Residents and workers on the Shetland and Orkney Islands can be sure their supplies will arrive on time, thanks to Northwards taking on four new Schmitz Cargobull aluminium fixed-roof curtainsiders.
The Lerwick-based logistics provider has been buying Schmitz Cargobull trailers since it was founded in 2002, and has bought four more thanks to their durability – and performance – essential when an average day consists of 14 hours on a ferry crossing the choppy North Sea.
Northwards Commercial Director Neil Leslie says: “We are running Schmitz Cargobull trailers that have been in service for 12 years, which is testament to how well built they are. They stand up to a lot of punishment, and they are easy to maintain, so we’re very pleased to have some more.”
This summer has proved busy for Northwards and Schmitz Cargobull’s unequalled ability to manufacture and deliver new trailers quickly has proved crucial. Leslie says: “We did evaluate trailers from other manufacturers but no-one could deliver to the schedule we needed – we simply couldn’t afford to wait several months to get new trailers on the road. Schmitz Cargobull said they could deliver in just eight to ten weeks, and they kept that promise.”
As the trailers will only be used on UK routes, they have been specified to be as tall as possible but still able to fit on any of the ferries currently plying the island route. The lowest-roof ferry from the Northern Isles is 4.6m, so the curtainsiders reach 4.5m tall, maximising payload while leaving just enough clearance to safely board. Each trailer also features four pairs of bright yellow ferry hold-down shackles, for maximum stability on board.
Northwards operates a diverse fleet of more than 120 trailers but has exclusively specified Schmitz Cargobull for its curtainsiders since 2002. The new trailers will be put to work transporting one of the most eclectic payloads in the industry – anything from timber and salmon feed to oil and gas industry equipment, everything that’s needed for an island community that’s also a hub for the British petrochemical sector.
Typically, journeys are between Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland, but the late summer also sees trailers heading to Bradford, carrying premium quality Shetland wool.
The trailers form part of the new range of Schmitz Cargobull aluminium fixed roof curtainsiders which were launched in 2013. Built in Germany specifically for the UK and Irish markets, the specification includes wraparound curtains and a new aluminium front bulkhead with galvanised steel front and rear corner posts.