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French transport refrigeration rental company aims for UAE market-share

DUBAI, UAE, 7 March 2022: French transport refrigeration rental company, Petit Forestier, announced its intention of garnering market share in the UAE’s food cold chain sector.

Speaking to Climate Control Middle East, Petit Forestier, which also manufactures its refrigerated boxes, pointed out that its entire fleet of vehicles is ATP-certified, which enhances food safety, and ensures a low carbon footprint and cost-savings for the customer. ATP stands for “Accord Transport Perissable” (Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs and on the Special Equipment to be Used for such Carriage). It comes under the purview of the Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Stanislas Przyklang du Chassin

Stanislas Przyklang du Chassin, its Managing Director for UAE operations, highlighted that the company is the first to supply ATP-certified boxes in the UAE. “We are trying to push everybody and explain to everybody that it is really important for food safety that we install these here,” he said. “These boxes are between 900 kilograms and one ton lighter than locally available boxes.

Imagine how green they are. Lighter means they consume less petrol – the fuel consumption is 20-30% less than locally available boxes – which means lower CO2 emissions. So, we are working on the cold safety and the green side of the vehicle.”

Przyklang du Chassin admitted that ATP-certified boxes are 25-30% more expensive that locally available boxes. However, when all aspects are considered, they would guarantee greater cost savings for clients. “Yes, the cost of purchasing is higher, but at the end, the vehicle is one ton lighter, which means we can save 20-30% on fuel costs,” he said. “We have customers who are doing one petrol tank per day, which means they get their money back in one year. Also, a lighter vehicle means you don’t have to replace your brakes that often, which will mean a reduced cost of maintenance.”

Dimitri Doinet

Petit Forestier, which has factories in France and Poland, manufactures 7,000 insulated boxes a year. It said it is the only rental company that has an innovation department, working every day to find solutions related to green transportation and food safety. Dimitri Doinet, its Sales Director, said innovation is a key strength of the company.

Pointing to the vehicles, he highlighted the use of fewer metallic parts in the chassis, which make them lighter and, hence, more fuel efficient. He also highlighted that the insulation of the boxes is six centimetres in thickness, as compared to 10 centimetres in boxes available in the country. This, he said, allows for carrying more foodstuffs per load. He further highlighted the use of door sensors, which cut off the cold units on opening the doors of the truck, thus preventing exposure to hot ambient conditions.

From a food safety perspective, Doinet pointed to the use of unique antimicrobial air strips for preventing the ingress of hot ambient air to the vehicle. This, he said, was only the beginning, though. Adding to this, Przyklang du Chassin said the company offers vehicles fitted with mechanical air curtains, They are currently available only in Europe, though. He said customers are happy with the innovation, for they do not have an obstruction while entering the vehicle.

Przyklang du Chassin said the company would eventually offer air curtains in vehicles in the UAE. “This is something we have to test,” he said. “We have plans of bringing them here in the next five years.”

Speaking on the rental model of the business, Przyklang du Chassin said the company was proposing renting its vehicles for 5-6 years, during which it would offer commitment to the customer to manage every aspect of the assets. That way, he said, the customer would know that cold safety is respected. Petit Forestier, he said, offers a full complement of aftermarket services, including maintenance, repair and replacement.

Speaking on the speed of service and reaction time, Przyklang du Chassin said the company has the ability to give a replacement vehicle within a short duration. “If the client has any issue on the road, we can give a replacement vehicle in 20-30 minutes, so as to be able to continue delivering perishable foodstuffs,” he said. “With refrigerated vehicles, if you have a breakdown, you can lose everything, especially here. So, we have developed a full service to replace vehicles very quickly.”

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