Energy / Climate Change

June 30, 2006


Yamato Transport Develops Own Refrigerated Rail Containers

Keywords: Climate Change Energy Conservation Non-manufacturing industry Transportation / Mobility 

In an effort to promote a modal shift from truck transport to rail, Yamato Transport Co., Japan's largest courier service company, has developed its own refrigerated containers in collaboration with Japan Freight Railway Co. A transportation test of these containers started in March 2006 on the main railway line between Tokyo and Kyushu.

The newly developed containers, 31 feet in length, are capable of controlling temperatures for two types of storage; cooling and freezing. A movable partition installed in each container flexibly divides the interior into two areas for different temperature ranges. In addition to this temperature control system, the new containers are equipped with a global positioning system (GPS), which allows immediate action to be taken in real-time when a failure occurs.

When transporting parcels at controlled temperatures on main lines, Yamato usually places the parcels in special cold boxes, and then loads these boxes onto trucks or trains. The introduction of the newly developed containers will allow the company to adopt the "roll box pallet" system that is currently used for ordinary parcels. With this system, parcels in roll box pallets, or box-type hand carts, are directly loaded into the new containers without the need for cold boxes, which increases the loading rate by about 30 percent.

The revised Energy Saving Law, which took effect in April 2006, places additional requirements on physical distribution within the transport sector, as well as in sectors such as manufacturing. These requirements have prompted transport companies and manufacturers to shift to rail transportation. Yamato expects that use of the new containers will reduce its annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 850 tons.

Posted: 2006/06/30 11:18:39 PM
Japanese version