Leaders at Edible Arrangements will be recognized by Thermo King for taking a bite out of fuel costs and pollution. They have developed a way to refrigerate their artistically designed fresh fruit arrangements during delivery. Using customized vans with all-electric cooling, they anticipate diesel fuel savings of 27 percent over traditional vans.
The all-electric systems in the company’s new customized Ford Transit Connect delivery fleet offer shorepower that allows drivers to plug into standard electric outlets to recharge and refrigerate rather than use fuel during loading and unloading. This feature reduces demand on the van’s engine and reduces carbon emissions because drivers can pre-cool a van by plugging it into a nearby outlet. When departing, the driver unplugs, and the van’s battery takes over to provide the needed power to keep the products refrigerated en route.
Leaders at Edible Arrangements will receive the first-ever Thermo King “Energy Efficiency Leader Award” for the operational efficiency of these vans. “We can contribute the most to sustainability as a company by improving the efficiency of our delivery vans,” says Kamran Farid, chief operating officer of Edible Arrangements. “We’re pleased to have identified an environmentally responsible solution that meets our commitment to product quality while also saving fuel and reducing emissions.”
Edible Arrangements has more than 970 locations operating or opening soon worldwide, including more than 880 in the United States. Because freshness is the most essential component of product quality for Edible Arrangements, the company’s drivers make multiple trips to the company’s stores each day, logging an average minimum of 200 miles daily.
When Edible Arrangements sought a more fuel-efficient vehicle than the traditional cargo vehicles they had been using, the Transit Connect van proved an ideal solution. They worked with Marcotte Ford in Holyoke, Mass., to bring vans over from Europe, and collaborated with Thermo King and Sub Zero Insulation & Refrigeration Technologies on Brooklyn, N.Y., to design a reliable all-electric refrigeration environment especially for the vans.
To support the refrigeration units, higher capacity alternators were added to each van. The all-electric refrigeration systems have no diesel engines, so they use less fuel, produce fewer emissions and run quieter, all while delivering reliable temperature control.
Edible Arrangements currently has more than 60 vans equipped with all-electric refrigeration systems on the road and plans to add 200 more in the next 12 months. As more and more franchisees replace their older delivery vans, Edible Arrangements anticipates that its total fleet of more than 1,300 vehicles will be upgraded to Ford Transits using the all-electric refrigeration units.