Green light for Spatial

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An import, storage and distribution contract has been awarded to Spatial Logistics by Green Cone, which manufactures a solar-powered household food waste digester unit.

Called Green Cone, the product is shipped from a manufacturing facility in Canada and distributed throughout the UK, Republic of Ireland, the US and Germany. There are plans to supply Australia later this year.

As part of the contract Spatial is managing Customs clearance, storage at its warehouse along with both UK and international distribution. Spatial is also providing quality control checks, preparation of fixing kits, labelling and instruction prior to distribution.

Orders for Green Cone are received from local government authorities, private sector contractors, independent retailers and individuals. According to Spatial, the contract has “huge growth potential” as local councils are under increasing pressure to find alternatives that will reduce the amount of household refuse going into landfill sites.

Ivan Riley, operations manager at Green Cone, says: As a small but expanding company, we needed a logistics partner that could provide a complete service, from importing and storage to order processing and distribution.”

Vehicle distribution business Walon and Toyota (GB) have further cemented their ten-year partnership by introducing a new car transporter which features the latest in particulate trap technology, thus “drastically” reducing the exhaust pipe emissions.

The Daf six-car transporter is being used to deliver new Toyota and Lexus vehicles to dealerships nationwide and will capture up to 95% of the soot and particles that would otherwise escape through the exhaust.

Walon prepares and distributes more than 115,000 imported Toyota and Lexus vehicles a year for Toyota (GB).

Commenting on the “green” approach, Adi Woodward, Walon’s distribution manager at the Toyota Import Centre at Portbury, says: “One of our transporters will average around 100,000km a year so we are looking at all the things we can do to reduce emissions. We are in the process of retro-fitting over 70 other trucks with emissions reduction exhaust systems and will be looking at whether all new trucks can be supplied with already in place.”

Paul Bromley, vehicle logistics manager at Toyota (GB), adds: “We have been looking at projects like this for some time with Walon to ensure that we run our operations with as much environmental care and responsibility as possible.”

Walon, which has 350-plus transporters operating from 22 depots and sites, is also looking at other initiatives including the use of LPG or CNG powered vehicles; waste management; and fuel efficiency training for its drivers.

The cost of buying and retro-fitting the equipment is partly offset by funding from the Government through the Transport Energy CleanUp Scheme, with Walon also benefiting from reduced annual road tax bills.

Logistics supplier Christian Salvesen is using a custom-built vehicle fleet for its contract with Douwe Egberts Coffee Systems. The fleet combines distribution of Douwe Egberts’ frozen and ambient coffee products within a single vehicle.

Developed with truck manufacturer Daf and bodybuilder Don Bur Bodies, the new 15-strong fleet comprises 13 7.5-tonners and two 3.5 tonne vehicles. Each vehicle features a split-temperature box – a refrigerated section at the front and ambient section at the rear – which enables Salvesen to distribute loads of Douwe Egberts’ frozen Cafitésse liquid coffee alongside ambient roast and ground products.

Salvesen conceived the design as part of a £4.5M three-year storage and distribution contract.

BOC Group’s logistics subsidiary, Gist, reckons it is seeing an average 4% fuel saving by using BP’s flagship lubricant Vanellus C8 Ultima. Gist, which operates about 800 trucks, has been carrying out its own trials using the advanced synthetic oil.

Dave Wells, national engineering manager at Gist, comments: “We originally conducted trials on a depot-by-depot basis with a variety of oils but when synthetics showed real promise, we began to coordinate things centrally and started talking to BP in earnest.”

More trials were conducted on vehicles from the dedicated fleet of about 400 trucks that Gist uses to serve Marks & Spencer food stores nationwide. About eight vehicles per depot had their oil changed to Vanellus at Gist’s Faversham, Hemel Hempstead and Barnsley depots. The test results revealed a 4% fuel saving on average across the fleet, using 80,000km oil drain intervals as agreed with the vehicle manufacturers.

Gist is now carrying out trials of the synthetic oil with other sectors of the national fleet. North East Truck & Van has supplied an Iveco Stralis tractor unit to Lewis Tankers. The Stralis, the first Iveco to join Lewis’ predominantly MAN fleet, features an Active Space cab and has been certified to full Petroleum Regulations standards. It is expected to cover up to 160,000km a year transporting chemicals in tank container trailers from major UK ports such as Hull and Immingham to destinations nationwide. Barry Lewis, operations manager for Lewis, says: “The Stralis offers a very competitive payload and I’ve had no complaints from the driver. The vehicle is still running-in, but its fuel consumption figures are better than I expected at this early stage.”

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has specified the Lab Craft Frigolight for all of its new 400 temperature-controlled trailers, which are a mix of Mirofret and Lamberet.

The trailers are being used in the retailer’s national distribution network to deliver a wide range of mixed loads, from chilled and frozen to non-food goods to its stores throughout the UK. Each of the dual compartment trailers contains three Lab Craft Frigolights.

The Frigolight is a fluorescent light which can achieve high performance in sub-zero temperatures. It works by combining halogen lamps, which heat the space within the light unit, with a traditional fluorescent light that takes over when prompted by a temperature sensor. The combination provides a brighter and more even distribution of light while using less power.

Cereal manufacturer Weetabix has specified Volvo’s “revolutionary” I-Shift gearbox on eight new FM9 tractor units because it relieves driver stress and gives better fuel efficiency. Supply of the new vehicles followed a trial.

Weetabix transport manager Peter Tapp explains: “We purchased two Volvos a year ago, one with I-Shift and one without, with a view to seeing how much the I-Shift was at increasing efficiency. Because the drivers were highly experienced, it was difficult to determine any significant difference in efficiency between the manual and the I-Shift gearboxes, although the drivers reported the I-Shift to be a godsend when driving in city centres and other heavy traffic areas. This allows them to concentrate more on the road rather than what gear they should be in.”

The new 4×2 FM9s, plated for 34 tonne gcw operation, feature 390bhp engines and standard sleeper cabs with wind deflectors to try and reduce fuel costs. They are being used to transport Weetabix products on timed deliveries to distribution centres across the UK.

Volvo has also supplied DIY chain B&Q with 34 new FH12 tractor units on a three-year service and maintenance contract. The trucks are being operated by B&Q’s logistics provider, Tibbett & Britten, on home improvement and garden products to stores across the South-east. David Price Food Services, of Wallsend, Newcastle, has opted to equip its two new Volvo 26-tonne trucks with Thermo King’s Spectrum TS multi- emperature units.

Company director David Price says: “We chose the Spectrum TS because we were doing more multi-drop groupage deliveries, which meant going into restricted areas where trailers were unable to enter. The only solution was to our access problem was to acquire trucks, as opposed to trailers, and Thermo King Northern recommended the Spectrum TS multi-temperature unit as the best product to suit that particular vehicle and type of operation.”

He continues: “We are distributing more and more chilled produce than ever before, and the Spectrum TS enables us to deliver chilled, frozen and ambient at the same time resulting in our operation being increasingly efficient.”

The Spectrum-equipped Volvos are being used for multi-drop deliveries in Cumbria, south-west Scotland, Yorkshire and the North-east.

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