tel:01628 665593 or mob: 07801 869938 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For product information or details on hiring Blue Cube’s temperature controlled units please telephone 0333 3202620
Rental portable cold stores are a cost effective solution where a food or logistics business has reached maximum capacity for existing products or wish to trial new product lines but simply don’t have the available storage space.
They can be delivered and moved anywhere that the business requires which is especially beneficial when they have too much inventory, have a special promotion or decide to move premises.
Designed for use across a broad range of industries, cold stores offer the ultimate temperature and size-based solutions for food and logistics businesses. Choose from wide-body formats and standard to high roof options. Built for internal or external use, cold stores can sit on the ground or be elevated to meet an existing loading dock.
Flexibility is key so today’s cold stores can provide additional production and storage space or fill unused and odd-shaped areas. Designed to help further enhance the workflow of a business and improve operating efficiencies, cold stores can be used on a standalone basis, linked together to create a much larger footprint or attached to a building.
The latest portable cold stores offer the next generation of refrigeration systems with extremely low running costs and temperature ranges from +26° to -26°.
Today’s cold stores offer significant efficiency and convenience benefits. Long term rental contracts are not a requirement and they can be leased for as long as necessary rather than buying a static unit outright.
Blue Cube’s portable cold stores offer a range of advanced features including innovative LED lighting which is fitted in the ceiling coving and provides 300 lux of light. This complies with the official level for picking operations and does not limit the cold store to storage applications only.
Each unit is fitted with impact step protectors, lockable doors and locking door bars as standard. Emergency lighting, externally mounted audible and visible man trap and temperature alarms provide all the necessary safety features. Optional extras include side doors, ramps, dock level platforms and racking.
Blue Cube’s national technical support department offer tailored support packages on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis.
Blue Cube’s portable cold stores offer:
- 14/22/31/37 pallet options
- Latest generation fridges ensures low running costs
- Thermally efficient panels ensures good temperature retention
- Ground based or elevated solutions
- 3G dial in for remote temperature data
- Dual temperature configuration option
- Can be linked to create a larger floor plan
- 365 day 24/7 nationwide support
So, whether a standard, fixed size temperature controlled storage solution or something ‘perfectly tailored’ is required, there is a portable cold store for every type of food or logistics business.
Ice is the number one enemy of portable temperature controlled storage solutions. It can significantly impact the efficiency and cooling capacity of cold stores. Ice is typically caused when warmer moist air enters the unit and comes into contact with cold surfaces. The water vapour in the air then turns into condensation and freezes to form ice.
Even very thin layers of ice build-up on evaporator coils, floors, ceilings and other surfaces can cause major problems with cooling efficiency and ultimately lead to component failure.
The evaporator coil is important for maintaining the required temperature so any sign of frost needs to be addressed quickly to avoid long term damage and interruption to operation.
During warm weather with high humidity ice can build up on evaporators very quickly, especially during prolonged and frequent door opening or through incorrect use of the cold store
Ice on the floor and around entrances can also cause damage to the cold store or blast freezer body and be a health and safety hazard with an increased risk of slips and falls.
Below are some tips to help customers maintain the efficiency of their cold store or blast freezer and eliminate chargeable callouts caused by ice build-up.
- Opening and closing of the doors to a cold store or blast freezer is often unavoidable but try to minimise door openings and make sure doors are not left open for any longer than 15 minutes in any 60 minute period.
- Keep the plastic thermal curtains fitted at all times even during loading periods. It is important to remember that air can still be sucked into the cold store when the doors are closed.
- Manually defrost the unit at least once per day, more if needed.
- Clear up any ice on the cold store floor – don’t let it build into a mountain.
What a Blast!
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the nutritional and quality benefits of freshly frozen food products with a growing trend for healthier ready cooked meals. In fact, according to a report published last year by The British Frozen Food Federation (Frozen Food Report II), the UK frozen food market is worth a massive £8.13billion, and is set to continue expanding.
Due to natural bacteria growth occurring during the cooling process, all foods, once cooked, will start to deteriorate. Food spoilage is typically caused by microorganisms, chemicals and enzymes. To maintain food quality it is important to take control of humidity, time and temperature.
Freezing is the easiest, most convenient, and least time-consuming method of preserving foods. Super-fast freezing will help ensure that bacteria have minimal time to develop. Almost any food item can be frozen and by using the correct method, taste and appearance are maintained while nutritional goodness is preserved.
Portable Blast Freezers are ideal where a large amount of product needs to be frozen over a certain period of time or current storage capacity has been reached and you want to avoid the hassle or expense of outsourcing,
Portable Blast Freezers help to enhance business productivity by rapidly chilling or freezing fresh food products ready for safe transportation or storage. Available in all shapes, sizes and specifications, Blast Freezers are cost efficient and ensure ultimate control over quality and consistency.
Modern Blast Freezers can also be remotely controlled via an internet connection, enabling the user to monitor the unit’s performance and track temperature movements.
Options include sending automated alarms as a warning of potential issues both to the Blast Freezer supplier and the end user, as well as the customer in some cases. The unit will record all temperature parameter data automatically. All of this information can be displayed on a summary page of live data via an internet browser which list’s the unit’s current mode, temperatures and basic operating parameters.
Benefits of Blast Freezers – at a glance
- Portable solutions meaning no planning permission is required
- Renting helps overcome production/seasonal peaks
- Various pallet capacities available
- Latest energy efficient fridge units
- End flow or cross flow options
- Blast freeze, chill or temper
- Large volumes of product frozen over a short period of time