ReeferTek USA

ReeferTek USA Recognized as Sprinter Preferred Upfitter

Sprinter Preferred UpfitterReeferTek has recently been awarded the Sprinter Preferred Upfitter Program - the highest recognition from Daimler Vans USA. Established in 2002, the Sprinter Preferred Upfitter Program ensures approved Daimler and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter partners adhere to the highest quality standards. ReeferTek is extremely proud of this hard-earned accomplishment. This designation puts ReeferTek in a very small group of elite Sprinter Upfitters.

Backed by innovative technology and proprietary manufacturing processes, ReeferTek has quickly grown to be a leader in the refrigerated van industry. They have a proven track record of delivering quality refrigerated vehicles on or ahead of schedule. ReeferTek has established a reputation of excellence among manufacturers, businesses and entrepreneurs.

Sprinter Preferred Upfitter“We are proud of our relationship with Daimler Vans and Mercedes-Benz” said Michael Leibman, president of ReeferTek USA. “This is one of the most recognized brands in the automotive industry. We are eager to strengthen this affiliation as we continue to manufacture the most superior refrigerated vans on the market. Our R&D team continues to incorporate the latest technology and materials into each unit to push the limits and set new standards across the refrigerated transportation industry.”

An example of this innovation is the mobile office option. ReeferTek is the only approved outfitter to deliver temperature controlled refrigerated vans integrated with private mobile office solutions. Call today at 855.534.2626 to learn more about all of these innovative refrigerated van systems.

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Refrigerated Van with Mobile Office

Van Mobile OfficeReeferTek USA has the ideal solution for those on the go. We design, engineer and manufacture refrigerated vans complete with a mobile office. We build mobile offices that are efficient, functional and luxurious for your personal and business needs. Let our professionals assist you with a custom mobile office installed in your refrigerated van.

We understand that every business has unique demands, which is why we specialize in making custom interiors that optimize the productivity of your business. Whether you need a mobile conference room or a full-service office with internet and communication technology, we can design the perfect solution for your mobile business/office. Some features may include a mobile laptop desk, multiple power sources, adjustable shelves, wireless printing, storage cabinets for supplies and more. We will design the most functional space to exceed your business needs.

Refrigerated Van Mobile OfficeThe photos in this example are from a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, however we can install a mobile office in any model refrigerated van – including Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV, GMC Savana, Dodge ProMaster, and more.

ReeferTek is the only approved outfitter to deliver temperature controlled refrigerated vans integrated with private mobile office solutions. Call us today at 855.534.2626 to learn more about these innovative refrigerated van systems.

Refrigerated Van Mobile Office

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ReeferTek Attracts Huge Audience at NY Restaurant Show

2014 NY Food ShowThe 2014 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York (also called the NY Restaurant Show) will come to a conclusion later today.  Over 17,000 people attended the three-day event.  This is the only show in New York exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry.

ReeferTek USA president and CEO, Michael Leibman, was on the floor of the show demonstrating the features, benefits and advantages of a ReeferTek manufactured refrigerated van.  “This was a massive event”, said Mr. Leibman.  “The ReeferTek booth had a steady flow of visitors.  This gave us the perfect opportunity to meet with existing customers as well introduce our proprietary technology to prospective customers. You simply can’t substitute the value of face-to-face communication. We are already looking forward to the 2015 show!“

 

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Cool Conversions: How To Convert A Van To A Refrigerated Van

Refrigerated VanFor businesses whose services depend on delivering cold goods from one place to another, refrigerated vans are an essential asset of the company. These vans can help businesses save money if they are energy efficient. Furthermore, when the exterior contains the company’s logo, phone and information, they also function as a mobile advertisement.

Refrigerated vans can be converted from regular vans, but it helps to know what will be the most cost-effective approach. An alternative is to buy an already-equipped van used, but often, the conversion will save more money in the end because if the refrigeration system is new, it will be more energy-efficient.

The procedures through which a van is converted depend entirely upon what the intended use for the van will be. For example, florist vans will need minimal cooling, while butcher vans will need a more frigid cooling system.

Some people try do the conversion on their own, especially if they are well versed in auto mechanics or electrical trades. However, even these people might want to consult a specialist so that they can ensure that the van will operate at maximum efficiency. While it may get the job done, the van might consume excessive power, leading to overheating or other mechanical problems.

