Think Custom. Think Cooler. NACS 2009

U.S. Cooler manufactures walk-ins with the customer in mind. We understand it is important to produce an affordable, quality, durable, and efficient product. U.S. Cooler specializes in custom sized walk-in coolers and freezers. All of our walk-ins are produced using the highest quality products and the most efficient insulation. Our custom walk-ins are competitively priced and have the shortest lead time in the industry.  U.S. Cooler has the technology and the capability to manufacture walk-ins to fit any size or configuration you are looking for. When you need custom, think U.S. Cooler. Come visit our booth, # 1863, at NACS in Las Vegas from October 21-23, 2009.

A custom cooler example.

Walk-in Saves Lives During Tornado

On Wednesday, August 19th, a tornado ripped through the village of Williamsville, IL leaving parts of the town a disaster with many home’s lost. One particular building that was in the direct path of the storm was a Casey’s General Store. When the storm rolled in, there were 9 employees and customers in the store. The entire front wall of the building was blown out leaving no shelter for the group in the store. Immediately they took cover in the walk-in cooler where they safely remained until the storm ended. After the storm, the only structure of the building still intact and left unharmed was the walk-in combination unit. Check with your local emergency center for the emergency plan that best fits your location.

Taken right after the tornado hit Casey's General Store in Williamsville, IL.
Taken right after the tornado hit Casey’s General Store in Williamsville, IL.
After store clean-up.
After the store clean-up.

Additional pictures of the damage.

U.S. Cooler is Now Leasing Walk-Ins

lease a walk-in refrigerator
A new walk-in will save you money in the long run but can have a large up-front cost.

Buying a walk-in cooler or freezer is a large expense for any business and not all companies have the cash flow available to purchase a walk-in outright. U.S. Cooler has another option for our customers. Leasing.

By leasing your walk-in, you avoid having to come up with the complete purchase price necessary to buy it outright. Instead, with leasing, the cost is spread out comfortably over a fixed period of time, and only a small initial down payment is required. Leasing removes the need for equity financing. It also allows you to acquire and use an asset without having to make a substantial down payment. Thus, minimizing the affect on your cash flow and working capital.

U.S. Cooler has partnered with Advantage Leasing to provide our customers with a financing program for their walk-in equipment. For more information on the program visit the leasing program page on our website or contact Advantage Leasing for details.

Walk-in Cooler & Freezer Leasing Literature:

Walkin Lease Application U.S. Cooler Lease Application pdf

dealer lease application Dealer Lease Application pdf

lease payment pdf file Lease Payment Calculator Excel Spreadsheet

 

Sharpen Your Bill of Lading, Pay Less in Freight

It used to seem like motor carriers would “look the other way” when it came to the way shippers filled out their bill of ladings.  As long as the freight class that went along with the description was “close to what they were shipping, the carriers never bothered with it.  However, now there is too much of an extra revenue source for the carriers to ignore these poorly filled out descriptions and have incentivized dock workers to capitalize on shippers who do not fill this out the proper way.

The biggest mistake people make when filling out a bill of lading is they simply put a basic description of the product like “plastic figurines”.  The problem is that plastic figurines are a density item according to the NMFC and can be classified at any class from a 70 to a 400 (which is a difference of about 250% in price).

What a Bill of Lading Should NOT Look Like

incomplete bill of lading

Without a classification number, the carriers have every right to bill out at a class 400 if “plastic figurines” is all they are given.  The proper way to describe this item on a bill of lading is to write a description which includes the NMFC issued number.  This is a perfect way to describe this item “Plastic Articles, NMFC #157320 Sub 8, Class 85.”

Elizabeth LaFleur, freight auditor for Logistics Management, Inc., says shippers will cut down on a lot of headaches if they followed this simple process.  LaFleur says, “When a carrier see’s a poor description, they red flag it and can classify it at a much higher class.  If the description on the bill of lading is vague, a lot of times there is nothing that can be done to fight it.  However, if the item number is on the bill of lading then there, is no problem.”

Not only can this be a hassle, the cost can be significant to a shipper.  The way it is nowadays in the freight world is if a shipper does not fill out their bill of lading accurately they get nailed not only with the difference in the freight class but also with a “Weight & Inspection” fee which can be as high as $30.00.

Recently I visited a prospect that was getting overwhelmed with Weight & Inspections from carriers.  They pulled their bill of ladings for me and on them was the description for “tools”.  There was two problems with this description.  First, “tools” is too vague of a description and second, they were actually shipping drive shafts and other engine parts for race cars.

