The grocery industry’s leading ‘shared user’ distribution specialist has joined a Government-backed trial that could deliver valuable efficiencies and cost savings.
Lenham Storage provides warehousing and shared-user transport services to Britain’s biggest retailers.
The family-owned company relies on a fleet of 260 trucks and trailers to deliver foods, beverages and other fmcg (fast-moving consumer goods) products nationwide.
Most of its trailers are standard 13.6m examples. However, earlier this year the Department for Transport gave the go ahead for transport companies to begin trialling a limited number of longer semi-trailers – the Government wants to see how these might help to increase efficiency and cut the number of vehicles on UK roads.
Lenham Storage was one of the first to apply for licences to run these longer rigs and has just taken delivery from manufacturer Lawrence David of 10 new curtainside trailers: pulled by fuel-efficient Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units, six are 14.6m long and have self-steer/self-tracking rear axles, while the other four are maximum length 15.6m versions and fitted with command steer rear axles to provide the necessary manoeuvrability.
A normal 13.6m trailer will typically carry 26 pallets, but the 14.6m trailer can accommodate 28 and the 15.6m version 30, representing 15% more carrying capacity.
Steve Hall, Commercial Manager at Lenham Storage, said: "All the trailer variants have been tested at our various customer loading bays and delivery points and there are no issues with reversing or general manoeuvrability."
He continued: "We have been given the opportunity to explore alternatives which, in the longer term, should be good for us and good for the industry.
"Lenham Storage has always been a pioneer and we are constantly looking at ways to increase efficiency and reduce our costs. This new initiative by the DfT opens a door to us to do just that, while also helping to minimise traffic movements."
Lenham Storage employs more than 450 people and operates more than three quarters of a million square feet of ambient and temperature-controlled warehousing at its headquarters in the Kent village of Lenham, and a second site in Andover.
Steve Hall added: "Lawrence David’s products are robust and reliable, while they also understand our business and the challenges of modern day transportation"