Strachans Launches Alternative to Refrigerated Containers
Strachans, a specialist distributor of food and chandlery supplies to the offshore and marine industry, announced the pilot of a new container capable of maintaining product integrity for up to four days.
The Strachans icebox uses a eutectic system, whereby eutectic beams full of gel are connected to a power supply that charges them down to temperatures far lower than the product prior to leaving the ship supplier’s warehouse. The eutectic beams release their energy over a long period of time in turn maintaining the integrity of the product. Twelve units have been in and performed without incident in the North Sea since October 2012.
Difficult weather conditions and their influence on the risk of delay to offshore supplies combined with complex vessel schedules are factors that have driven Strachans to explore alternative container refrigeration methods for temperature-sensitive products. Another factor is the inconsistency of power supplies to charge refrigerated containers. As more operators rely on spot hire platform supply vessels with shorter charter times, a uniform power supply may not always be available to operate this option. The Strachans icebox negates the need for a power supply on board.
Ensuring product integrity standards and elevating them throughout the offshore supply chain is an ongoing issue for the industry. To ensure full traceability of temperature-controlled transport of supplies, Strachans is working to innovate its container options.
Stanley Morrice, managing director, Strachans, said, “Eutectics have been successfully used in land-based industry for decades and given the combination of harsh operating conditions offshore and the need to reduce consumables wastage and increase efficiency, we saw an opportunity to innovate our container offering for customers, using this system.
Global Offshore Managing Director, James Strachans added, “Emerging offshore markets present an opportunity to introduce new innovations like this from the outset, to their benefit, as they don’t have the infrastructure and variations in power supply and warehousing that we see in well-established markets like the North Sea. Our new icebox provides a credible alternative to current insulated containers that are widely used in the market and raises the standard of product integrity – an issue that will become ever more important in future as greater regulation of the offshore supply chain is inevitable.”