One way to convert a van into a refrigerated van is to search for an old delivery truck and buy the refrigeration unit from it; however, this will likely only be cost-effective if the refrigeration system is relatively new. Over the last 20 years, refrigeration technology has improved drastically, so the newer models operate at a fraction of the energy cost than older models do.

There are companies, such as ReeferTek USA, that specialize in this type of conversion and are well versed in the most up-to-date energy standards and regulations. ReeferTek uses the latest innovation including spray foam insulation and seamless liners – which cannot be installed as a DIY kit. These are high precision conversion procedures which ReeferTek has created.  If you are interested in getting an estimate on a new or used refrigerated van, please contact ReeferTek today.

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Used Refrigerated Vans For Sale

Ford Transit ConnectIf you are on the market for a refrigerated van, you may be deciding between buying a used refrigerated van, buying a new refrigerated van, or converting an existing van into a refrigerated van. Depending on your specific business and refrigeration requirements, one of these options may be better suited for you.

If you’re considering buying a new refrigerated van, do some research ahead of time. You want ensure you are comparing “apples to apples” with features.  For example, understand what type of material is used to insulate the van. ReeferTek USA uses the highest density closed-cell polyurethane foam for maximum R-value insulation.  Many of our competitors are using inferior insulation products including fiberglass.  Proper insulation is the most important factor in manufacturing a refrigerated van.  This is how goods are stored and transported at the precise temperature.

Only spray foam insulation will properly seal the entire storage compartment of a refrigerated van.  The product is applied as a liquid which adheres to the outer walls then immediately expands into a solid foam which forms a continuous impermeable shell. Each ReeferTek technician is certified to apply this material in the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

Be careful if you see used refrigerated vans for sale that contain fiberglass insulation.  Depending on your specific usage, the refrigeration technology may not be adequate. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for solutions.

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Euro-Style Vans Gain Momentum in U.S. Market

Refrigerated Sprinter SalesWhen Daimler AG (DAI), the maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars and former owner of Chrysler, brought its Euro-styled Sprinter van with a 14-foot high roof and sloped brow to the U.S., it stood out on the parkway like a pachyderm.

A dozen years later, the commercial-van market has embraced the look. Traditional, big vans, such as General Motors (GM) Co.’s Chevy Express and Ford Motor Co. (F)’s Econoline, are starting to fade from the scene as stricter fuel-efficiency standards are prodding a convergence around a more aerodynamic, European look.

“Guess what? The world has changed,” Claus Tritt, who heads Daimler’s U.S. commercial-van business, said in an interview. “We are no longer the oddball.”

Automakers, including Daimler, Ford and Chrysler Group LLC, are all bringing new, large, fuel-sipping work vans to the U.S. as they gear up for a boom in the highly profitable segment. The surge is fueled by new-home construction and an improving economy, the same forces helping make 2013 the year of the pickup, said Tritt.

Commercial vans, like pickups, have long been a strong source of profit for automakers. Sales of both are tied to the housing market and both have a loyal customer base, which include buyers of fleets such as PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), FedEx Corp. (FDX) as well as plumbers, painters and carpet installers.

The new vans tend to have straighter sides and taller roofs than traditional ones that looked more like bulked up minivans. With their improved fuel efficiency and utility, they complement the U.S. automakers’ best lineup from top to bottom in a generation.

New Models

Ford, which brought its smaller made-in-Turkey van, the Transit Connect, to the U.S. from Europe in 2009, is introducing its larger Transit van next year, replacing its segment-leading E-Series work van. The Transit will be made at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. Large vans make up about 80 percent of commercial-van sales.

Chrysler, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, is bringing a Ram version of the Ducato, the work van of majority owner Fiat SpA (F), to the U.S. this year. Detroit-based General Motors, which sells the GMC Savanna and Chevrolet Express, said last month it will start selling a rebadged version of Nissan Motor Co. (7201)’s small commercial van, the NV200, next year.

Nissan, which entered the light commercial truck business with its NV cargo and passenger vans in 2010, began selling the compact NV200 in April, targeting a segment Ford moved into with its Transit Connect model. New York City chose a taxi variation of the Nissan as its official cab, which will replace the city’s fleet of 16 taxi models by 2018. The van, assembled in Cuernavaca, Mexico, starts at $19,990.

