Star Refrigeration is taking part in a global engineering conference to discuss the latest advances in cooling, heating and power generation

The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) Rankine 2020 Conference is an interactive online event running from 27th to 31st July 2020. Hosted by the Institute of Refrigeration, the IIR conference will feature a series of webinar presentations exploring advances in refrigeration, air conditioning, heat pump and power generation technology.

The IIR Rankine 2020 Conference – Advances in Cooling, Heating and Power Generation is timed to coincide with the bi-centenary of the birth of William Rankine, a Victorian pioneer in thermodynamics. The conference will celebrate Rankine’s ground-breaking research which led to the development of the power generation cycle, alongside an exploration of modern engineering technology.

Star is proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the Rankine 2020 Conference, with several key team members presenting technical papers and hosting online discussion sessions. Star’s Andy Pearson will be acting as Chair for the event, leading a series of lectures exploring Rankine’s legacy, as well as introducing keynote speakers.

Star Refrigeration Group Managing Director Andy Pearson says: “The Rankine 2020 conference will unite experts in the Organic Rankine Cycle with those in the cooling industry to discuss common challenges and solutions. This will create a unique forum for discussion and I believe that we have a lot to learn from each other.”

He adds: “The conference will begin with a celebration of Rankine’s legacy and a demonstration of how his work has helped shape the modern world. Rankine was the first President of the Institution of Engineers in Scotland and I am honoured to be taking up that role in September this year.”

The five-day webinar programme features the latest research and developments in the closely-related fields of power cycles, working fluids and RACHP applications. Conference delegates will take away insights into new opportunities to deliver energy efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.

On the final day of the conference, Andy Pearson will present a paper on ‘Predicting and Assessing Energy Performance of Refrigeration Systems.’ During the event Star’s Rob Lamb will lead a discussion session on ‘Addressing Global Climate Change’ and Dave Pearson, Group Sustainable Development Director, will co-host a discussion on ‘Influencing Policy Makers in Heating and Cooling.’

Other speakers from Star include Stuart Webb (‘Carbon Dioxide in Industrial Refrigeration’), Martin Jack (‘Design Options for Increasing the Efficiency of an R717 Heat Pump’), Ciaran Dowling (‘Determining the Optimum Condenser Fan Speed for Refrigeration Systems’) and Gavin Oliver (‘Comparison of Low GWP/ODP Systems’).

For more information and to register for Rankine 2020, visit:


Thermo King units to Cool FreshLinc’s new trailer fleet.

FreshLinc upgrades their fleet with 60 new SLXi trailer refrigeration units.

Thermo King®, a leader in transport temperature control solutions and a brand of Trane Technologies, announced today that FreshLinc upgraded its refrigerated fleet with 60 new SLXi units. FreshLinc is a leading supply chain service provider throughout the UK and Europe to retailers, food manufacturers, growers and importers. It specialises in transportation of temperature controlled fresh, chilled and horticultural products.

The Thermo King SLXi units feature the TK BlueBox telematics and connectivity device as standard, which will help FreshLinc manage their fleet more efficiently. The TK BlueBox is compatible with third party telematics and enabled FreshLinc to easily connect the units to their existing network. TK BlueBox stores data and allows remote access through an app on smart phone or Bluetooth-enabled device, making it possible to interact with the unit to ensure that the load is protected at all times and the unit is running at it most efficient. The seamless access to data also allows to remove the data printer.

Throughout the UK and Europe, FreshLinc Group LTD operates over 400 vehicles and 1,000 trailers. They will benefit from the support of the extensive Thermo King dealer network covering 75 countries with over 500 service points to provide 24/7 assistance. For this project, they have worked closely with Thermo King Northern, the “Platinum status” Thermo King dealer in the UK.

“At FreshLinc, over a half of our trailer fleet is refrigerated and a good percentage of these trailers feature Thermo King units. They are a proven solution and have served us well protecting our cargo,” said Andy Marchant, fleet engineer at FreshLinc. “Right now, we are expanding our European business and we needed to grow our fleet. Thermo King SLXi technology met all our requirements and our strong and long-standing relationship with Thermo King Northern in the UK helped us to make a quick decision. We know we can count on Thermo King and their dealers’ commitment to help us deliver the supply chain services that our customers expect from us.”

