Briefs: Optimized freight hub

A new temperature-controlled freight hub in Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand, was opened by Hellmann Worldwide Logistics on March 12, 2009. "The facility has been predicated on environmental, efficiency and energy-conscious criteria and reinforces a commitment to customers and the perishable and ambient logistics industry", explains Hellmann Managing Director Chris McCagney. This optimized plant, which represents an investment of about 1 million USD, predominantly uses ammonia as the primary refrigerant with glycol as the secondary fluid. McCagney says "We have invested considerably in an optimized heat transfer system so that we spend less energy in cooling the primary refrigerant, and in an energy-efficient water cooling system as opposed to a traditional energy-hungry air cooling system. So, in addition to reduced carbon emissions, our facility will use between 15-20% less power than traditional plants." The facility has a 700 m2 enclosed canopy for all-weather handling and high-speed roller doors leading into the 6-m-high cool-chain area, which includes a 330 m2 environmental loading area into which all products are received. Alongside are two 100 m2 chillers and a 60 m2 pallet-racked-freezer running at -18°C for temporary storage where shipments are held pending delivery to the airlines or container loading. The facility can hold 8 reefer containers on power at any one time and is capable of holding 1500 ambient pallet equivalents in secure high-stud racking.