17 February 2010: In cooperation with Smith Holland BV, Contargo GmbH & Co KG is now expanding its network of Reefer Service Stations.
Following the successful start made at the Basel MultiTerminal (BMT) in autumn 2007 and the establishing of another service station at the Ludwigshafen Terminal in 2008, the container logistics specialists now also plan to provide professional reefer services at the terminals in Frankfurt and Duisburg. By setting up Reefer Service Stations in the hinterland, Contargo has removed an important and aggravating barrier for temperature-controlled transports. Now, after delivering imports to the European hinterland, reefers can stay inland when being prepared for their next export run.
Smith Holland is recognised as the market leader in specialist services for reefer container cooling systems in the western seaports. Acting as Contargo's subcontractor, the company takes on service tasks using its own personnel. Contargo provides the facilities, looks after handling and transport, energy and other resources. The professional reefer services provided range from standardised inspections of the cooling system (Pre-Trip-Inspection and short PTI) to repairs – sometimes complex – of the cooling system, to the clarification of warranty cases in the name of the reefer owner. Dick Gilhuis, managing director of Smith Holland, said: The cooperation with Contargo has enabled us to make temperature-controlled transports in the hinterland even more reliable. Many of our sea carrier customers at the seaports were already waiting for the reefer service to be extended into the hinterland.
BMT's managing director Holger Bochow can look back with satisfaction on more than two years of operation of the Basel Reefer Service Station: We have always transported the products of well-known Swiss brands via our terminal in reefers by inland navigation. With the on-site support of Smith Holland, we can react very fast in an emergency whenever the need arises, thus providing a multimodal reefer transport service that is seamlessly professional. Shippers and other container owners welcome the tangible increase in quality assurance.
The transport of containers in the hinterland typically involves several changes of transport mode and numerous lifts. If goods are exposed to temporary temperature fluctuations, the damage can run into millions. At every stage of the journey to the hinterland Contargo, supported by Smith Holland, ensures maintenance of the specified temperature and reliable functioning of the cooling unit.
The combination of these two specialists makes for more efficiency in reefer container transport. Not only is advance notice for the delivery of reefers substantially shortened for shippers; in addition, if the special equipment of a reefer requires attention, this can be dealt with straight away on a 24/7 availability basis. As previously, power supply is available for laden reefers at Contargo's terminals and on inland vessels.
Udo Heepe, terminal manager of the Frankfurt Intermodal Terminal (FIT), said: We are very pleased that from February 2010 we are also able to offer the Reefer Service. Especially in the pharmaceutical industry, where safety, constant supervision and reliably operating equipment are essential prerequisites and have a decisive influence, our cooperation with Smith Holland in emergency management will set standards for the future. In the Duisburg Intermodal Terminal (DIT) a Service Station for 20 reefers is being installed, but this can be extended to accommodate more if necessary. Here we are reminded that it is not only valuable pharmaceutical raw materials like insulin or blood plasma that travel around the world in reefers. Other sensitive goods which require temperature-controlled transport include, for instance, print cartridges and certain types of electronic articles.