Fleet availability and total lifecycle costs are top of the agenda for Tesco following an order for more than 400 transport refrigeration systems from Carrier Transicold. The order comprises a mix of 306 Vector 1850 trailer units and 105 Supra 750 and Supra 850 multi temperature units for short urban trailers and rigid trucks. The new units will deliver increased efficiency savings and help the supermarket chain achieve environmental targets. Carrier Transicold is a unit of Carrier Corp., the high technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions provider.
Key to securing the order was a 99.7 per cent vehicle availability measurement across Tesco's entire refrigerated transport fleet fitted with Carrier Transicold equipment, up from 99.4 per cent in 2009 and consistently exceeding a customer target of 95 per cent. The statistics are based on a series of key performance indicators measured by Carrier Transicold to demonstrate fleet uptime.
"It's all about availability," said Richard Ash, buying manager for Tesco. "When fridges need repairing, response times are critical as vehicles are likely to be carrying loads. Fleet availability and temperature integrity is not an area where we are prepared to compromise, and with Carrier we don't have to. If something works and is advantageous to the company, we stick with it."
Central to the order is the delivery of 32 new triple-compartment double-deck Gray & Adams trailers equipped with Vector 1850 temperature controlled systems. This investment is in line with Tesco's plans to further reduce road miles with the use of double-deck trailers. As well, 274 new triple-compartment single-deck trailers, also equipped with Vector 1850 units, will join the fleet. These powerful Carrier Transicold Vector 1850 systems offer quick pull down and temperature control, with the unique ability to cool and heat at the same time. This enables Tesco to accurately maintain different set points ranging from -30C to +32C in each of the trailer's three compartments allowing any combination of ambient, chilled and frozen produce to be carried together.
Justin Grace, managing director of Carrier Transicold UK, said, "Tesco has made major commitments to its environmental responsibilities and it's a compliment that our technology has been selected to be part of that. We are constantly developing our products to meet the latest customer requirements, and this is a great example of that dedication."
The Vector 1850 units feature patented all-electric technology, removing 17 serviceable parts which, with traditional technology, would need to be routinely maintained and replaced, using resources such as copper, steel and rubber. Additionally, at the end of a Vector unit's life, 94 per cent of components can be recycled.
Vector refrigeration technology also reduces the risk of refrigerant leaks by 30 per cent. A semi-hermetic compressor helps to reduce potential refrigerant escapes by up to 12 per cent per year compared to a conventional system. This allows an average carbon emission reduction of nearly 80 per cent per annum.
The order also includes 39 Supra 850 multi-temperature units mounted on short urban trailers marking Tesco's first volume order from trailer manufacturer, Lawrence David. Further Supra 750 multi-temperature units will be fitted to 66 new 16- and 18- tonne rigid trucks with bodywork built by Solomons.
Every Carrier Transicold system has been supplied with a Golden Cold maintenance contract to cover its projected life on the fleet. Ash believes that the security of the maintenance contract adds to the attractiveness of the Carrier Transicold offering.
"A large part of our refrigerated fleet relies on Carrier; we are comfortable with the whole-life cost of the technology and are confident that the capital investment is soon realised through exemplary availability and strong environmental credentials," added Ash.