“We have worked closely with FreshLinc for many years now, and throughout this time we have committed to make sure the utilisation of their Thermo King equipment is as high as possible. We are delighted to see that we are expanding the Thermo King range of units in the FreshLinc fleet,” said Andrew Davis, head of sales at Thermo King Northern ”I have worked closely with Andy Marchant to make sure all FreshLinc’s needs and requirements are understood and met. As part of the overall agreement, we will be supplying a newly released Thermo King Advancer A-400 unit to allow FreshLinc to evaluate its performance and give us their valuable feedback. We truly believe in relationships and it’s important for me to say that FreshLinc can count on our local and nationwide aftermarket back up and support.”

“The Thermo King SLXi trailer units were designed to allow our customers benefit from the intelligence, communication capabilities, fuel consumption and temperature management, and make their cold chain operations more efficient,” said Steve Williams, area sales manager UK at Thermo King. “I am very pleased that FreshLinc sees the value of what Thermo King and our aftermarket network can add to their business and we’re very happy to see our units as part of their fleet.”


UK freight association ties up with maritime consultancy to enable its members to benchmark oceanfreight rates.

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has entered into a collaborative agreement with Drewry to help bring the maritime research consultancy’s confidential freight rate benchmarking service to members of the trade association.

Launched in 2019, Drewry Forwarder Benchmarking Club, is designed to meet the specific needs of freight forwarders and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) and provides members with the opportunity to confidentially benchmark their ocean carrier buy rates against their peers.

Under the terms of the arrangement, BIFA, which represents over 1,500 freight forwarders, which offer a wide range of services within the logistics and supply chain management sector, will inform its members of the benefits and encourage them to join Drewry’s freight rate benchmarking service.

Drewry Forwarder Benchmarking Club follows a similar model to Drewry’s other freight cost benchmarking services, as well as operating in over 90 countries and at 300 ports and offers 4,000 worldwide port pairs with annual freight spending rates of USD8.5 billion.

Addressing the benefits and privileges of membership, BIFA Director General said: “BIFA members will gain access to Drewry’s freight rate benchmarking and forecasting consultancy team which offers the ability to identify margin opportunities between carrier buy-rates and BCO sell rates using independent benchmark data to demonstrate the competitiveness of rates with customers, prospects and gain the ability to negotiate lower rates with confidence.”

The Forwarder Benchmarking Club offers complimentary access to World Container Index, an online service providing weekly benchmarks for eight key head- and backhaul port pairs between China, the USA and Europe. There is also discretionary access to spot market container freight rate intelligence and market assessments – the Drewry Container Freight Rate Insight (online service).

Keen adds: “It is important that we always seek ways to bring value to our members by raising awareness of tools and services that enable them to better compete in their marketplaces.

“This initiative will offer BIFA members the benefit of a service that enables them to purchase, price and sell better.”

Membership to Drewry’s Forwarder Benchmarking Club is free to qualifying forwarders and NVOCCs and further information on the eligibility rules and how to sign up can be seen on the Drewry website –


The essential work phone – the new Cat® S42 smartphone available now.

Bullitt Group, the global licensee for Cat® phones, introduces the Cat S42, a robust smartphone designed for reliability, even in extreme situations.

The new addition to the range, now on sale with an MSRP of £229, benefits from Cat phones’ heritage and a decade of research and development in the design of rugged phones, bringing unrivalled toughness to this essential everyday work phone.

The Cat S42 is a remarkable workhorse with key features that customers in this segment truly value, especially a long battery life, market-leading rugged credentials, and a large and bright display that can be read in sunlight. Like all Cat phones it can also be regularly and thoroughly hygienically cleaned by being submerged and scrubbed with hot soapy water or disinfectant, an essential hygiene detail for those who must keep on working.

“Cat phones customers need a phone they can rely on, whether they are in the emergency services keeping us safe, or working in a hospital where hygiene is the priority, or in construction and needing a phone that’s tough enough to survive on site, day after day, the Cat S42 is designed to be utterly dependable and keep working for you,” said Peter Cunningham, VP Product Portfolio at Bullitt Group.

Tested to Cat phones’ demanding rugged standards with MIL SPEC 810H and IP68 ratings, it surpasses our rigorous and repeated drop testing from 1.8m onto steel, including multiple drops onto every side and corner, and is fully waterproof, tested submerged in water at depths up to 1.5m for 35 minutes. Like all Cat smartphones in the range, it is also put through vibration and tumble tests, salt mist conditions, and it’s built to operate in high and low extremes of temperature and to survive thermal shocks. Take it with you anywhere and everywhere. It’s built tough to help you thrive in challenging outdoor work situations and extreme leisure pursuits alike.

