It’s one of the toughest jobs in the business, storing and transporting perishable goods right across the country. Delays and failures can ruin a reputation quickly, so anyone in this business has to get it right, first time, every time.
Fiercely protective of an unrivalled reputation in the freezing, storage and distribution of such goods, The Ice Co° Logistics and Storage can trace the origins of its company back to 1860. Now based across five sites in the UK, this logistics division of Europe’s largest ice manufacturer offers bespoke temperature controlled storage and distribution services.
Because of further capital investments required within The Ice Co business group the preferred option was to lease new trucks and trailers which led them to the door of Total Reefer, part of the Asset Alliance Group of companies.
Steve Barker, Total Reefer MD, explained: “Due to the complexity of the recent tender, The Ice Co asked Total Reefer if they could help. We’ve had a good working relationship with them over recent years and therefore the short answer was ‘Yes’ we could.”
Calling on the resources and back up of the ATE Trailers side of the business, Steve came up with an acceptable solution to help secure the deal; “We couldn’t take all trailers on to our books, so we devised a three part strategy whereby some were sold directly through ATE, another proportion were agreed on a sale and lease-back deal, leaving The Ice Co to run and look after the remainder. We then sourced ten new trailers from Schmitz-Cargobull, built to The Ice Co’s specification, complete with preferred ThermoKing refrigeration units, which have now been delivered on a full five year contract deal.”
A further transaction resulted in the supply of ten new Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units: “The customer already had a good relationship with their local dealer, Northside Truck & Van, and following test drives with other manufacturers, the customer chose to stick with Northside and the deal was done, part of which includes driver training on the new vehicles when they are delivered to ensure maximum fuel efficiency is attained.”
Managing Director for The Ice Co Storage & Logistics, Paul Martin said: “We are happy to have chosen Total Reefer for this deal as they have shown diversity along with flexibility in overcoming challenging circumstances. They have provided us with long term financial support which allows us to develop our business further and we are confident we will build a successful relationship with them for the future.”
Steve added: “Total Reefer were proficient enough to be able to handle a deal of this nature and size in-house. Total Reefer supplied the equipment, ATE handled the sale and Asset Alliance has the financial muscle to ensure the best deal was struck.”
He concluded: “We’re about giving customers what they want, not what we happen to be buying well at any given time. That was the key, giving the customer exactly what he wants, unlike rivals who are driven by the manufacturers’ ‘deal of the day’ or supplying a brand of trailer because it was cheap – rather than what is best for their business.”