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Axle rotation to power mobile refrigeration

DP World and Woolworths South Africa have launched a refrigeration trailer powered by the rotation of its own axle, the first of its kind in Africa.

The specially adapted axle converts kinetic energy into electricity, powering the refrigeration unit. This means trailers can operate independently of their tractor, with 100 per cent electric cooling and zero carbon emissions from the trailer itself.

Developed in collaboration with Thermo King and BPW, the axle system has been trialled successfully in Europe.

“We are proud to partner with Woolworths to usher in a new era of energy-efficient and environmentally conscious refrigeration,” says Esha Mansingh, Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability for sub-Saharan Africa at DP World.

“This trailer demonstrates transformative logistics technology that can help revolutionise the way we refrigerate goods on our roads. AxlePower represents a significant step towards achieving sustainable and responsible logistics practices.”

Woolworths South Africa – which has no affiliation with Woolworths supermarkets in Australia – rolled out a fleet of electric online delivery vehicles in 2023. The company aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The axle-powered technology will operate on the N1 route between Johannesburg and Cape Town. During the course of 2024, Woolworths South Africa expects a reduction of 27 tonnes of carbon emissions along the route.

Image courtesy of Mitchell Luo via Unsplash.

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