Isuzu East Africa (Isuzu EA), a vehicle assembler has introduced their first ever locally assembled Cold Chain logistics vehicles. These will support farmers, hoteliers and a diversity of retailers in transporting temperature-sensitive produce from farms or factories to consumers, following the entire supply chain to preserve their quality.
In collaboration with vehicle accessories suppliers Sai Raj and Specialised Fibre Glass, Isuzu EA has developed cold storage vehicles to mitigate fresh produce losses estimated at between 20to 30 per cent, which occur during transportation from farms to market. The technology harnessed by the partners in the locally assembled vehicles has reduced the costs of purchasing the refrigerated and insulated reefer bodies with savings of Sh300,000 to Sh1,000,000 in some vehicles. Raising the preservation and storage efficiencies of these vehicles will also have a positive impact on producer revenues and profitability.
Speaking at the first interactive forum on Isuzu Cold Chain Solutions, Isuzu EA Sales & Marketing Director, Wanjohi Kangangi, noted that the introduction of the cold storage logistics vehicles supports the Big Four Agenda on Food Security by addressing post-harvest losses faced by farmers and retailers while improving food safety, hygiene and quality.
“We are excited to introduce Isuzu Cold Storage Logistics vehicles that will aid farmers and retailers reduce their post-harvest losses, increase profitability and ensure Kenyans get quality farm produce consistently,” said Kangangi.
“We are confident that our cold chain solution will address the lack of affordable and practical heat insulated trucks which necessitates the adoption of practices such as overnight transport. As a company, we are keen to introduce innovative ways to support government achieve its Big Four agenda for the country,”
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Kangangi said that Isuzu EA has provided three types of cold storage vehicles that will meet the needs of perishable retail and farm producers in the country as the company adopts global approaches to resolving temperature-sensitive transport challenges. The vehicles will cater to the unique requirements of horticulture, the meat packing industry and the blue economy.
“High value agricultural produce is generally grown for national and international markets, thus, it is highly dependent on efficient transport. The solutions provided today feature temperature controls ranging from: 5˚C to -5˚C for chilling products such as flowers, milk and meat, -5˚C to -18˚C for preserving products such as seafoods and -18˚C to -30˚C for freezing products such as ice creams. These will help ease the pressure on farmers and suppliers who rely on 3am night temperatures to transport their produce to the market,” added Kangangi.
Kangangi added that retailers and distributors purchasing these vehicles will enjoy other benefits such as increased volume capacity per tonne, global quality packaging standards, fuel efficiency and easier working hours as opposed to late night shifts.
Isuzu EA estimates a potential of 2,000 cold storage vehicle units every year for the local market with payloads of between five to fifteen tonnes.