Global reefer repair directory launched after explosions
Supplied by the Container Owners Association
The Container Owners Association (COA) has developed a new global online database of refrigeration machinery repair companies after three deaths in five separate explosions relating to refrigerated container compressors were reported in 2011, with counterfeit refrigerants reported to be the cause.
Investigations into the 2011 incidents, which resulted in three deaths, concluded that the refrigeration machines had contained a gas other than the refrigerant R134a for which they were designed to operate on, which had created explosive gases inside the system.
After testing samples from over 10,000 machines, and in coordination with the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and refrigeration associations such as CRT, ASHRAE and AHRI, it is now known that counterfeit refrigerant was introduced in to world markets in 2010.
This introduction coincided with a sharp rise in the price of refrigerant R134a and wide availability of HCFC refrigerants at low prices due to their phase-out for use in newly manufactured plant under EU and Montreal Protocol regulations. The counterfeit gases are a mix of HCFCs and other refrigerants but also including Methyl Chloride (R40) which is thought to be a factor in the units that exploded.
The database looks like this -
COA members, who own the majority of the world’s fleet of 1.3 million refrigerated containers, are concerned that action must be taken to ensure counterfeit refrigerants are not used to service their equipment. With counterfeit refrigerants being sold in new, branded cylinders, it was recognised that only testing refrigerant bottles prior to them being used to service machinery could confirm their purity.
A survey of refrigerant gas testing by service companies around the world was carried out by the COA, in order to create the new online COA Directory of Global Reefer Service Facilities. Available to COA members and non members alike, the database of refrigeration machinery repair / service companies contains information on over 720 facilities around the world, showing which of these companies have responded to the COA survey with information on refrigerant gas testing at their facility.
“The COA database is a step forward in the process to assist owners and operators in keeping their machinery operating effectively and safely, using the refrigerant that the machinery was designed for,” says the COA. “Members of the COA and non memberscan access the directory from the COA website, free of charge, and find a suitable service provider to avoid the risk of counterfeit refrigerants being used.”
For further information about the database, contact Patrick Hicks at the COA Secretariat on [email protected] or tel: +44 (0) 20 8390 0000.
About the Container Owners Association:
The Container Owners Association (COA) was established in November 2004 as an international organisation representing the common interests of all owners of freight containers, worldwide.
The principle aims of the COA are to develop industry standards, to disseminate information through conferences, training and education, to promote safe container operations, lobby relevant regulatory authorities and to promote environmental awareness.
By joining the COA, companies can become part of a global association, whose members are at the forefront of the container shipping business. Full COA membership is open to companies whose main activity is operating and leasing containers and Associate COA membership to suppliersof container-related equipment and services. www.containerownersassociation.org
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.