Gist is trialling a fleet of six eco-friendly Frostcruise vehicles, to serve its distribution contracts with both Marks & Spencer and Starbucks, which use technology developed by its parent-company The Linde Group and its UK subsidiary BOC.
The Frostcruise cryogenic refrigeration system is an alternative to diesel-powered mechanical refrigeration.
Gist said the new range offers environmental benefits such as lower carbon footprint, and zero particulate, NOx, and CO2 emissions at the point of delivery, saying it reduces the overall carbon footprint by 19 per cent, compared with current systems.
“Carbon emissions from the transport refrigeration unit are zero compared with 63.4kg per day for an equivalent diesel-mechanical unit,” confirmed a spokesperson.
Gist has been working with Marks & Spencer for more than 40 years and manages the retailer’s entire food supply chain in the UK and Southern Ireland, servicing all M&S stores, including Simply Food and BP outlets.
Anthony Whitehouse, logistics manager at Marks & Spencer, said: “Trialling new, innovative technologies like Frostcruise is an important part of Plan A, our eco and ethical programme.
“We’ve achieved a great deal in reducing emissions and road miles but we can and will do more.
“Projects like this help us find ways and partners to help us achieve this and tackle some of the biggest challenges we face.”
Gist also manages Starbucks’ ambient, chill and dairy products supply chain, delivering to more than 700 UK stores overnight.
Lorna McCallum, logistics director, EMEA, at Starbucks, said: “Starbucks is committed to minimising our environmental footprint and this new quiet, greener technology is an excellent way of minimising the impact of our store deliveries in our local communities.”
The company said that following a number of trials by Linde, the Frostcruise line proved to reduce compartment temperature to 2°C within eight minutes, when within an ambient temperature of 16°C.
“And as the system is not reliant on the truck engine running to maintain the cooling process, the load will remain chilled to the correct temperature in the event of the vehicle engine requiring to be switched off,” added the spokesperson.
“The refrigeration operates at around 97 per cent thermal efficiency, meaning virtually all the available refrigeration capacity of the liquid nitrogen is captured, with as little as 3 per cent escaping to the atmosphere.”