On the Double: Greggs Launches First Ever Double Deck

Greggs is a strong and trusted brand that has become a customer favourite for food-on-the-go. The key to its large share of an extremely competitive market is twofold, keeping pace with changing customer buyer behaviours and successfully operating from over 2050 shops.

An enabler of its agility and scale is having full ownership of its supply chain. Only by management of its own supply operations, has it been able to react and develop the custom-made, flexible products required to deliver exactly what its customers need, across a vast number of locations.

Since 2007, Gray & Adams has been Greggs’ partner of choice for developing bespoke cold chain delivery solutions and helping to deliver high volumes of product mixes which meet the demands of its customers. To this end, across the last five years, Gray & Adams has designed a new generation of solutions, which ultimately increase the payload Greggs can deliver on a single run.

Customer Challenge

Due to the demand for greater economies of scale and environmental efficiencies, Greggs wanted to deliver higher volumes of product in a single journey. Unfortunately, due to the mix of products delivered from its multiple manufacturing sites, the desired double deck solution would have reached maximum weight restrictions before it was at capacity. Therefore, Greggs needed Gray & Adams to develop an interim solution, which delivered higher volumes than its current rigids and 13.6 metre trailers.

Greggs engaged with a re-development of its manufacturing process and altered the set up at their Newcastle facility, adding a fully automated freezer solution to existing frozen production and utilising the site as a consolidation centre. This move enabled the business to create a product mix for transport that could make use of the maximum capacity of a double deck solution. Following this, the project was for Gray & Adams to develop their first ever double deck trailer.

The solution required to stick to tight height restrictions on both decks. This was due to the use of non-standard pallet sizes and the need to interact with existing moving  and handling equipment. The solution also required dedicated temperature control for both decks and the ability to seal one deck once loaded, so the other deck could be loaded without impacting the temperature of the now-full deck.

Environmental performance was also a necessity, as was durability, with the trailer’s lifespan specified as ten years minimum. Finally, with food safety paramount to operations, all finishes had to be capped to guard against food contamination.

The Solution

As an interim solution for increasing volume, Gray & Adams developed a number of 15.65m trailers for Greggs, bringing it to the maximum number of this vehicle permitted in a fleet by law. The following double deck solution met the exacting specifications required. With just millimetres to play with, our engineering team ensured the unit was the correct height with dedicated temperature controls and deck sealing for multi-temperature operations.

In terms of environmental performance, the trailer is fitted with a R452A gas fridge, a wedge air deflector on the front and low noise systems throughout. For example,
low resistance flooring with a smooth tread which offers less noise when loading. Finally, all fittings are capped, or spot welded, to ensure they don’t break off or impact on the transported product. The trailer is the solution required to increase the volume Greggs can deliver, and it is a great example of the bespoke engineering solutions that Gray & Adams offer.

Working Collaboratively

With this being Greggs first double deck trailer, it was a step into the unknown. Gray & Adams facilitated a trial of a Co-op double deck trailer and visits to Asda and Reed Boardall to view their double deck fleets. This was done to help Greggs clarify how a double deck trailer might work in its business.

The design development of the trailer took a significant period of time and collaboration to finalise, mainly due to rapidly changing product mixes and operations as a result of business growth. The design process saw an incredible amount of on and off-site meetings between Greggs, Gray & Adams and multiple sub-contractors, to review and react to the changing requirements.


“Our new double deck trailer, which Gray & Adams have designed and built, will give us a 54% saving on our current standard 13.6 metre trailers and reduce our Co2 emissions.

It has taken five years for us to work with them to understand and overcome the operational challenges of our supply chain and design a double deck solution that works. It is a truly bespoke solution.

As usual, the final product is also of an exceptional build quality. Their products are built to last. We need to run our trailers for ten years for them to be cost efficient, so they have to be able to work hard and last. This is one of the key reasons we go to Gray & Adams.”

– Andy Hutchinson, Group Fleet Manager, Greggs

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