Hull-based refrigerated bodybuilder Paneltex has handed over its 1000th vehicle conversion to leading retailer Iceland Foods.
The vehicle was presented to Iceland’s Commercial Vehicle Fleet Manager Alex McKinlay jointly by Paneltex Group Sales Director Dave Evenett and Mercedes Benz Vans UK MD Steve Bridge. All 1000 Paneltex refrigerated bodies have been fitted onto a combination of Mercedes Sprinter panel vans and chassis cabs over the last four years, with the relationship originally having started in 2007.
In 2016, Iceland Foods and Paneltex were winners of the ‘Refrigerated Panel Van of the Year’ Award at the TCS&D Awards, scooping this award for these innovative dual temperature refrigerated panel vans that were developed specifically for Iceland’s home delivery operation.
Alex McKinlay said: “We began our free home delivery as long ago as 1996 and as such we have been very much pioneers in the sector. This success with home delivery operations led to the need for higher capacity vehicles, which also provided excellent temperature controlled, combined with a best in class driving experience. Following extensive trials of new vehicle prototype, our relationship with Paneltex blossomed and they began building refrigerated vehicles for us in significant volumes from 2012 onwards.”
Paneltex has also supplied Iceland Foods with larger home delivery vehicles, based on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis cabs, equipped with Paneltex insulated dual compartment bodies. These have a larger capacity than the panel vans and are used by Iceland where demand and routing makes them more attractive.
At the copany’s factory in Hull, there is a dedicated refrigerated van conversion line for Iceland, which is fed with components from various other departments within the company. This allows all the vehicles to be converted and taken to PDI stage in a single location.
Paneltex MD Chris Berridge said: “Because of the commitment Iceland has given to Paneltex over the years, we have been able to invest both in designing a product to Iceland specific requirements as well as investing in an efficient production line to build the bodies. Iceland Foods has high expectations and over the time of this partnership, we have built a customer/supplier relationship that has genuinely added value to both businesses.”