When Morrisons unveiled its long-term plans to expand its M Local convenience store network and home delivery operations, the supermarket chain began working with Burnt Tree’s fast growing temperature controlled vehicle rental business Refrigerental for the ongoing supply of refrigerated vehicles to handle deliveries in these new multi-channel business operations.
According to John Ward, Head of Engineering at Morrisons, "We were aware of the good reputation of Burnt Tree as a company, but we had never worked with them. So when they moved into refrigerated vehicle rental last year, it was absolutely perfect timing for us as this coincided with our need to source additional refrigerated vehicles."
At the end of January 2014, Morrisons had 100 of its new M Local stores in operation and 12 months later the supermarket chain estimates that it will have doubled its convenience store footprint across the UK.
Morrisons has been using a variety of refrigerated vehicles from Refrigerental, including car derived vans, 3.5tonne panel vans, 7.5tonne and 18tonne rigid box trucks, as the national convenience store network expands at a rate of between two and six new stores each week. Burnt Tree Refrigerental vehicles are being primarily used to deliver products from large hub stores and distribution centres to the smaller M Local convenience outlets across the country.
"As we open more and more stores each week, Burnt Tree has reacted really well in keeping us supplied with the right specification of vehicles and this relationship between the two companies will continue to grow, in line with our expansion plans," commented John Ward.
All the refrigerated vans and trucks in the Refrigerental fleet are brand-new models, covering vehicle sizes from small vans up to 26tonne rigids, and as Burnt Tree’s Contract Hire and Refrigerental Director Mark Howell explains, "We have carefully chosen a comprehensive range of vehicle types and models to give customers, such as Morrisons, the optimum choice of vehicles covering the majority of temperature controlled applications from chill to heavy chill and deep frozen."
"Morrisons is looking to expand across the whole of England, Scotland and Wales and this is where Burnt Tree’ s 21 strong branch network plays a significant role as they are ideally located geographically to fully service Morrisons refrigerated vehicle requirements," added Mark Howell.