March 11, 2016
How did you come to set up http://www.Cold-Truck.com?
We saw an opportunity to connect between supply and demand in order to fulfil a painful gap in the cold chain transport industry.
During our ongoing years of business activity in the food and pharmaceutical logistics and transport businesses, all three of us, each one in his unique environment, constantly came across the challenges that the temperature controlled transport industry faces.
The challenges of distributing food all over the world, and mainly in developing countries, consists also of the increasing operational costs for establishment and maintenance of a cold chain product. One of the main contributing factors to these increased operational costs is the cost of the cooling unit itself. The imminent solution is to purchase second hand / used units from other (more temperature sensitive products) industries or countries, especially considering the surplus of used units which are regulatorily non-compliant and require replacement anyhow.
In order to create direct connectivity between sellers of such units, and potential buyers, we created the first and most dominant trade platform dedicated solely to the cold chain transport industry, one which also addresses the pains of internet trade as a whole, and provides serviced solutions for logistics, money transfers and inspection of the units prior to purchase.
What previous experience do you and your colleagues have of running an operation like this?
I (Rafael Dreyfus) spend eleven years as a CEO of a container shipping company, and my two partners were the CEO of a ThermoKing agency, and the marketing director of the group which imported ThermoKing to the country. Based on the operational and managerial experience we obtain, and especially the combination of the experience we bring to the table, we are able to provide a holistic solution to the pains of the cold chain transport industry.
How would you summarize the Cold-Truck.com proposition?
Very simple – Cold Truck is a web based market place which connects buyers and sellers of second hand cold chain transport units, among them truck cooling units, trailer cooling units, refrigerated containers, and eutectic ice boxes.
Who do you see as the potential users for this service?
The users vary, but basically include anyone who uses cold chain transport units.
Let me provide a few examples of sellers, and a few examples of buyers:
Sellers – Most of the sellers will be trucking & transport companies, leasing companies of trucks, maintenance stations of cooling units, container shipping companies, and the likes. The simplest example is of a transport company located in Germany, handling pharmaceutical products which require the cooling units of the trucks and trailers not to exceed 3 years of age or 10 diesel engine hours. These units, once dismantled, can be utilized to other product transportation in Europe or anywhere in the world for that matter.
The buyers on the other hand will vary ad differ from country to country. Transport companies in Guatemala or Sri Lanka, will be more than satisfied to receive a 3 year old unit from Germany at a third of the cost of a new unit.
I am sure that as much as we have analyzed and know the industry, there are many more opportunities that have not yet been explored and ones that will come up in due time.
I will only mention that we are encountering queries by new users on a daily base, and we are adapting to requirements set forth by our clients.
How do people use the service?
We wanted to keep it simple. People can register online through a basic and simple authentication process (takes less than a minute), and then they can upload a unit they wish to sell, or look for a unit they wish to buy, all according to drop down menu’s which will hopefully filter the precise match they are looking for.
Is there a minimum order quantity?
No. You can upload 1 unit, or 1000, all according to your need and requirements.
Do you see Cold-Truck.com as primarily a short-term solution?
No. We look at Cold Truck as a long term solution, and hopefully a market changer. We wish to make Cold Truck a market leader for the cold chain transport industry on the net, and a revolutionary tool which will lay down the foundations for future interaction through the web in order to make the second hand temperature controlled units a global web based opportunity creator.
What will it cost to use the Cold-Truck.com service?
We change nothing for the use of Cold Truck. The services we charge for are only the added value services:
Shipping – In cooperation with L.I.N.K, a global network of forwarding agencies, transferring any purchased unit from the seller’s premises to the buyers’ premises, no matter where they are located.
Inspection – In cooperation with Bureau Veritas, a global inspection and certification company, inspecting any unit before it is purchased in order to ensure that the buyer receives what he is paying for, and that the purchased unit is indeed the one that was advertised.
Escrow – In cooperation with Escrow.com, a global escrow service provider, guarantying the secure transfer of money from the buyer to the seller in order to safeguard both parties.
Is there anything on the market directly similar to Cold-Truck.com?
Not that we are currently aware of.
Have you pitched the Cold-Truck.com proposition to your old contacts in the logistics, shipping and cold chain industries?
We have not only pitched the proposition, we actually received extensive positive feedback from many parties involved in the different industries we each operate in. Some of the colleagues have become Cold Truck users, some have become strategic partners, and some are even asking us to produce similar platforms for other niche markets which we are evaluating together mainly with certain container shipping companies who are looking for a solution also for their normal containers (not the refrigerated ones).
What are your initial targets for Cold-Truck.com in terms of numbers of providers and users especially in Indian Cold Chain Market?
Globally we are looking at a minimum of 100K registered users, but expect there to be many more based on the feedback and the current rate of user registration we have witnessed so far.
In India, we do not presume to know the market well enough, but we are certainly looking to become a main player, especially considering the increase of the middle class and the constant increased demand for perishable and fresh products, including but not limited to fish and sea food, meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and pharmaceuticals.
All these require temperature controlled transport facilities in order to ensure the product reaches the final customer in an adequate condition.
How many cold storage provider registrations have you had so far?
We currently have close to 1,800 units uploaded for sale. Considering the web site is up and running for less than 5 months, and the fact that this number is increasing daily, we are happy with the current status and working to increase the number of users for the simple reason that the more users and units are on line, the more added value the platform will bring to the end users.We are certainly only at the beginning of this fascinating journey which will revolutionize the temperature controlled transport industry in the whole world.