Serco has supplied perishable goods distributors, Fast 'n Fresh, with three trailers and a rigid body truck - all fitted with vaporised nitrogen fridges from ecoFridge in the Ukraine. The European company sent two technicians to South Africa to oversee the fitment of the fridges earlier this year at Serco's Cape Town factory.
Peter Viljoen of Imperial Logistics, Gert van Rooyen of Serco and Leonard Hyman also of Imperial Logistics in front of one of their vehicles fitted with an ecoFridge unit.
The system works by releasing vaporised nitrogen into the load area from an under-slung tank with a capacity of up to 1000l. Nitrogen has zero carbon emissions unlike diesel units, which produce 2.63kg of carbon for every litre of fuel, used.
Leonard Hyman, operations manager for Imperial Logistics Refrigeration Services, holding company of Fast 'n Fresh, says, "We chose Serco to do the preparations and fitment of the fridges having developed a long standing business relationship with them. We worked together to produce the design of a body which conforms to our specific requirements and applications needs."Versatile
He explained that the vehicles could be operated as mono temperature or multi-temperature units depending on requirements. The smaller units were equipped to carry products at two different temperatures while the larger vehicles had the facility for three different temperatures in the same load.
The vehicles will be used for the distribution of perishable products to Woolworths' stores in the greater Cape Town area as well as between Cape Town and Johannesburg. "We plan to extend this to include the greater Durban area and other centres in Gauteng in the near future."
The vehicles are the company's first to use nitrogen as the cooling agent. "Our intention now is to fully evaluate the operation of the new vehicles over the months and if they are successful in meeting our needs, we will order more," he concludes.