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Olivo containers 'help major distribution company'

07 January 2011

Palmer and Harvey is the specialist nationwide distribution service for the independent and multiple convenience, forecourt and CTN (convenience, tobacco, news) retail arena.

With their 1,000 strong vehicle fleet, they can provide a complete supply of all goods needed for a successful store – ambient goods (including tobacco, confectionery and soft drinks) as well as fresh, chilled and frozen produce. From small independent retailers, through fuel forecourt sites to large multiple retailers – a very wide range of different retail outlets are supplied through the P & H organisation.

Their well known brand name Mace is seen on many stores across the country. The company’s headquarters are in Hove and they distribute from ten multi-temperature centres on the United Kingdom mainland - with one ambient centre in Northern Ireland.

As with any distribution company handling products with a wide temperature range, P & H have continued to improve their operation in recent years. Having been using refrigerated vehicles for many years, they decided to examine whether portable insulated containers would complement their resources.

Following a series of detailed tests, P & H discovered that they had more consistent temperature control for sensitive produce with Olivo containers. This, together with the containers’ reliability, meant P & H thought they would fit well into their system.

In addition, they have achieved better space optimisation on their vehicles, reduced CO2 emissions, lowered their fuel consumption and have lower energy costs. They have also managed to reduce their vehicle fleet and reduced the number of staff thus making even greater cost savings.

P & H opted to use the Siber System which injects liquid carbon dioxide into a special compartment at the top of each container to create “snow” for temperature control. The tanks are charged with special computer-controlled “guns” with the liquid gas from a refrigerated pressure tank owned, maintained and supplied by Air Liquide.

An important aspect of the Siber System is that the dry ice injection station computer automatically adjusts the injected amount to specific operational parameters – thus making a considerable cost saving. The carbon dioxide is “green” as it is a recovered and purified product. If it had not been processed for further use, it would have been discharged to atmosphere as an unwanted product in the chemical industry.

Logistics and Development Director, Richard Slater, has been with P & H for 3 years and has a wealth of previous experience with Exel. He said recently: “We deliver to every UK postcode area every day and we couldn’t do that without our integrated network operating with flexibility. Using the Olivo containers provides us with distribution efficiency and customer satisfaction”.


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