Waitrose home delivery spec

London, UK:  Waitrose is to take 290 of its latest specification home delivery vehicles by the end of this year.

The 3.5 tonners have Coolertech bodies, with Hubbard twin evaporator 390-AELT-12-1fridges, on Mercedes Benz Sprinter 313 CDi chassis.

1-WaitroseThe Waitrose home delivery vehicle has been designed from the ground up to be more efficient, easier to use, and more sustainable, the company says.

The Hubbard 390-AELT ultra lightweight units are crankshaft driven and are set to maintain -21°C frozen and +2°C chilled with single phase standby.

The vehicles feature an aerodynamic box body design with a low profile on the 390-AELT condenser, which is mounted on the front body bulkhead.

It has compartments for ambient, chilled and frozen goods with racking for delivery crates. Access to the rear compartments is through a roller-shutter door.

The new vehicle design has the same footprint as a standard Mercedes Sprinter van yet is more load-efficient than existing home delivery vans, Waitrose says.

Jed Sherwood, Hubbard Products key account manager says: “The first 390-AELT’s were supplied early in 2014 with approximately 15 units leaving Hubbard Products each week throughout the year.”

“The 390-AELT is the ideal combination unit for Waitrose.com, it is VCA-EMC approved and features an easy-to-use, in cab digital controller for both frozen and chilled compartments. Backed by our nationwide service cover, it perfectly fitted the Waitrose.com specification.”

Coolertech worked closely with Waitrose to design and develop the body based on Coolertech AiroSprint box dody, designed specifically for the Mercedes Sprinter chassis cab.

The premium quality, 3.5 tonne vehicle features three compartments, each specifically designed to carry either frozen, chilled or ambient goods. The streamlined body design, which is perfect for driving through narrow, more restricted residential areas, offers impressive internal capacity and generous payload.

Becalmed market conceals impending upheaval for European road freight

London, UK: The European road freight sector endured another year of weak growth and anaemic profits, according to the latest market report from Transport Intelligence, European Road Freight Transport 2014.

Overall the industry experienced growth of just 1.0% in 2013, weighed down by the impact of stagnation in the Eurozone. Only markets in Central and Eastern Europe prospered, with Poland, the largest market in the region growing by 5.8%. The UK was the best performing of the larger markets in Western Europe, with growth of 2.0% mostly derived from its economic recovery.

Across Europe operating margins remained low, hampered by the weak volumes which, according to analysis contained in the report, are the biggest single influence on profitability. Across a snapshot of markets, UK hauliers had the best margins, but at 2.5% they were hardly exciting.

However, according to one of the report’s authors, Ti analyst David Buckby, the low market growth and profits disguise a looming upheaval in the industry. The report identifies a number of political, environmental and technological drivers which will fundamentally change the structure of the sector in the next ten years.

For example, increasing automation of trucks, liberalisation of cabotage and environmental legislation will create new challenges and opportunities for the industry.

Many labour organisations and road freight operators are already opposing some of these changes which they believe are unfair and will make the industry even more competitive.

“New technologies and increased access to domestic markets by lower cost operators, especially those based in Central and Eastern Europe will result in a root and branch change to the road freight market environment. Vested interests will try to delay the onset of these changes, but it is inevitable that the road freight market of the future will change out of all recognition, even in the short to medium term,” Buckby says.

Yearsley’s plans £15m distribution site

Bilsthorpe, Nottinghamshire, UK: Yearsley Logistics has submitted plans for a new storage and distribution site at Belle Eau Park in Bilsthorpe, Nottinghamshire.

The plans focus on redeveloping and expanding its current site, including replacing its cold store with a new 5,450 sq m unit and building a new ambient storage building. Yearsley is also planning a 2.2ha solar farm on an adjacent site.

The expansion will give the company a further 2,000 frozen stock keeping units (SKUs) and increase storage capacity by another 30,000 pallets. The solar farm will provide a proportion of the substantial energy requirements needed by the site.

Yearsley group managing director Harry Yearsley, said: “Whilst our Belle Eau Park site has always been predominantly foodservice, this expansion will provide our first Super Hub dedicated to this sector. The location is ideal for servicing the whole of the UK and we are very keen to invest to improve our facilities, expand our foodservice offering and increase employment in the area.”

Newark and Sherwood District Council expect a decision later this year, with construction anticipated to begin in January 2015, and the site expected to be operational by 2016 if planning permission is granted.

Indigo Planning advised the company.

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