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As the largest refrigerated van manufacturer in the UK, CoolKit plays a vital role in keeping temperature-controlled logistics moving during the pandemic. Now it is adding more value to the cold chain by identifying more ways for fleets to reduce their emissions.

It’s no surprise that the pandemic has accelerated the trend for home delivery, in particular for food and pharmaceutical goods. And, with some supermarkets reporting a doubling in delivery demand during the first lockdown, it means that the online grocery market is due to grow by more than a quarter in 2020 overall.

Sustainability in a new normal

CoolKit has pulled out all the stops for businesses exceptionally affected by the pandemic. Rupert Gatty, chief executive officer at CoolKit, said: “We are morally bound to join the national effort during this unprecedented time. Arguably, some of the most important things needed around the country right now are medicines and food supplies – and we are helping our customers increase the safe transportation of these products with improved efficiency and reliability.”

As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of temperature-controlled vehicles, CoolKit also has a strong focus on sustainability. It has developed a solution which eliminates the need for timber reinforcements that are traditionally used extensively in the vehicle conversion process. This alternative solution is lightweight and durable – increasing vehicle longevity and improving vehicle productivity by substantially reducing unladen weight.

Cameron Javed, Head of Technical Development for CoolKit, said: “By continually incorporating new materials and methodologies into our designs, we have been able to create refrigerated panel vans capable of transporting industry-best panel van payloads in excess of 1,200kg. In practice this means that fleet sizes can be significantly reduced, leading to a reduction in fleet operating costs, traffic congestion and roadside emissions.”

The whole package; increased payload and reduced emissions

Building on this success, Burnley-based CoolKit is offering its customers a further way to reduce fleet emissions, after signing a partnership agreement with The Algorithm People. The deal enables CoolKit to introduce its clients to My Transport Planner, a unique pay-as-you-go route optimisation platform developed by The Algorithm People. Through smarter planning of routes and schedules, My Transport Planner can reduce total fleet mileage by up to 20 per cent, cutting costs and carbon emissions for fleets.

Gatty said: “At first glance, a partnership between a refrigerated van manufacturer and a software specialist might seem odd. However, many of our customers are involved in home delivery or last-mile logistics, which is precisely the type of operation that can benefit the most from route optimisation. My Transport Planner is an innovative tool that they can use to reduce emissions while also saving money.”

Colin Ferguson, CEO of The Algorithm People, which created My Transport Planner, said: “CoolKit is a trusted partner for many operators of refrigerated vans. The company has a strong ethos of using innovation to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, and we both want to help fleets operate more efficiently and more sustainably.”

Thinking outside the box

Crucially, route optimisation can help refrigerated van operators keep pace with other van users when it comes to cutting emissions.

“All companies with home delivery operations are under pressure to cut emissions,” added Ferguson. “Therefore, if fleets want to reduce emissions from their refrigerated vans, they have to think outside the box. CoolKit is already innovating with its pioneering use of lighter materials, helping to increase payloads and take surplus vehicles off our roads. The next logical step for its customer base is route optimisation to reduce mileage, enabling them to cut emissions and save money at the same time.”

Find out more about My Transport Planner