Palace Vending Uses Coldtainer Transporters For Route Efficiency

Posted On: 3/6/2019

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OVERLAND PARK, KS -- Coldtainer USA observes that portable refrigerated containers can offer full-line operators substantial capital and operating cost savings. The company was formed in 2018 to bring its versatile portable temperature-controlled containers to enterprises that deliver perishable chilled and/or frozen products on routes.

One of its customers is Palace Vending (Kingsport, TN), which provides snacks, beverages, office refreshment, water and catering services to businesses and schools throughout northeastern Tennessee, southwest Virginia and in the greater Asheville, NC, area. The company, which was founded in 1946, presently runs a fleet of about 15 delivery vehicles.

Its operational challenge is to transport fresh products efficiently and economically. On longer runs, Palace Vending uses medium-duty box trucks equipped with coolers and compressor-powered coldplate refrigeration systems. The trucks cost about $65,000 each and average about 10 MPG.

In August 2018, Palace Vending purchased a Ford Transit cargo van and outfitted it with a Coldtainer 25-cu.ft. front-opening direct-expansion refrigerated container model. The unit was purchased through a rebate program from Unified Strategies Group (Arlington Heights, IL), a non-profit purchasing cooperative.

This solution has worked well, said Palace Vending's John Nottingham. "Coldtainer refrigerated containers allow us to transport products over longer distances for a lower capital investment, and with double the fuel economy for those vehicles at significantly reduced operating costs," he reported.

"Our maintenance costs are also lower than those for medium-duty trucks with coolers and cold plate refrigeration systems," Nottingham continued. "The containers are easy to install, and we can easily move them to a different truck. Over time, we plan to add larger van models with Coldtainer units to our fleet."

At a lower initial cost of about $40,000, the first cargo van and Coldtainer unit fielded by Palace Vending provided an immediate capital cost savings compared to about $65,000 for a medium-duty truck equipped with a cooler and a compressor-powered cold plate system, Coldtainer reported.

The cargo van operates at almost double the fuel efficiency of a traditional medium-duty truck, and maintenance costs on the vans are also significantly lower. As many as five larger van models that will be added to the Palace Vending fleet over time and equipped with Coldtainer units will continue to provide measurable fuel cost savings, and will have the same cubic capacity, as the company's medium-duty trucks, the company predicted.

Coldtainer portable containers are designed to provide a very versatile solution for the transportation of perishable goods that require precise temperature control and freeze protection. Available in front-opening and top-loading models in a range of capacities and with numerous cooling, freezing and heating options, Coldtainers can use battery, shore and solar power sources on vehicles and at facilities to operate on AC or DC power.

Equipped with refrigeration units designed to withstand vibrations related to vehicle use, Coldtainer stand-alone containers are made from highly durable molded polyethylene and food-grade materials, are easy to clean and are in compliance with health and safety standards.

All Coldtainer temperature-controlled models feature an integrated battery monitor and a user-friendly digital display to view temperature and status, and for precise temperature set point control. The portable cooling containers also record temperatures and have a mobile Bluetooth capability for downloading data to meet record-keeping requirements.

Formed in 2018 by a group of industry experts with decades of transportation and dealership experience, Coldtainer is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.