Utility Trailer Teams Up With Germany’s Schmitz Cargobull

Schmitz to Open First US Plant; Production to Begin in 2026
Utility Trailer and Schmitz Cargobull
The joint venture will see Utility Trailer’s 3000R line of refrigerated freight trailers paired with two Schmitz Cargobull transport refrigeration units. (Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co.)

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Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. unveiled plans Sept. 11 for a joint venture with Germany’s Schmitz Cargobull Corp. that will be known as Cargobull North America.

The joint venture will see Utility Trailer’s 3000R line of refrigerated freight trailers paired with two Schmitz Cargobull transport refrigeration units, the 625 single-temperature and 655MT multi-temperature hybrid models, executives with the two companies said.

“We believe that this CBNA joint venture offers [the food service] industry superior performance, efficiency, reliability and, of course, sustainability,” Utility Trailer CEO Jeff Bennett said at a launch event Sept. 11.

Schmitz Cargobull Board Chairman Andreas Schmitz said the company plans to set up a U.S. manufacturing plant in the next couple of years, its first in North America, and expects manufacturing to start in 2026.


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Horstmar, Germany-based Schmitz Cargobull — which Andreas Schmitz said has a 50% share of the European reefer market — has manufacturing facilities in Australia, Germany, Lithuania, Spain and Turkey.

City of Industry, Calif.-based Utility Trailer has six U.S. manufacturing facilities.

The companies said the models to be made available in the United States as a result of the joint venture would reduce and eliminate emissions, realize up to 20% less fuel consumption, and allow for advanced trailer telematics to monitor and manage fleet logistics.

“Now, from just a reefer trailer OEM’s point of view, we can see that these Cargobull TRUs offer several advantages. For example, both TRUs are powered by a Hatz engine. This type of engine uses a high-pressure fuel injection that provides precise control of the fuel quantity and timing, resulting in greater performance and lower fuel consumption,” Bennett told the International Foodservice Distributors Association’s 2023 Solutions Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Andreas Schmitz


The TRU models already meet California’s stringent emission standards for 2030. They are compliant with California Air Resources Board ultra-low-emission TRU regulations, the partners said.

Bennett and Schmitz also touted the models’ factory-installed Utility TrailerConnect PRO telematics solution, with Bennett telling the conference, “This technology is new to North America.”

Schmitz added that the cooling unit is a modular unit and therefore easier to repair.

Further enhancements are in the pipeline too, the executives said, with fully electric models with battery-recuperation axles “coming soon.”

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