Critical pharmaceuticals distribution centre delivered ahead of schedule

A reputation as a one-stop shop for project services ensured Ahrens were able to deliver a critical pharmaceuticals distribution centre ahead of schedule.

Ahrens is a national full-service construction and engineering company, delivering a complete range of project services and cost-effective solutions for the transport and logistics sector.

Their vertically integrated business model enables them to offer clients a “one-stop shop” from concept to completion.

Utilising their complete range of in-house capabilities, a thorough understanding of the transport & logistics sector and a collaborative approach, Ahrens successfully completed this critical pharmaceuticals distribution centre, seven weeks ahead of schedule.

The $11 million-dollar project involved the design and construction of a new temperature controlled facility for end-user, Sigma Healthcare.

Sigma Healthcare is Australia’s full-line pharmacy wholesale and distribution business with over 1,200 stores across the nation and owning some of Australia’s most well-known pharmacy retail brands.

The expansive distribution centre needed to accommodate an increased volume of products whilst allowing for ease-of-access for transport coming and going from the facility.

Scope of works included a 10,000m2 warehouse with a 350m2 office and 5,000m2 of external concrete hardstand and car parking.

Early site-works proved to be challenging with poor latent ground conditions including a hidden well and carcasses remnant of an abattoir that once occupied the site.

The team were able to quickly work through this unanticipated hurdle and continue with works in line with the program.

The project was a high-spec security site with the entire fencing of the perimeter electrified and works including a caged vault for goods of high-illicit value.

The site also features a one-way single entry/exit and a loading area with 10 roller doors for dispatch and receival.

Due to the nature of the end-use of the facility, Sigma required extensive industrial racking systems for the storage of its products.

This meant significant coordination with the nominated racking company, however a collaborative approach meant Ahrens were able to allow early access to the site through a staged handover.

Ahrens also played a role in facilitating underground services for a site next door underneath the Sigma site’s hardstand.

Innovative thinking and experience ensured Ahrens were able to push this project to be completed ahead of schedule whilst still maintaining the highest levels of safety and quality.

Sigma Chief Executive Officer Mark Hooper said the new centre was a testament to the company’s commitment to improving efficiency and customer outcomes, especially in South Australia.

“Sigma services the biggest network of pharmacies in Australia and our distribution centres are critical to ensuring a smooth and speedy wholesale distribution chain, especially for those time sensitive medicines critical for community health,” Mr Hooper said.

“As a company, we are committed to future growth and our new network of distribution centres across Australia will be critical to ensuring pharmacists are always well-stocked with the medicines and products required to look after their local communities in the best way possible.”

Find out more about Ahrens’ proven track record of delivering high-quality design and construct solutions for the transport & logistics sector, visit

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