Logistics provider Northwards has readied its robust reefer fleet for business on the Shetland Islands by taking on four new trailers from Schmitz Cargobull.

The Lerwick-based firm has been buying Schmitz Cargobull trailers since it was founded in 2002 and based on the proven performance of its existing assets, the German manufacturer was the obvious choice to supply aging replacements on its existing fleet.

The assets will be used to transport chilled salmon and white fish to the Scottish mainland with each one suited for ferry operation, coming with hold-down shackles for maximum durability and support when crossing the sometimes-arduous conditions of the North Sea.

The new trailers join a growing fleet of 120 at Northwards that needed the trailers to meet increasing customer demand. The business has also specified Schmitz Cargobull for its curtainsider division since 2002.

Northwards Commercial Director Neil Leslie says: “We have been very impressed with Schmitz Cargobull trailers since we started buying them more than ten years ago. We operate reefers manufactured by Schmitz Cargobull that have put in a decade of service and still provide outstanding performance.

“Because of the excellent product quality, Schmitz Cargobull trailers offer a longer service life than conventionally expected. That means the total cost of ownership is far lower and offers fantastic value. These new trailers are likely to last us for at least 14 years, which makes them superb value for money and a great investment.”

Leslie adds: “We need our reefers to be robust as they spend 14 hours on a ferry each trip. Our current trailers have been in service for 13 years, so they are built to last. We expect the same from our latest additions to the fleet.”

Northwards will also benefit from a lifelong consistent payload capacity, thanks to Schmitz Cargobull’s proprietary FERROPLAST® insulation, which uses high quality expanded, closed cell, polyurethane foam housed between steel skins.

A special adhesive joining process ensures completely vapour diffusion-tight surfaces which are energy efficient, hygienic and age-resistant.

Unlike GRP, they do not absorb moisture, so the tare weight of the trailer remains consistent over time, maximising the available payload. Given that Northwards intends to run the trailers for more than a decade, and GRP panels can increase in weight by as much as 1,000 kg in 10 years, the potential savings are significant.