For over 40 years ,TBV Kühlfahrzeuge LLC has been an established manufacturer and dealer of refrigerated transport units for the food industry. The main sales area has always been southern Germany, but thanks to an extensive network of national and international partners, the innovative solutions are now available in many other European countries as well. In the coming years, vehicles with electric and gas drives in particular will rapidly gain in importance, manager Christian Oser predicts.
The TBV company mainly serves medium-sized companies with fleets ranging from size 1 to 15-20 vehicles. Oser: "Flexibility, profitability and individuality in the design of the refrigerated unit is our daily bread anyway. The fruit and vegetable sector is a permanent fixture of our clientele. In our region, the fruit industry is divided into many cooperatives, but there are also many individual entrepreneurs who supply supermarkets or middlemen on a smaller scale. It is precisely this target group that we focus on. We do not focus on standardised semi-trailers, but on tailor-made, individualised solutions."
Since its foundation, TBV Kühlfahrzeuge has built up an international network of partners who market refrigeration solutions either under the TBV logo or their own name.
Unique conditions of the fruit industry
The refrigeration expert sees some differences between the fruit industry and other areas of the food sector. "Fruit and vegetables generally mean high tonnages, certainly fresh products with a heavy fruit weight. Furthermore, the vehicles have to be more seasonally adaptable and therefore more flexible. This means that the vehicle should be profitable not only for one product group, but for several. We also see other requirements in the industry in terms of the floor load and structure of the vehicle. Fruit and vegetables are often stacked high, which is why the refrigerated units are relatively high as well. Lastly, vehicles for fruit and vegetables are usually more colourful, as there is simply a greater focus on marketing compared to other industries."
In recent years, the company has introduced several groundbreaking solutions. "The most advertised product is certainly our solar-powered refrigeration system, which is often used in the fresh produce sector. We are currently working on a project with solar panels that are even better and more efficient," Oser explains.
Focus on sustainable logistics
The discussion on environmentally friendly vehicles has increasingly dominated events in recent years. "We will also continue to devote ourselves to the topic of sustainable logistics. This is a path that we successfully embarked on some five years ago, for example with innovative cooling systems, adapted insulation and individual solutions for gas-dvriven and electric vehicles. We hope that we will be able to make good use of this head start, the know-how and the experience of our customers."
Sustainable drive systems are still a niche, but according to Oser, this could change quickly in the coming years. "My personal opinion is that there is not one universal solution, but that every user must decide for himself what suits him and his environment. We also notice that certain industries are simply more sensitive to new solutions and that the end user is also willing to spend more money on these. In other areas, however, it will be difficult to finance such solutions. In my opinion, there will continue to be a wide range of different strategies and solutions."