Zero Ozone-Depleting FOAMULAR Extruded Polystyrene Insulation

Toledo, Ohio – Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), a global leader in building materials and energy efficiency solutions, today announced it has started manufacturing zero ozone-depleting FOAMULAR® Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) rigid foam insulation. The new blowing agent technology developed by Owens Corning meets the requirements of the Montreal Protocol which requires the phase-out of the hydrochloro-fluorocarbon (HCFC) 142b, an ozone-depleting compound, by January 1, 2010.

Owens Corning’s new Gresham plant is the first facility in the Western U.S. to meet the requirements of the Montreal Protocol and expands the company’s XPS foam production capabilities. The company also has converted its Rockford, Ill., insulation plant to use the new blowing agent, and all FOAMULAR products will meet the requirements of the conversion deadline.

owens corning insulation plant

“High performance homes and buildings are an ever-growing segment of the construction industry, and

How the NMFC Affects Your Business – Freight Class Chart

The NMFC has something to do with freight class. That is about all most of us know what the NMFC is all about. But it can’t hurt to know more what the NMFC is, who runs it, where does it come from, how do I get one, this article is for you! After this article, you will know exactly what the NMFC is and how it affects your business.

First off, the NMFC stands for National Motor Freight Classification. It is a guide used to classify all the commodities shipped and handled by motor carriers in North America.  The commodities are assigned one of 18 different classes – from a low of 50 to a high of 500 – based on four transportation characteristics:  density, stow-ability, handling and liability.

It also includes rules and packaging requirements for each type of commodity to ensure adequate protection for products moving in the LTL motor carrier service.

The NMFC constitutes industry standards which are developed and maintained by the National Classification Committee (NCC), an autonomous committee of 100 carrier representatives who are elected to represent the more than 1,000 motor carriers participating in the NMFC. The NCC’s activities are regulated by the US Surface Transportation Board which is part of the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The NMFC is published by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), a nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, VA.

Defining Freight Class

Although, classes are determined by density, stow-ability, handling and liability, the biggest factor in determining the class is the density. The denser the commodity is, the lower the freight class. Always remember that!

Here is a “rule of thumb” we folks in the freight industry use to do a quick estimate to determine a particular freight class. Of course this should be backed up by the NFMC but you can a pretty accurate idea of a freight class by following this chart.

FREIGHT CLASS CHART

The first column shows the pounds per cubic foot (PCF). The second column shows freight class. So when the PCF is greater than the number in the first column, than the class will likely be the number in the second column.

PCF     Class
50        50
35        55
30        60
22.5     65
15        70
13.5     77
12        85
10.5     92
9         100
8         110
7         125
6         150
5         175
4         200
3         250
2         300
1         400
< 1     500

Article provided by Newgistics Freight Services

Contact Tim Walsh today for a FREE Freight Evaluation to see how much savings is available to your company!

Tim can be reached at twalsh@newgisticsfreightservices.com or (908) 879-2940.

U.S. Cooler Flickr Photostream

Visit U.S. Cooler’s Flickr Photostream. Flickr is a photo and video sharing site owned by Yahoo. You can view pictures of our completed walk-ins and promotional photos. These pictures represent the wide range of custom design possibilities available for your walk-in cooler, freezer or combination unit.

We also have a walk-in photo gallery on our main website.

USDA Grant Money for Rural Energy Improvements

Note: This article was posted in 2009 and not all grants may still be available.

Government money is available to help your small business become more energy efficient.

The USDA is now offering a grant and loan program to improve energy efficiency in rural areas. The REAP/RES/EEI (Rural Energy for America Program Grants/ Renewable Energy Systems/ Energy Efficiency Improvement Program) Grants Program will provide funds to architectural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficient improvements.

The program is designed to assist farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses that are able to demonstrate financial need. Small businesses that are located in rural areas can also apply. Most rural projects that reduce energy use and result in savings for the agricultural producer or small business are eligible as energy efficient projects. These include projects such as retrofitting lighting or insulation, or purchasing or replacing equipment with more efficient units. One of the main requirements of the grant program is that the new equipment must be more energy efficient than the current equipment. An ‘energy audit’ will be performed comparing the energy usage of the old equipment to the new anticipated energy efficient equipment.

Walk-in coolers and freezers qualify for this grant program. Older walk-ins are not as efficient as new units built today. Some of the recent changes in the industry include the requirement to provide higher insulation r-values and refrigeration units with EC motors, which are much more energy efficient than older units. These upgrades will prove your new equipment to be more energy efficient, which will save you money on energy costs.