Reefer Express Goes Green


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Health, safety and the environment were considerations when Reefer Express upgraded its lift equipment in use at GPA’s Garden City Terminal.

“We have to protect what we have,” said Rick Redding, Reefer Express general manager. “We only have one environment and if we don't protect it now we won't have it.”

On average, this area processes 400 import boxes per week and 1,200 export boxes per week, so the four new electric powered lifts are getting good use. The Reefer Express team includes Atlantic Container Services, Container Maintenance, and Coastal Great Southern.

Savannah’s Garden City Terminal offers 104 refrigerated container racks and 733 chassis plug-ins, powering 3,229 refrigerated boxes at a time. Each refrigerated container rack avoids the use of more than 53,000 gallons of diesel each year, or a total of 5.5 million gallons saved annually.

The four new electric lifts made by Hyster and distributed by LiftOne are environmentally friendly. They don’t produce any emissions, unlike the liquid propane (LP) lifts they replaced, improving air quality for employees and customers.

“Converting a rider lift truck from liquid propane to electric in a 2,000-hour-per-year application results in the annual carbon reduction of approximately 20,000 pounds,” said Gary Page of LiftOne. “That is the equivalent of driving from New York City to Los Angeles approximately seven times.”

The new lifts are good for the environment, but also for business. The electric lifts require less regular maintenance and have less downtime. They don’t use engine oil, transmission fluid, radiator fluid or filters that must be changed regularly.

Not only are they more environmentally friendly and more cost effective, the new lifts are favored by employees for their comfort and safety. The Hyster lifts are quieter and produce less vibration, which reduces operator fatigue, improving productivity and safety.

Four new electric lifts, making up half the fleet, are in use now. Reefer Express intends to switch the other four lifts for electric versions in 2016.

 “We are following the lead of the GPA with sustainability,” said Tony Noles, owner’s representative for Reefer Express. “And it is personal to me. I’m an outdoorsman, and I don't want to go somewhere that isn’t healthy. From a business standpoint, it's better and healthier for our employees and customers.”