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Fresh Direct Case Study


Fresh Direct

Nature of business:

Fresh Direct is one of the leading suppliers of
fresh and prepared food to the foodservice industry in the UK.


Fresh Direct operates a fleet of 14 tonne and 18 tonne multi-drop distribution vehicles for its mainstay nationwide operation. In addition, deliveries to smaller towns, villages and rural areas are covered with its fleet of 3.5 tonne temperature-controlled vans.

Problems faced by the client:

Fresh Direct had successfully broadened its product range to incorporate a greater variety of product types, from fruit and vegetables, through to meat and dairy. This had brought about a vast increase in demand from clients which necessitated the expansion of its HGV fleet.


Fresh Direct needed to be able to reach all new clients using vehicles which would cater for different temperature bands and accommodate the variety of products in all its new ranges. Each vehicle would need to operate on a multi-drop basis and would need to accommodate large orders of palletised goods.


Coolertech designed and constructed an additional ten 14 tonne and 18 tonne temperature-controlled vehicles.

Each dual-compartment vehicle features a multi-temperature bulkhead and a twin evaporator system. Each compartment is capable of operating as either frozen, chilled or ambient, providing Fresh Direct with the flexibility and versatility required. A Carrier multi-temperature diesel independent refrigeration unit provides suitable temperature control. The vehicle’s rear features triple doors, a pull-out step on the centre door and a platform tail-lift.

What challenges, if any, did we have to overcome?

As a company, we look after all Fresh Direct’s relevant after-sales requirements and are constantly looking at ways of reducing their long-term damage bills. We wanted to offer them a vehicle solution that could limit the damage and associated costs caused by rear end impact. A series of protection devices were installed, including rear buffers and guards. We also recommended the installation of reversing cameras as an additional damage reduction measure.

Results observed:

The vehicles provided Fresh Direct with ‘ticks’ in all the boxes that were important to them, from payload and temperature control, through to accident damage limitation and Health & Safety.