Alliance Shippers
Alliance Shippers Container Refrigerated By Carrier Transicold Vector With Solar

Alliance enhances intermodal reefer fleet

June 8, 2022
Chicago-based transportation and logistics provider to add Carrier Transicold’s telematics and Vector refrigeration units to 1,500 trailers and containers.

Transcontinental logistics and transportation service provider Alliance Shippers is enhancing its refrigerated intermodal operations in North America with Carrier Transicold’s telematics solution and Vector thin-profile refrigeration units.

Alliance is installing the telematics solution, which is supported by Carrier Transicold’s monitor and enhanced-control, two-way data plan, on 1,500 53-foot trailers and intermodal containers, according to the companies. Alliance anticipates the improvement to deliver a “range of benefits” beyond temperature monitoring and control, and asset tracking.

“Telematics brings us many different capabilities,” said Ronald Topp, director of maintenance for Alliance, which is headquartered in Chicago and has refrigerated operations there, as well as in Rialto, California, and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. “We want to proactively monitor our customers’ freight in real time at any given point in the supply chain, and the improved visibility telematics provides enables us to support our customers with updated and timely information.”

Beyond maintaining perishable cargo temperatures per customer specifications, Alliance uses Carrier Transicold telematics to:

  • Run pre-trip inspections remotely and verify that fuel tanks are topped off so trailers and containers can quickly get to the next origin point to reload.
  • Monitor fuel consumption within geofenced areas, such as distribution centers, to incentivize customers to more efficiently load and unload assets.
  • Proactively monitor equipment performance remotely, using Carrier Transicold’s unit analytics, which contributes to maintenance efficiencies.
  • Upgrade refrigeration unit software over the air, improving efficiencies compared to manual upgrades by service technicians.

“It all adds up to a positive effect on our total utilization and efficiency,” Topp said. “Anytime we can grow our load count for the fleet, our customers and the supply chain are better served.”

As with the fleet’s Carrier Transicold refrigeration units, the telematics system is fully supported by Carrier Transicold’s nationwide network of factory trained technicians, Carrier Transicold said.

“We are pleased to support Alliance Shippers through our knowledgeable and expansive dealer network, which delivers a unique OEM advantage over other providers that lack such comprehensive, mission-critical resources,” said David Brondum, director of telematics at Carrier Transicold.

Concurrent with the telematics upgrade, which is being handled by Carrier Transicold dealer Valley Transport Refrigeration of Fresno, California, Alliance is modernizing its fleet, converting from the traditional trailer-on-flatcar model to modern, stackable 53-foot domestic intermodal containers preferred by railroads, the companies added. For its latest 200 containers, Alliance specified Vector models from Carrier Transicold’s portfolio of thin-profile reefer units that allow for a larger cargo envelope than possible with traditional intermodal container configurations, resulting in a volume comparable to over-the-road trailers.

Each is equipped with Carrier Transicold’s rail-optimized solar charging system, providing 4.2 amps of current to help maintain battery life for refrigeration unit and telematics systems.

Vector series units feature E-Drive technology, an all-electric refrigeration system powered by a high-output generator direct-coupled to a diesel engine. The hybrid diesel-electric design eliminates complexity found in traditional transport refrigeration systems and uses intelligent controls to work more efficiently, which has been verified by Alliance’s fuel-consumption studies, according to Carrier Transicold.

About the Author

Commercial Vehicle Staff

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