Food on the Move

Logistics Trends in Our Industry


Sainsbury to Debut First Naturally Refrigerated Truck

Supermarket giant Sainsbury recently announced they were set to trial the world’s first naturally refrigerated truck to their fleet, setting up a two-year deal with natural refrigeration technology specialist Carrier Transicold to introduce their NaturaLINE HFC-free refrigeration system in a working refrigerated trailer.

“This is the very first time that our NatraLINE system has been mounted to a box trailer anywhere in the world,” said David Appel, president of Carrier Transicold. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to advance Carrier’s natural leadership in environmental technologies, by working closely with Sainsbury’s, one of our largest customers in Europe, to test how the concept performs on the road.”

The new truck is one of many initiatives by Sainsbury to reduce the environmental impact of their refrigeration and cold supply chain. The company just recently converted its refrigerated depots to HFC-free in 2011, and a spokesperson for Sainsbury told BusinessGreen.com that the company is on track to reach their goal of switching 250 stores to HFC-free by 2014.

Sainsbury also recently expanded their duel-fuel fleet of trucks, trucks designed to use a combination of diesel and bio-methane fuels to cut emissions 25 percent compared to standard trucks, so the announcement of the two-year trial puts them on pace to meet their 20x20 Sustainability Plan goals of 35 percent less carbon emissions by 2030.

 

Coca-Cola Launches Electric Refrigerated Truck Fleet

Customers that buy a Coca-Cola product in the San Francisco Bay Area will be the first to have had it delivered to the store by the beverage maker’s all-electric refrigerated truck fleet, an announcement the global beverage giant made at an electric vehicle (EV) industry event in September.

Coca-Cola will use 16 refrigerated electric trucks made by Kansas City-based Smith Electric Vehicles to make deliveries in the Bay Area, as their first foray into a fuel-free fleet in their cold supply chain. With several alternative fuel fleets already in operation in North America, including over 650 hybrid trucks and a handful that run on compressed natural gas, this will be Coca-Cola’s first fleet with electric chillers used in place of the conventional diesel-powered transport refrigeration units (TRUs).

The Smith trucks employ cold-plate technology, which chills the air by using a series of aluminum beams circulating a refrigerant. The chiller is also powered by a separate electric system that operates independently of the electric motor and batteries used to power the truck.

According to Smith Electric CEO Bryan Hansen, improvements in cold-plate technology have made the change to electric-powered truck refrigeration “much more compelling to fleet managers.” The chiller system is powered overnight while the truck is recharging and can then be used as the source of refrigeration inside the truck all day. This will be the largest fleet of trucks using Smith Electric’s electric chillers installed, a fact that Hansen called “a demonstration to others, when people see Coca-Cola committing to this it will move the industry forward.”

Coca-Cola piloted a test vehicle for 13 months before deciding to purchase the fleet, and although the costs are higher than comparable diesel-powered alternatives, with lower maintenance costs and expected fuel savings Coca-Cola is predicting a return on investment in three or four years.

 

Lufthansa’s “Triple Seven” Bound For North America, Again

Lufthansa Cargo is hoping to spark memories of the past this November when they take the first of five newly purchased Boeing 777 freighters, dubbed the “Triple Seven,” for its first scheduled flight to Atlanta, Chicago and New York in North America.

Just like they did back in 1972, when Lufthansa flew their first “jumbo” Boeing 747 cargo flight from Frankfurt to New York, the global air freight carrier is hoping the newer versions of the Boeing aircraft will open a new era of aviation just like the predecessor did four decades ago.

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