Students and staff of Silk Road School had visited Taicang CIMC Reefer Logistics Equipment Co., Ltd. (TCRC) on the 13 November 2019. Taicang CIMC was invested by China International Marine Containers Ltd (CIMC) and Shenzhen Southern China Container Manufacturing Co. Ltd. CIMC was first established in 1995 with the first factory situated in Shanghai. Today, it is the largest reefer container manufacturer in the world with around 70 to 80 patents and over 1000 employeesunder its name.
In the ever-changing market, CIMC has developed their products to suit the times. In past times, reefers were built at where they will be situated. Today, with a movable reefer, the company could respond to their client needs faster. A reeferis ready for use within two to three days of setting up and its lifespan is around 15 years. One of the reefers that we saw was commonly used in supermarkets with the internal height set at 2 to 3 meters. Depending on the rules of individual countries, the reefers could be stacked up, with the inside of the reefer opened, forming a large reefer. The other 2 types of reefers we saw onsite was storage of electronic parts and food products such as bottled water and seafood.
The company bought the technology for manufacturing the insulating layer of the reefer in 1995 and had improvise it to suit the company’s needs. As the company continuously innovates, they have designed a new type of reefer which fully used space between the lorry and reefer, enabling them to transport more goods. Meanwhile, efficiency is promoted in the company.Smaller reefers could be assembled in 6 minutes while the new reefer, also the largest product they have at 17.8m in length and 3.1m in height, takes an hour to assemble.
Stepping into the production line, students witness the full process of manufacturing a reefer. The target per day for the company is 120 reefers with a reefer being produced in 6 mins. There are 2 production lines, the special production line which produced reefer for land transportation and standard production line producing reefer for marine transportation.
Furthermore, the company is environmental conscious as the some of the components they use are more environmental-friendly. An example would be the usage of cyclopentane which is a chemical element that maintain the temperature of the reefer. In addition, the paint the company currently uses is a water-based paint instead of the usual oil paint due to the factor of it being environmentally friendly.
The company visit to CIMC was a good experience for Raza Khan, as this was his first time visiting a company as such. “As we visited the workshop as well, I came to know about the process of containers manufacturing. This company has the capacity of producing 70,000 containers per annum. Last year, the company produced 32,000 containers and it is a huge number. Most of the major shipping companies are clients of this manufacturer.” By physically observing the entire process of containers manufacturing, he had gained new knowledge from the process and he felt that the company has highly skilled employees. It was interesting know that a container can be manufactured within a few minutes.
For Janamejay Kumar, this company visit has been a fruitful trip. Through this visit, he discovered that these containers could benefit the farmers in his home country, India. Conditions for farmers back home are not up to standard and they are not getting a proper wage. Furthermore, small farmers have lost a lot of money, as they lack the right facilities to store their produce, resulting in the waste of produce. “I am very impressed with the containers here as they can be customized to suit the requirements of the users. I have approached them to find out if it possible to purchase the container in small amount and the procedures to get it transported back, so that I can send them back to help my farmers friends” He is currently doing up proposals for his farmers friends and for the various ministries in India, to help improve the conditions for farmers back home.
This visit was certainly an interesting and eye-opening experience for the students of SRS. What the company could do within 6 minutes was unthinkable before this visit.
Written by: Lim Yin Ru
Edited by: Edward Kwame Tenadu