Rugged to its core, the Cat S42’s super bright 5.5″ HD+ 18×9 display is protected by scratch resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5 and can be read in bright sunlight, with a touch screen that can be controlled with wet fingers or when wearing gloves.

Key Specifications

*Powerful 4,200mAh battery
*Water / Dust proof (IP68), Drop tested to 1.8M onto steel, MIL SPEC 810H, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5
*Waterproof Smartphone – up to 1.5 meters for 35 minutes
*5.5″ HD+ 18×9 display optimised for outdoor use with a touchscreen that can be used with wet fingers or when wearing gloves
*Android™ 10 (with upgrade to 11)
*3GB RAM, 32GB ROM, Expandable Storage (microSD™)
*Mediatek Helio A20 MT 6761D chipset, 1.8GHz quad-core processor
*13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
*LTE Cat 6, VoLTE, VoWiFi
*Textured, extra grip design
*Programmable Shortcut Key useful for Push to Talk (PTT), SOS (Lone worker app), or to easily launch its torch or camera
*Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
*3.5mm audio jack (waterproof)
*Curated apps and content catalogue
*Dual SIM – Nano SIM + microSD™
*2-year warranty
*Android Enterprise support
*Security updates cover for 3 years
*Zero-touch support

The Cat S42 smartphone has an MSRP of £229 and will be available to buy via and multiple retailers and operators.

Skills and Training

Furloughed staff come forward over growing concerns.

IPP customers ‘inundated’ with offers to pick fruit this summer

British fruit growers have been inundated with requests for work from furloughed staff across the UK, who want to pick fruit this summer rather than sit at home.
In April, at the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, the British Growers Association predicted a major shortfall in the 70,000 pickers needed to bring in what will be a record soft fruit harvest this year following the favourable weather conditions.

So, in May, the government launched a high-profile television advertising campaign, ‘Pick for Britain,’ to encourage wide sections of society to come and get their hands dirty in the national interest.

Concordia, the charity charged with filling the roles to ‘feed the nation’ during the crisis has seen more than 30,000 applications from furloughed staff with nine out of ten applicants coming from the UK.

As a result, long-term growing and market garden customers of IPP, one of Europe’s leading poolers of sustainable wooden pallets, have seen a major spike in offers of help after foreign pickers were barred from entering the UK because of the pandemic.

Customers including Stewarts of Tayside and Fife Fruits, who are delivering into the UK’s supermarkets on IPP pallets, have been approached by staff from a variety of backgrounds, who are having 80 per cent of their salaries paid by the Government for the duration of the crisis.

“There was a fear that British growers would struggle to get pickers this summer because of the pandemic and in part because of Brexit,” said Phil Storer, IPP’s director for UK and Ireland.

“Instead, what we hear is very positive as many furloughed staff have put their names forward to pick fruit rather than sit at home.”

“Even customers whose harvest isn’t due until later in the autumn have received CVs from people who want to work,” he added.
One of these is Bardsley England, one of the UK’s premier apple growers in the Vale of Kent, which has just taken on more than 20 workers as part of the ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign.”

One of the directors of the family-run business, Georgia Bardsley, said: “It is not an immediate problem for us because our harvest is not until late summer, but we made it public that we have jobs available and a lot of people who are furloughed have come forward to offer their services.”

For more information on IPP, visit


A flexible storage combination.

One of the most popular new items in BITO’s recently launched online BITO Direct catalogue is the company’s Galvanised Boltless Shelving, which can hold a combination of BITO’s XL and RK containers for bulk and small parts to suit the different purposes a company may have.

The shelves can be adjusted in 25 mm increments to further enhance the flexibility of this solution. This means users can position the bins and containers to suit the needs of the operation and staff.

A single shelving bay can combine XL stacking containers with a pick opening for ease of access. RK containers fit neatly for small parts picking. Of course, the open shelves also allow users to store their own goods.

The shelving is available in bays of 1850 mm height and 1300 mm width, with depths of either 400 or 600 mm. Back-bracing and a quartet of stiffening beams add strength and stability. This, combined with the galvanised fames and shelves, provides a durable storage solution.

The interactive online page-turn BITO Direct catalogue features a broad range of handling, storage and order picking solutions across its 164 pages. These include the most popular products manufactured by BITO – the majority of which are held in stock in Nuneaton.

The BITO Direct Catalogue, which also features BITO’s design capabilities, is online.

