A Peruvian company that operates across Latin America sees the potential of providing modular refrigeration in the US markets too. According to Florent Philippot CEO of ZGroup, based in Miami, Florida with operations across South America: “The US is a mature market, but in terms of refrigeration or cold storage you find it is expensive or if it is available that it is not suitable.”
Florent Philippot CEO of ZGroup, with colleagues Camila Cubas and Jose Zabarburu.
ZGroup repurpose reefer containers for different applications of the cold chain, like producing modularised containers for pre- and post-harvest cooling on farms, freezing or ripening solutions. “Sometimes we can put it all together and build modular infrastructure such as a distribution centre or a mobile packing house. The idea of our company is to bring the refrigerator and container to where the customer is when it is needed. Because it is a container it is easy to move and install, it is fast and competitive. We can design turn-key solutions for almost any customer. We can really use the space available, our solution can be used in these spaces and made profitable for a company. We bring solutions to the produce industry. We can resolve almost any challenges due to our solutions,” states Philippot.
The company is originally from Peru, one of the biggest exports of different commodities such as avocados, citrus, blueberries, table grapes and bananas. “The good thing is we use the container refrigeration unit. After we modify it, it is flexible we can do frozen we can do fresh, so we can choose the target temperature the customer needs. Any commodity can work with our solution. We work with the biggest berry producer in the world who started a blueberry farm in Ecuador. We designed a pack house for them in 30 days. Thanks to our solution they were able to export for the first time this year otherwise they would’ve had to sell to the local market only. It is easy, it’s just like playing Lego’s,” explains Philippot.
He says their mobile refrigeration solutions are widely used in Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and now in the US too. “We have brought our solution to macadamia producers in Hawaii. When I came into the US two years ago I saw there is a big need. So what we do is customers must just find the space and let us bring the solution. Companies don’t also have to build a big pack house because buying land is complicated, sometimes companies want to invest in their main business while not in the refrigeration part of it. I also see sometimes a lot of companies are struggling with post-sales service on the refrigeration side, to sell to you is easy, but sometimes there’s no service. With us it is providing and getting the needed service is easy because we are partners of Thermo King, with more than 900 dealers around the world with parts widely available. We can service the unit or any dealer. On top of that we also bring some innovation for the reefer unit. We designed a device for remote control to see how it’s operating, receive alarms and anticipate any problem,” states Philippot.