Dearman partners with Unilever to conduct successful trial of groundbreaking technology

Date: 27 April 2018

The Dearman Hubbard zero emission transport refrigeration unit (TRU) has been deployed on the European mainland for the first time. Partnered with Unilever, the trial successfully demonstrated the efficiency and positive environmental impact of the TRU.

In a six-month deployment in the Netherlands, which ran from June to December 2017, Unilever used a Dearman Hubbard transport refrigeration unit to undertake deliveries of frozen produce across the country. The successful trial demonstrated that the Dearman technology outperforms diesel incumbents on economic and environmental grounds. Operating a single Dearman Hubbard TRU reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 600kg per month compared to a conventional diesel system. It also eliminated all nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions, helping to have a significant positive impact upon local air quality. During the trial it was possible to demonstrate the operational benefits of the TRU, which offers rapid cool down rates that significantly exceed the standards set by diesel systems. It also had a positive impact upon noise, achieving levels significantly below accepted PIEK standards of 60dB(A). Crucially, the trial was also able to demonstrate that while achieving these operational, environmental and social benefits, it was cost comparable to existing diesel systems, meaning that operators can achieve significant advantages without having to absorb additional costs. Commenting, CEO of Dearman, Scott Mac Meekin, said “We are delighted that a major global player like Unilever took on a Dearman transport refrigeration unit and saw real benefit to its operations. Both Unilever and Dearman have a shared ambition to tackle environmental impacts through innovation. This trial has taken us a big step forward on that journey as we have been able to demonstrate that Dearman technology is able to provide environmental and societal benefits alongside operational improvements while remaining cost competitive. Raghuraman Ramakrishnan, Unilever’s Vice President for Logistics Europe, said “By opening up our logistics network to Dearman’s innovation, and collaborating in this way, we have provided our partner with a great opportunity to test a revolutionary product under real life conditions. Reducing the environmental impact of our logistics network is an integral part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and our goal is to make sure that our transport and distribution systems are as green as possible. We are committed to advancing sustainable solutions in logistics and leveraging new technologies once they become commercially available, in order to achieve this. The development of the Dearman engine has been backed by over £6 million of grants from the UK government. Following a successful trial with a major British supermarket chain, commercial roll-out of the Dearman TRU is expected in the UK this year. Transport refrigeration also has a significant sustainability impact across Europe. If all 28 European Union countries were to convert their TRU fleet to zero-emission systems over the next decade, they would collectively save 36 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, 224,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxide, 30,000 tonnes of particulate matter and almost 36 billion litres of diesel.
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