Ruskim Seafoods

SMI’s new product could ‘revolutionise’ the food haulage industry.

Seymour Manufacturing International’s new Back-Stop has the potential to revolutionise the frozen and chilled food haulage industry, according to one of the companies involved in the testing process.

Ruskim Seafoods Limited is Europe’s number one importer of quality meat, seafood and poultry, with a turnover of some £90 million. The award-winning business has a fleet of more than 90 refrigerated delivery vehicles, providing its 3,000-plus customers with regular ‘on time’ deliveries of products sourced from five continents. And for the past few months it has been working in partnership with SMI, field testing a prototype of the company’s new Back-Stop insulated curtain system in one of the trucks at its Telford plant.

Ruskim’s group transport manager Lee Shropshire explains: “We were already using SMI’s insulated pallet covers, and saw the concept of Back-Stop on one of our visits to their showroom.

“We immediately saw its potential for giving us flexible, multi-temperature zones in our vehicles which could be moved up and down the bulkhead to reflect the wide variety of food products we now handle.”

So, what exactly is Back-Stop? It is a family of insulated flexible barriers designed to reduce energy loss from the back of a chilled or frozen vehicle.

The insulated door curtain system, using SMI’s celebrated Tempro thermal insulation equipment, conserves significant amounts of energy by retaining chill.

The Back-Stop system consists of four movable insulated curtains, fitted on a sliding bar mounted below the truck ceiling.

The curtains can be moved by hand to any position on their track as required, held in position by a magnet. A fully automated version of Back-Stop is also available.

Lee Shropshire continues: “We have had a set of curtains on test for just under two months now, and it has been very successful.

“I was slightly sceptical at first, but it is quite amazing how such a lightweight, flexible curtain can have the ability to form such an effective temperature control barrier.

“We have been retaining frozen temperatures of around –15C on one side of the curtains, and ambient or chilled temperatures of between 0C and 3C on the other, consistently.

“There is no doubt that it this product the potential to revolutionise the way in which companies such as Ruskim operate. It is light years ahead of any similar products on the market right now.”

Mr Shropshire says he is now waiting for SMI to adapt Back-Stop so that the curtains rail can be moved up and down the length of a truck.

“When that has been developed, I am sure we will be fitting Back-Stop into a significant number of our vehicles. They will allow us to use our trucks more economically, and make life easier for our drivers too.”