Impressed by both the functionality and airflow of the first Thermo King Advancer A400 refrigeration system in its fleet, online retailer Ocado has now ordered 27 new Advancers in total, as part of a 46-strong all-Thermo King trailer refrigeration order for its 2021 trailer fleet upgrade requirements.
Supplied by Thermo King dealer Marshall Fleet Solutions, the new TK Advancer A400 units are fitted on Paneltex single temperature, double deck trailers that are being used for trunking from Ocado’s four main CFCs to their regional spoke sites.
“Since we took our first TK Advancer unit earlier this year, everything about them looks really good and ideally suited to our trunking operations. The improved unit functionality and airflow, as well as distinct advantages in fuel economy, means that the cost of ownership of the trailers with Advancers is a far better proposition for our business. As a result, we decided to increase the number of Advancers in our double deck fleet order this year, with a total of 27 new trailers being specified with Advancers and now going into service over the next few months,” said Graham Thomas, fleet operations manager – truck at Ocado Group plc.
The Thermo King Advancers form part of an overall trailer fleet upgrade at Ocado, with 46 new temperature-controlled trailers being added to their fleet during 2021, all of them featuring either Thermo King Advancer or TK SLXi refrigeration systems supplied, installed, and maintained by Marshall Fleet Solutions.
Graham continues, “From the very early days in our fleet, Advancer looked to be a game changer for us. We worked closely with both Marshall Fleet Solutions and Paneltex to incorporate as many Advancers as possible into our double deck fleet as quickly as possible.”
All 27 Thermo King Advancer refrigeration systems are being fitted on Paneltex 13.6m tri-axle, single compartment double deck trailers that will be covering in excess of 135,000 km per annum working on Ocado’s seven day a week trunking operation.
“Over the last 12 months during the pandemic, demand for our business has been insatiable with no signs of this dropping off as online home shopping becomes the new normal. Each of these TK Advancer trailers can hold the equivalent of 12 vans of groceries so they are playing a vital role in ensuring our business and operational needs are fully met,” added Graham.
The relationship between Ocado and Marshall Fleet Solutions goes back many years initially primarily as a refrigeration equipment supplier. However, in 2015 Ocado switched the repair and maintenance of its total Thermo King refrigeration fleet to Marshall Fleet Solutions as well, cementing the strong and growing relationship between the two companies.
“Marshall Fleet Solutions, and Thermo King, have been the mainstay supplier of our transport refrigeration equipment for many years. We find the relationship we have with them to be very proactive with great respect between the organisations and this strength allows Ocado to benefit from continuous improvement within its predominantly TK based temperature-controlled trailer fleet. The key accounts team at MFS communicate with us on a regular basis and we all work closely together to ensure maximum service improvements are implemented on an ongoing basis,” added Graham Thomas.
Ocado currently runs a fleet of 264 trailers in total, including 224 refrigerated and 40 ambient trailers. Double deck temperature-controlled trailers account for 147 of the refrigerated trailers with the remaining 77 trailers split between standard single and multi-temperature models.
“When Thermo King first revealed its launch plans for Advancer last year, we knew we had a truly innovative trailer refrigeration system that would change the face of the temperature -controlled transport and logistics industry. Through our close working relationship with the Ocado team, we also believed that Advancer would be a perfect fit for their intensive daily trunking operations. So, it’s pleasing to see how this partnership between our two companies has continued to grow and to see Ocado taking the lead by incorporating a significant number of Advancer systems into its double deck fleet for the first time this year,” said Mark Howell, managing director, Marshall Fleet Solutions.
Further information about the full range of Thermo King Advancer transport refrigeration systems from Marshall Fleet Solutions can be viewed on the MFS website at www.marshallfleetsolutions.co.uk