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Prototype reefer container goes into service

A refrigerated intermodal container that includes a range of electronic monitoring capabilities has been placed in service by SRS Intermodal Leasing LLC.

The prototype, built at the Hyundai Translead plant in Tijuana, Mexico, is one of two that Hyundai has completed for SRS. Butch Stokes, president of SRS, says the prototype has met expectations during its brief service. He plans to order 400 of the domestic containers later this summer.

The containers are equipped with a GPS that enables all functions to be monitored remotely—including temperature, refrigeration unit fuel level, and door openings. Four motion-activated cameras, along with interior and exterior microphones, provide added security. Data from the container can be downloaded up to 30 days after being generated, or it can be accessed live via the Internet. An onboard accelerometer detects shifts in cargo, sending an alert if the shift is five degrees or more. If such a shift occurs, the time and location is recorded.

Stokes sees a resurgence in domestic intermodal usage, including those placed in refrigerated service. He says the prototype’s first rail trip, June 19, the container moved a refrigerated load from Fort Worth, Texas, to Los Angeles in 19 hours.

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