Aldi adopts insulated containers, cuts cooling energy costs

Global discount supermarket chain Aldi is using Australian company CoolPac’s portable insulated containers in a bid to reduce their energy costs while preserving environmental friendliness.

According to the supermarket chain, it is committed to using environmentally friendly and energy-efficient freezers. These freezers use a lot of electricity, and the problem came to a head when the company’s existing fixed price electricity supply contract ended. Continuing to use the same units would have resulted in a massive increase in energy costs.

Assessing the situation, the company realised the refrigerated storage facilities, not the freezers in the supermarkets themselves, were the biggest consumers of electricity.

Aldi UK’s Darlington Regional Distribution Centre’s logistics director found the Coolpac Olivo portable insulated containers to be a suitable solution. The centre now uses three hundred Roll 900 units.

These units have the Siber System, which allows controlled injection of liquid carbon dioxide into special tanks on top of the containers. Different quantities of gas are injected depending on the storage time needed. The containers also have metal feet rather than castors, allowing them to be used with life and pallet trucks.

According to the supermarket chain, the successful trial of the containers means they will go nationwide in six months, with a possible expansion to the global group.

The containers have reduced energy costs by a large amount, and new stores can now be built without refrigerated storage facilities. Multi-compartment refrigerated vehicles can also be eliminated. The technology has also enabled the company to deliver daily rather than twice a week, ensuring stock levels are kept up.

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