Growing Economy

Nissan may have about 10 percent of the commercial-van market this year, up from 2.4 percent in 2011, according to R.L. Polk & Co. The Yokohama, Japan-based company assembles its larger commercial van in Canton, Mississippi.

Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the world’s largest automaker, does not offer a commercial van in the U.S., nor does Honda Motor Co.

U.S. economic growth will accelerate to 3 percent or more in 2014 after averaging an annualized 2.1 percent during the first four years of the recovery, according to projections by forecasting firms Moody’s Analytics Inc. and Macroeconomic Advisers in St. Louis. That would be the fastest rate of expansion since at least 2005.

Residential building permits rose 36 percent in April from the year earlier and 14 percent from March, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Large pickup sales have risen 22 percent this year, according to Autodata Corp.

‘Circle of Life’

“If people buy houses, somebody’s got to build them and the people who build them need materials so someone’s got to take the material to the construction site,” Tritt said in an interview. “It’s almost like a circle of life.”

Commercial-van registrations will probably rise to 301,000 this year from 155,900 in 2009 and may jump 21 percent to 365,000 next year, according to Polk. The category’s share of the U.S. market may climb to 2 percent this year and 2.4 percent next year from 1.5 percent in 2009, Polk forecasts.

Ford, based in Dearborn, Michigan, has long dominated the segment with its E-Series, including the Econoline, topping 45 percent of the market since 2008, according to Polk. GM’s brands have had at least 34 percent during that same period. Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler’s share rose to 7.5 percent last year from 1.6 percent in 2010.

Daimler and Chrysler are betting that their new models will shake loose some large buyers from Ford and GM.

“There are more choices out there,” Tritt said “And if the U.S. consumer has choices, they automatically have to look at us.”

Fuel Sippers

To help lure buyers, Daimler is introducing a four-cylinder Sprinter for the 2014 model year, which will improve fuel efficiency by about 18 percent over the six-cylinder. Daimler sells the Sprinter for the same price under the Freightliner brand as well.

Daimler is forecasting 5 percent growth in the market to about 265,000 commercial vans this year, and it expects to outpace the market’s growth and gain share.

“The recession hit the commercial-vehicle market pretty heavily,” Tritt said. “People were holding on to equipment but it’s time to replace. There’s a pent-up demand.”

Len Deluca, director of Ford’s commercial trucks unit, said the E-Series, market leader for 33 years, was due for a makeover.

“From a technology, fuel-efficiency and capability standpoint, it was time,” Deluca said in an interview. “I think we would have become uncompetitive if we didn’t move forward.”

‘Terrific’ Timing

Ford’s Transit, which goes on sale in mid-2014, replaces the E-Series. Buyers can choose from three roof heights, three body lengths, two wheel bases and two four-cylinder gas engines or a diesel-burning powertrain. The Transit is 300 pounds (136 kilograms) lighter, on average, and gets about 25 percent better mileage than the E-Series, Deluca said.

Ford brought the smaller Transit Connect to the U.S. in 2009 and it quickly became an unexpected hit, Tom Libby, lead North American analyst for Southfield, Michigan-based Polk, said in an interview.

“Ford was ahead of the curve with the Transit Connect,” he said. “It really resonated. The timing was terrific.”

Ford sold about 9,000 of the smaller Transit Connect vans in 2009, and sales took off from there, topping 35,000 last year. Before Transit Connect, buyers used larger vans or customized larger sport-utility vehicles, Deluca said. It starts at $22,425.

Fleet Replacement

“Change can be hard, but based on what I’ve heard from customers, I believe they’re looking forward to getting Transit in the U.S.,” Deluca said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from a customer, ‘It’s about time you guys did this.’”

The age of the commercial-truck fleet also should help drive demand. Heavy-duty trucks on the road are about 13 years old, on average, about a year older than the light-duty fleet, he said. Ram is well positioned with a new 1500 pickup, as well as a heavy-duty pickup and the ProMaster coming to the market. The ProMaster will show up on dealer lots in the third quarter with a price that starts at $29,630.

