Gray & Adams develops pod for NewCold Logistics

Commercial Motor
October 21, 2019

Gray & Adams has developed an automated 15.6m refrigerated trailer loading pod capable of filling a double-deck trailer in just seven minutes.

Known as ‘The Pod’ and built in partnership with NewCold Logistics, it is said to be one of the company’s biggest innovations and is able to keep 60 pallets at -22C throughout the whole loading and unloading process.

Designed to work in conjunction with auto loading double deck semi-trailers, it uses a chain fitted to the bottom of both pod and trailer which move the produce out of NewCold’s warehouse and into the trailers or vice-versa.

The pod incorporates satellite-based remote monitoring, a full buffer protection installation frame, and an auto-loading door. Its low temperature is kept constant by three Carrier Transicold Iceland refrigeration systems fitted to its body.

Wakefield-based NewCold Logistics needed an efficient storage and loading solution for its products while they awaited distribution which didn’t involve running noisy and carbon emitting fridges.

Originally impressed with loading automation innovations in Germany, NewCold’s logistics advisor Tom Cassells wanted to bring the concept to the UK.

He explained that the new Pod can be “transportable, built in either outdoor or indoor spaces and has an impressive effect on loading times and efficiencies, as well as ensuring the quality of the produce”.

Gray & Adams’ sales director Andrew Brown said: “This idea has been around for a while in Holland and Australia, but we’re only just catching on here in the UK. Hopefully, this process should save NewCold around £40,000 annually due to not having to employ extra staff to load and unload.”

Brown also explained that since the Brexit vote, many of the foreign workers that used to occupy roles within NewCold’s warehouses have left: “We already face a major shortage of warehouse staff within this industry. Also, the hostile environment of a cold store is not appealing to everyone.”

Gray & Adams also claims that the pod has allowed for NewCold Logistics to ensure cold chain integrity through a fully automated system from factory to store.  

Cassells concluded: “Having worked with Gray & Adams on our fleet over the last few years, we knew that their engineering expertise and innovative approach would be the perfect fit for our auto loading pod ambitions. It’s a first for the UK and we couldn’t be more proud of the result.”

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Commercial Motor is the online presence for Commercial Motor magazine, the world’s oldest magazine dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry.

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