Northgate Vehicle Hire, part of Redde Northgate plc, has entered the chilled and freezer van rental sector by acquiring FridgeXpress for an undisclosed amount.

It has bought the Rugby-based business which provides specialist refrigerated vehicles to a broad range of commercial customers in the UK. 

Founded in 2008, FridgeXpress is based in Long Lawford, Rugby, from where it provides over 600 chilled and freezer vans and trailers to more than 100 customers nationwide, principally in the pharmaceutical and food sectors.

FridgeXpress will enhance Northgate Vehicle Hire‘s range of specialist LCVs in the UK and follows the July 2022 acquisition of traffic management specialist Blakedale which has grown its fleet by over 30% in the past year.

FridgeXpress runs a fleet of diesel and electric vans and trailers. It was one of the first companies to add electric refrigerated vans to its fleet to help customers tackle their emissions, particularly in urban areas.

All vehicles are managed and maintained centrally from its workshop in Rugby supported by a network of mobile service engineers.

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By GlobalData

Since 2008, FridgeXpress has built a reputation for providing high levels of customer service that combine quality, choice, and flexibility, the company said in a statement. The business will continue to trade under the FridgeXpress brand but will benefit from the increased resources and support from being part of the Northgate group.

Neil McCrossan

Founder and managing director David Richards is leaving the business and his position as MD will be taken over by Danny Bell, who has been the company’s operations director for over a decade.

Martin Ward, CEO of Redde Northgate plc, said: “With FridgeXpress, we continue our record of acquisitions offering significant potential for growing both customers and fleet, leveraging our extensive customer network.  FridgeXpress has an impressive track record and an excellent reputation in its specialist sector.”

Craig Diaz will become the company’s new operations director, and Scott Steadman will join the company as a business development manager, moving from his current position as a new business manager at Northgate.

“We have been impressed with all aspects of the FridgeXpress business. It is a profitable and well-run business and very complementary to Northgate and we are delighted to welcome them to the Group. It employs an experienced and dedicated workforce that is extremely focused on providing a first-class service to its customers,” said Neil McCrossan, UK sales and marketing director for Northgate.

“We would like to congratulate Danny, Craig and Scott on their new positions and wish David well for the future,” he added.

Founder and MD David Richards said: “I am immensely proud of the business that we have built up over more than 14 years. We have single-mindedly concentrated on chilled and refrigerated rentals and have become one of the best providers in the industry.

“I would like to thank my team and customers for their support, many of which have been with us from the very start. I look forward to seeing the business continue to grow with the added investment and support from the Northgate team,” he added.