“The timing’s pretty good for us to be bringing new products to market,” Bob Hegbloom, director of the Ram truck brand, said in an interview.

Function is a bigger factor than fashion for commercial buyers, especially delivery and cargo fleets, Hegbloom says. The new ProMaster improves mileage, comes with a diesel engine or V-6, lowers the step-in height by three inches and can go longer between routine maintenance, such as oil changes.

“With commercial-vehicle customers, the last thing they’re concerned about is the look,” Hegbloom said. “It comes down to cost of ownership and does it deliver on the capability.”

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Refrigerated Transportation – length-of-haul trends

Refrigerated Van HaulsIf one thing has been widely true about the freight market over the past several years, analysts say, it’s that average length of haul has declined – notably in dry van and, more recently, refrigerated.

“In the mid-2000s, there was a huge move in the general freight dry van business,” says Todd Amen, president and chief executive officer of owner-operator business services firm ATBS. Owner-operators in dry van, he says, “went from an average length of haul running 800 to 1,300 miles down to 400 to 500 miles.”

Over that same period, overall yearly miles also fell and income rose slightly for ATBS clients hauling dry van, Amen says, continuing into the most recent two years. Between 2010 and 2012, ATBS numbers show operators’ annual dry van miles fell 1.4 percent to 115,050, while income rose $3,688 to $48,556.

From the perspective of contracting owner-operators, Amen says, such shorter hauls “take more time, and they cost more money on a per-mile, per-load basis.” The mid-2000s also brought dry van rate increases, Amen adds, “but carriers didn’t necessarily change the pay of the contractors” until some years had passed.

Also in recent years, Amen and others note, regionalization has hit the reefer segment. “There’s plenty of that 1,100-mile [or longer] haul left,” says Amen, but cold warehousing and temperature-controlled intermodal have made short haul more of a norm.

As happened with dry van rates, reefer rates offered by brokers and shippers don’t always compensate properly for the increased time associated with hauls of shorter length. “Overall productivity and total miles are coming down” for reefer haulers among ATBS’ clientele, says Amen. “The pay per mile hasn’t really caught up with that.”

However, some carriers driven by fuel prices are well aware of these trends, says Jay Thompson, president of Transportation Business Associates. “It starts to make you do a different sort of planning,” he says.

Produce DeliveryPONY EXPRESS FREIGHT | Long produce hauls from the Mexican border could be parceled out regularly in a series of relays that cut down on transit time, says Transportation Business Associates’ Jay Thompson. The arrangement also holds benefits for operators: In addition to getting home more often, those specializing in a particular area would establish personal relationships with shippers and other customers. Thompson’s plan illustrated here, part of his presentation of the Fresh Produce Association of America referenced in this story, assumes relay points within a 500-mile radius of five cities – Kingman, Ariz., Amarillo and Ft. Worth in Texas; Springfield, Mo.; and Indianapolis.

Thompson – active in consulting among produce haulers, growers and other shippers – delivered a presentation in 2012 to the Fresh Produce Association of America that argued a case for shorter-leg relays “like they have on the dry side.” The old argument against reefer relays was that a shipper preferred having one trusted trucker to watch the shipment until it was delivered. Information technology now has given carrier and shipper back-office staff the ability to keep track of their loads and equipment from afar, says Thompson, eliminating the pressing need for that single pair of trusted eyes. And it’s been a big boon to load planning.

From a larger carrier or shipper’s point of view, he says, “When we think of produce, we think about it as multiple picks, and maybe multiple drops. Traditionally, you tried to assemble as much of a load on the front end from various places to go to one location on the other end. … Now, with planning software, you’re able to get products more quickly identified and a planned load that would end up being picked somewhere closer to the destination. Same thing with beef – consolidated loads that would go to a distribution center strategically built.”

Thompson gives the example of a meat facility in Tucson, Ariz., serving regional Kroger groceries. “When you think of grocery trucks going out of warehouses to stores, they come back empty,” he says. With this model, “you’re able to shorten loads.”

As fuel prices have risen, temperature-controlled intermodal also has made inroads in long-haul reefer freight – to the point that Utah-based Central Refrigerated Service actually adopted regional strategies for different locations, says Nick Burbidge, head of the company’s owner-operator division. For drivers and owner-operators, he says, each strategy “accommodates driver home time and assists in our recruiting efforts in parts of the country we didn’t have a large presence in to begin with.”