All products are also available in the BITO online shop at

Food and Drink

Müllerlight adds taste to life with new low fat Crunch range.

The nation’s favourite dairy brand[1] is looking to disrupt the diet and low fat yogurt market with Müllerlight Crunch, it’s new split pot range.

Available in two varieties, Müllerlight Crunch Flamingo Edition and Müllerlight Crunch Toffee Cheesecake Inspired, the launch is part of Müller’s continuing strategy to add further inspiration and excitement to its core range of branded yogurts, Müllerlight and Müller Corner.

Split pot yogurts are the fastest growing yogurt format[2] and research by the dairy company identified that consumers found ignoring food cravings, temptations and the desire to indulge as some of the biggest challenges to managing their weight[3].

Müllerlight Crunch contains low fat yogurt, which is made with milk from British farms, a side of crunchy inclusions and contains 98 kcal per pot. It is a source of protein, and is available in a six pack format, with one permanent flavour (Toffee Cheesecake Inspired) and one limited edition flavour.

Müllerlight Crunch Toffee Cheesecake Inspired (toffee flavour yogurt with biscuit crumble) is available in Morrisons now. This sku will also be available in Asda from 13th July, alongside Müllerlight Crunch Flamingo (strawberry yogurt with flamingo pink biscuit balls). The RRP is £3.

The launch is supported on social media and through an ongoing Müllerlight multimedia campaign.

Michael Inpong, Strategy and Marketing Director at Müller Yogurt & Desserts said:

“As a consumer centric business, we know that our shoppers are constantly seeking new flavours and formats which not only excite them and add taste to life, but suit their various needs.

“And consumers are telling us that things like indulgent treats and temptations are one of the biggest challenges, so we’ve worked really hard to find the right product proposition.

“Our new Müllerlight Crunch range is in the fastest growing yogurt format, it contains tempting crunch inclusions like flamingo pink biscuit balls, and it also contains 98kcal per pot.

“Müllerlight has had its challenges, but we are confident in our approach. We think that we have found the perfect solution for many shoppers, and we can’t wait to see the reaction.”

[1] Brand Footprint – The British ranking of the most chosen dairy brands –
[2] Nielsen MAT to April 18th 2020
[3] Psychology of Weight Management, VCCP ignite


World Refrigeration Day 2020: New Report Shows Why Cold Chain Matters.

Today, on World Refrigeration Day, the Cold Chain Federation has published a new report demonstrating the critical importance of the cold chain to UK food supply, food safety and reducing food waste.

The Cold Chain details how the industry is integral to the food chain, from farm to fork. It shows the contribution that cold chain businesses make to the UK as a major employer, as a leader in technological innovation, and in tackling food waste and climate change. The digest also looks at the industry’s progress on energy efficiency, and at the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit.

Cold Chain Federation Chief Executive Shane Brennan said: “We work alongside our members day in and day out to make our industry’s voice heard, loud and clear at both national and regional levels. This new report is designed to help everyone gain a fuller appreciation of what the cold chain does and why it matters so much. Knowledge is crucial to ensuring politicians and policy makers give our industry’s concerns and ideas the weight they deserve.

“As the Cold Chain Federation takes the messages of our industry to Westminster and Whitehall, we are encouraging our members to use this new report to start a dialogue with their MPs and Local Enterprise Partnerships about why the cold chain matters to their local communities as well as to the nation as a whole.

“The theme of today’s World Refrigeration Day is the cold chain, so it is fitting that our new report showcases the value of our industry on this day of international interest.”

The report includes key information about the cold chain, such as:

* The cold chain employs in excess of 20,000 people in the UK, from warehouse operatives and drivers to systems analysts and robotics engineers.
* The UK frozen food industry is worth in excess of £8billion and the chilled food industry in excess of £11 billion.
* The Cold Chain Federation has 150 members, which operate more than 450 specialist storage facilities. This equates to around 3.5bn cubic metres of storage space.
* The run more than 30,000 refrigerated trailers across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, plus more than 40,000 refrigerated vans.
* Around 400 cold store facilities are signed up to the cold store Climate Change Agreement.

The Cold Chain report can be found from Friday 26 June at


Sustainable Refrigeration Manufacturer Steps Up UK Presence.

Hultsteins, the Swedish and British hydraulic refrigeration systems manufacturer has appointed a new sales agent to cover the east side of the UK. Eco Truck Refrigeration Ltd will offer the full range of Hultsteins’ diesel-free transport refrigeration products, including Ecogen, the company’s flagship hybrid power generator.

