Distrifresh bolsters cold chain service with TIP and Carrier

As a business, It’s a nice feeling to know that none of your deliveries to customers are impacting the environment with emissions. A combined effort from two major transport players has given Dutch company, Distrifresh, this exact opportunity.

The energy recovery technology is sophisticated, but it offers a simple outcome – 100 per cent electric customer deliveries.

Cold chain logistics company, Distrifresh, selected the combined services and solutions of TIP Group and Carrier Transicold.

The three businesses worked together to overcome challenges and hit some impressive sustainability goals.

“Distrifresh has embraced the challenge to revolutionise our operations, setting ambitious goals to reduce our direct fuel consumption by 40 per cent and transition to 100 per cent electric reefers for deliveries to our clients by 2024,” said Distrifresh Transport Manager, Koen Relou. “This strategic shift not only responds to rising fuel costs and our customers’ demands but also aligns with our commitment to sustainability.”

Distrifresh is a subsidiary of Vion Food Group, which has its own targets of a 42 per cent reduction in scopes 1, 2 and 3 non-FLAG (forest, land and agriculture) emissions and a 30.3 per cent reduction in scope 3 FLAG emissions, by 2030.

Since the second half of 2023, Distrifresh has been using 15 Vector eCool e-reefers, supplied by TIP Group and Carrier Transicold. The e-reefers have been achieving a reduction of 16.9 tonnes in CO2 emissions, as reported by the electrification dashboard in Lynx Fleet, Carrier Transicold’s connected cold chain platform.

Although Distrifresh has employed e-reefers since 2019, partnering with TIP was a strategic move, the company said.

“We have collaborated closely with TIP for four years, building a strong and trusting relationship, so when they offered a comprehensive package, the decision to go with their solution was naturally straightforward,” Relou said. “We used our own knowledge and data for 75 per cent of the business case calculations. TIP was instrumental in providing the remaining insights needed, leveraging their extensive experience and wealth of data to confirm our future direction and achieve our target of 100 per cent electric deliveries to customers.”

That’s not to say there aren’t still a few challenges, according to Relou, with one of the biggest being securing drivers and making sure they are properly trained in carrying sensitive cargo.

“If the cooling unit’s charge drops to 20 per cent, the driver needs to know it’s time to plug in and recharge,” he said. “The experts from Carrier Transicold trained our onsite team who then passed on that knowledge to the drivers, showing them how to operate our equipment and what to watch out for.”

Now that Distrifresh has achieved its 100 per cent electric delivery goal, it is now looking at what can be done with its intra-company logistics.

“With fuel-powered engines on the decline, especially with upcoming regulations against emissions, electric solutions are set to take the lead,” Relou said. “We anticipate improvements in technology and a decrease in costs, which will reshape our business case positively. This evolution, alongside hopefully improved charging infrastructure in the Netherlands, will undoubtedly pave the way for broader adoption of electric transport within our company.”

In other news, TIP Group has acquired a new secure truck parking facility in Sorigny — its second site in France.

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