Shorter length of haul has helped operators’ bottom lines in that “it is more consistent year-round than the longer business,” Burbidge adds. “We have had to add administrative staff due to the extra volume in load counts and also increased the size of our trailer fleet to maintain utilization for our drivers.” The company’s average length of haul fell about “150 miles per load over the past two years,” and now averages about 875 miles.

Owner-operator Bruce Johnston had a lucrative short-haul gig as part of Sunco Carriers’ “Atlanta Local” team running refrigerated loads with his 1997 Peterbilt 379 through early 2009. Johnston ran back and forth between Atlanta and Birmingham –150 miles. Some years he grossed as much as $3,500 a week all year on just 55,000 miles, paid on a percentage of the load – $3.30 per mile to the truck.

The recession took some of the wind out of those sails. Today a majority of his dedicated runs log about 220 miles from Murfreesboro, Tenn., to Atlanta and then back to the Nashville area – 250 miles. The headhaul takes yogurt to a distribution center where it’s parceled onto smaller delivery trucks. In 2012, his gross was $167,000 on 107,000 miles, or just $1.56 a mile. But he spent $90,000 on fuel, leaving $77,000 for other costs and net profit, which Johnston insists would have put him in quite a bind if he didn’t have his truck paid off.

Fortunately, living in Chattanooga, Tenn., about halfway between Atlanta and the Nashville/Murfreesboro area, he reaps the rewards of what Amen calls perhaps the biggest side benefit of the trend toward shorter hauls.

“Drivers generally are home many more times a week,” he says, adding that average yearly miles for ATBS clients have fallen by 29,000 from 138,000 over 10 years. “That’s like driving two and a half months less. Drivers are still working hard, but it’s just a different situation. He can be a family guy much more than he used to be.”

On the reefer side in particular, rates need to come up to compensate properly for shorter runs, says Amen. Over the same two-year period analyzed for annual client figures in dry van, ATBS numbers show annual reefer-operator income falling slightly $535 to $46,756, with miles falling much more than on the dry side: 4.6 percent to 121,799.

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Insulated Refrigeration Vans for Sale

photo_7If you’re considering buying a refrigerated van, it’s beneficial to do some research ahead of time.  Make sure you are comparing “apples to apples” as you get competitive price quotations.

Take for example van insulation.  Only ReeferTek USA uses the highest density closed-cell polyurethane foam for maximum R-value insulation.  Many of our competitors are using inferior insulation products including fiberglass.  Proper insulation is the most important factor in manufacturing a refrigerated van.  This is how goods are stored and transported at the precise temperature.

Only spray foam insulation will properly seal the entire storage compartment of a refrigerated van.  The product is applied as a liquid which adheres to the outer walls then immediately expands into a solid foam which forms a continuous impermeable shell. Each ReeferTek technician is certified to apply this material in the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

Be careful if you see used refrigerated vans for sale that contain fiberglass insulation.  Depending on your specific usage, the refrigeration technology may not be adequate. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for solutions.

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Sprinter Vans are now fully equipped with Adaptive ESP

Adaptive ESPReeferTek is excited to offer enhanced safety features in all Sprinter refrigerated vans.  Safety is a top priority and we are always pleased to share this information with our customers and prospects.

Michael Leibman, President of ReeferTek USA was recently invited by Daimler/Mercedes to experience the most recent innovations in safety enhancements.

Mercedes Benz believes that maximum safety should be compulsory not an optional upgrade.  For this reason, all Sprinter vans now come fully equipped with the Adaptive ESP technology. The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is an active safety system that constantly monitors your van’s handling, reacting automatically to any situation that would cause the van to slip or skid.  It stabilizes the van by applying just the right amount of braking to each individual wheel and reducing engine power. ESP gives you more traction, more stability and more effective braking.  In a nutshell, ESP gives you more van control.

Adaptive ESP“This technology will save lives” said Mr Leibman.  “The Adaptive ESP system truly works and is a valuable addition to the Sprinter vans.  As an approved outfitter for Daimler/Mercedes, we are pleased to be able to share this information with our customers and prospects.”

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