Victoria-based CryoLogistics Using Carbon Dioxide To Drive SnowSHIP Containers
VICTORIA – CryoLogistics has come up with a cool idea for a product.
SnowSHIP is a super-insulated, refrigerated shipping container that uses liquid carbon dioxide to keep goods cool without the need for electricity. It enables the transporting of high value, temperature-sensitive food and biopharma products throughout the global supply chain.
President and CEO Peter Evans started the company in 2013 and has been concentrating on research and development, and obtaining patents for the innovation. The product idea came from his late father-in-law, Ivan Thomsen in the late 1980’s, and Evans, retired after 25 years in the RCMP, picked up the mantle.
“We are in the final design optimization phase now, and the units will be produced and commercially manufactured beginning in October,” Evans states. “We’ve had six prototypes in demonstration in the last year in BC and Alberta. It’s a process that has taken us three and a half years to get to the commercial ready product stage.”
Two of the units have been used in Kamloops and two have been parked at a Victoria-area grocery store during the early phases of the COVID-19 crisis to supplement their existing cold storage facilities. Altogether, SnowSHIP has had two stationary and eight mobile applications.
“It’s getting a lot of interest,” Evans allows. “There’s a bit of a ‘wow’ factor for the companies that have used it, as it addresses a number of concerns they deal with while shipping perishable product.
“We’re getting requests from industry for various sizes, from air cargo companies, the biopharmaceutical sector that ships small quantities of high value vaccines, and even some interest in the recreational vehicle area from RVers who are looking for a cooler they can put in the back of an RV or in a boat.”
Peter was a career RCMP officer and after retirement held leadership positions in commercial aviation, telecommunications, critical infrastructure protection, and community non-profits. Peter holds a Master’s degree in Disaster and Emergency Management.
He spent the first two years of CryoLogistics assessing the market possibilities, and design development began in 2017.
It’s been a longer process than software development, due to the different layers of testing and evaluation that are necessary, and securing the patents.
“Our liquid carbon dioxide heat exchange system is the first of its kind, and it’s taken a longer period of time to develop,” he adds. “It’s pure and sanitary, low maintenance and has no moving parts. It doesn’t use combustibles, and is virtually silent, which is perfect for sensitive noise environments.
“It locks and isolates the load within a container, and is designed for less than load trucking. You can segregate the load, so you don’t have to refrigerate the entire transport truck.”
To date, Evans has raised $6.5 million in equity and non-diluted financing, including a recently announced $3.5 million through the federal Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and the provincial BC Innovative Clean Energy Fund. He self-funded the company for the first five years, and was early in the research and development phase, their efforts were assisted through the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).
They’ve also produced the CryoRamp, a separate device developed in response to a need identified by transport companies that solves the problem of inserting a pallet jack into and out of the SnowSHIP.
“Users typically have to push pallets up and over curbs, so we built a custom designed ramp for them,” he notes.
Evans is very optimistic about the SnowSHIP’s prospects.
“We survived phase one of COVID-19, which is a feat in itself for any start-up company, and we’ve been able to retain all our 15 employees and kept them working throughout it,” he notes.