With many years of experience in the temperature-controlled transport sector, Eco Truck Fridge Managing Director Graham Usher is upbeat regarding the new alliance.

“I am delighted to be joining forces with Hultsteins and helping to promote these long established, well proven products in the UK & Ireland. Hultsteins’ wide range, of ‘one-engine’ sustainable solutions, offers significant cost & emissions savings which, until recent times, have not been widely available to operators here in the UK.”

Hultsteins’ UK Sales Director and inventor of the British-built Ecogen system, Stephen Maile, picks up the theme:

“Hultsteins’ sustainable solutions are working for retailers and operators in several European countries and we are very glad that Eco Truck Fridge is on board to continue our good work here in the UK and Ireland.”

Steve goes on to explain that with the increasing demand for Ecogen in the UK and Europe, Hultsteins needed to strengthen their UK sales function and with Graham Usher’s depth of industry experience and a new sales agency in place, Eco Truck Fridge was the natural fit.

“Also,” adds Steve “we decided to keep the sales operation separate to manufacturing and service which, under my control, allows us to concentrate on production and technical support in the UK while continuing to build on European sales in partnership with Hultsteins in Sweden.”

Accordingly, says Steve, Hultsteins UK & Eco Truck Fridge – with a focus on London and the East side of the UK – will aim to provide a better managed service to current and future Hultsteins customers.

Hultsteins have been designing and producing hydraulic and electric-drive transport refrigeration systems for nearly 60 years and as the environmental and economic effects of diesel consumption become more evident, systems such as EcoGen are increasingly seen as a sustainable solution.

“For example,” adds Graham “the long-standing rebate on ‘red’ diesel for use in fridge engines changes in 2022 when the duty will increase from 11.1 ppl to the full tax rate of 57.7 ppl. Temperature controlled transport operators will therefore need to absorb the impact and for any operator, with standard trailer fridge engines consuming 3-5 litres of red diesel per unit per hour, the

fridge operators doing 2500 fridge engine hours per annum will be hit with additional costs of £5700 extra for each trailer they run. Therefore, the potential fuel saving and extended fridge life, coupled with substantial reductions in carbon and harmful emissions are substantial.

Graham goes on to explain that Ecogen can be retrofitted easily to any truck with an engine drive PTO (power take off) and will drive any type of conventional diesel fridge with electric standby, from any of the major manufacturers. Plus, rather than intending to replace the existing refrigeration system, the system works in tandem with the fridge unit to provide a cheaper and less harmful power source – generating a constant 400-volt, 3-phase electrical power to the same standard as the mains supply.

With this typical application, say Hultsteins, operators can expect to extend the life of existing fridge units, while subject to the annual amount of running hours, potentially seeing a return on investment in under 18 months.

Commenting on the appointment of Eco Truck Refrigeration, Hultsteins Managing Director, Börje Axelsson concludes:

“Graham is well known in the industry and worked closely with us on early trials a few years ago. His expertise will be an asset as we further introduce our eco-friendly transport refrigeration systems in the UK and Ireland.”


Shanghai Renaissance Names Tao As Vice General Manager.

As part of a strengthening of its team in Shanghai, the Shanghai Renaissance International Transportation Company Ltd (RENSHA) – which is part of the Hong Kong-based U-Freight Group – has promoted Lily Tao to vice general manager.

Ms Tao started her career in the freight industry as an operations executive with RENSHA in 1995, and was promoted to lead the company’s operations team just three years later.

In 2003, she was promoted again and appointed operations manager of the company’s export department, overseeing a rapid growth in clients, shipments, turnover and profitability.

For the past decade she had been assistant to the company’s general manager, during which she has worked closely with, and became fully familiar with, all departments of the company, including the air import and customer services department, as well as its branch in Suzhou, and office in Songjiang.

In her new role as vice general manager she will rise to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on RENSHA’s business operations and will be responsible for finance, sales and operations, whilst deputising for the company’s general manager.

Simon Wong, chief executive officer of the U-Freight Group comments: “Over the past 25 years at RENSHA, Lily has not only proven herself very committed in the roles to which she is assigned, but also has shown clear evidence of her commercial, operational and personnel management capabilities.”

The freight forwarding and logistics company’s network extends to multiple facilities in most of the country’s key trade gateways, and its various subsidiaries each serve different trades or industry sectors.