Innovation and reliability are the two key ingredients to a successful renewal process at Dijco, based in Bleiswijk in the Netherlands. The international transport company is part of The Greenery BV, a market-oriented sales company whose shares are owned by the 1,500 producers who are members of the horticultural co-operative The Greenery U.A. The main activity of The Greenery is to provide a complete range of vegetables, fruits and mushrooms to the supermarket chains in Europe, North America and the Far East.
The Greenery vegetable truckers will stay on the right side of the axle loading legislation with the help of a new type of trailer and Thermo King units ensure a fresh and cool load.
In 2002 tighter axle load legislation resulted in the Netherlands switching from the most relaxed to the most severe axle load regulations in Europe within six months. It was apparent that transport companies will not be able to switch that quickly to new trucks and trailers complying with the stricter requirements, however, that has not been of concern to the legislators at The Hague. In no time the motorways were equipped with capacitive weight measurement induction loops.
Dijco runs 63 trucks and 200 air-conditioned trailers, which are all fitted with Thermo King equipment and the company also runs eight trucks under the name of WTG, a company based in Nieuw Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and another eight with the Belgian firm DAV Trans.
Egbert van Alphen, general manager at Dijco comments: “Dijco has been a Thermo King customer since 1970 and this is due to the fact that Thermo King offers reliability: a Thermo King unit lasts a trailer’s lifetime, which is very important. Cost sensitivity remains within limits and we’re aiming for fleet uniformity”.
The relationship with Thermo King was not just about brand loyalty as some of the discussions also led to innovations. For instance, Thermo King and Dijco finally discovered how to prevent the so-called ‘top freezing’ of the load. Both companies collaborated in testing the improved cooling units.
Ton van Wijk was head of Dijco’s fleet management for almost 35 years, and within that role was also the Thermo King contact. Ton van Wijk comments: “At the time this often led to innovations affecting the entire air-conditioned transport industry in the Netherlands. One reason for staying in business with Thermo King is that they’ve proved they listen carefully to their customers, and that is essential”.
Thermo King is the global leader in solutions for temperature-controlled transport, supplying the world market from 11 production facilities and over 800 distributors world-wide. The company offers a wide range of refrigeration and heating units for vehicles of all sizes, from small vans to large trailers, as well as airborne and ocean-going containers. In addition Thermo King provides heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment for passenger buses and railcars.