United Natural Foods, Inc. announced plans to add 53 all-electric transport refrigerated trailer units (TRUs) to its fleet located at the Riverside, Calif., distribution center, making UNFI what is dubbed to be one of the first wholesalers to utilize the technology.
The all-electric TRU achieves zero-emission results by using a high efficiency refrigeration system powered by roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels, a wheel-momentum generator, lithium-ion batteries and a unique auxiliary power unit to eliminate the requirement for diesel fuel to power the refrigeration system.
“Nearly 50% of UNFI’s direct greenhouse gas emissions are from our fleet of trucks and trailers. These 53 all-electric TRUs will help us get a head start on the proposed CARB zero-emission requirements, and are expected to allow us to decrease our emissions as we make progress on our climate action commitments under Better For All,” says Jeff Wismans, national director of fleet operations at UNFI. “Adding these TRUs comes after an exhaustive 4-month pilot testing the equipment through a variety of conditions with the intention to replace diesel-powered TRUs. When we look at it from an operational standpoint, we’re not changing anything, but it gives us a fresh look at running our operations and finding additional efficiencies.”
- Through this process, the refrigeration system provides multi-zone temperature settings with the capability of maintaining a full load of frozen product from -10°F to -°20F throughout the distribution route.
- UNFI is removing 53 of its diesel-powered TRUs from operation and utilizing Advanced Energy Machines (AEM).