The Co-operative Food has invested £348,000 in eight longer trailers which it is trialling at its national distribution centre in Coventry.
The 51ft trailers can carry 60 cages, compared to the 51 carried by the 45ft-long standard semi-trailers currently in use.
It expects trailers not only to increase load capacity but also cut the mileage and CO2 emissions of its vehicles. The trailers, which are 2m longer than standard maximum length trailers, will make fewer deliveries, which should result in less mileage and fuel usage and also reduced running costs. They are expected to save around 55,000 miles and 107 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Mark Leonard, head of logistics service at The Co-operative Food, said: “Tackling climate change is a key priority for The Co-operative Group, and we are constantly looking for ways to reduce our carbon emissions across all of our businesses.
“Logistics has a major role to play in that, which is why we are trialling these longer semi-trailers. We are confident that we’ll reap the long-term benefits of the new vehicles, with their increased carrying capacity resulting in fewer deliveries being required and, therefore, less mileage, fuel usage, CO2 emissions and less cost.”
The trailers are based at The Co-operative’s 310,000sq ft national distribution centre at Prologis Park in Coventry.
Glyn Maude, general manager at the distribution centre, said: “It’s great that we’ve been given the opportunity to be involved in the Government pilot and realise the many associated benefits. If the trial is successful, and we acquire even more longer semi-trailers in the future, we could drive down reductions in CO2 emissions and costs even further.”