DWS acquires half-stake in Coles cold storage centre in Queensland

DWS has announced the acquisition of a 50 per cent freehold interest in a refrigerated distribution centre located in Parkinson, Queensland for AUD $134.2 million. The facility’s sole tenant is Coles.
The acquisition is on behalf of its institutional focused, Asia core real estate strategy,  and is from Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust (FLT), who will retain its remaining 50% ownership.
Sitting on land holding of 15.5 hectares, the modern, purpose-built facility comprises a single story, state of the art cold storage distribution centre, cross docked facility, and offices over two levels. Built in 2008 and extended in 2012, it is let to sole tenant Coles Group Ltd.
“The property provided an attractive opportunity to acquire a super prime, refrigerated, logistics facility – a sector attracting increased investor demand for its higher yielding industrial assets.” He added: “We are delighted to partner with FLT on this joint venture ownership and look forward to working with the team,” James Bartlett, Head of Real Estate, Australia at DWS said.
“We are pleased to enter into a partnership with DWS to co-own and co-manage the Property. DWS has a proven track record in Australia’s industrial sector and has strong familiarity with cold storage logistics assets.” He continued: “This partnership is a great opportunity to bring together the mutual strengths of both FLT and DWS in the ownership and management of industrial properties,” Mr. Robert Wallace, Chief Executive Officer of the REIT Manager said.
This represents DWS’s fourth acquisition in cold storage facilities in Australia.

DHL and Mattel open new warehouse in Victoria

DHL Supply Chain and Mattel, the world’s largest toy maker, has opened a new dedicated logistics distribution centre in Truganina, Victoria.
The 25,690 square metre warehouse features an automated labelling and sortation system that will increase efficiencies in Mattel’s supply chain, will consolidate operations from two existing site in Melbourne, and consist of additional dock space for inbound goods and outbound truck loading space.
The new distribution centre will combine the activities of receiving product from Mattel factories, storing, picking and packing and distributing to Mattel’s customers throughout Australia, including large volumes each year for Christmas season. In addition the facility will provide services for repacking of Mattel products for promotions and in store displays.
“What we have managed to achieve throughout our partnership since 2016 underscores the value that we bring by driving operational excellence and cost optimization, while simultaneously ensuring that our supply chain practices remain sustainable and environmentally-friendly” Saul Resnick, CEO, DHL Supply Chain Australia & New Zealand said.
DHL and Mattel also intend to keep the new warehouse functions eco-friendly, to have sustainable green practices and staying more energy efficient. The facility is fitted with a 100-kilowatt solar panel system and LED lights.

ACCC raises concerns over cold logistics storage deal

The proposed takeover of privately owned Oxford Cold Storage, the second biggest supplier of third party cold services in Victoria by Emergent Cold, the market’s third biggest player has come under scrutiny by The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Following a statement released this week the ACCC has raised preliminary competition concerns given, as it has stated, cold storage remains an integral part of the domestic and international supply chains for food products.
These include dairy, seafood, raw and cooked meat, poultry, frozen vegetables and other frozen or chilled foods.
“This acquisition would reduce the number of large Victorian suppliers from four to three,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“A significant number of customers have raised concerns with the ACCC about this deal. They consider Emergent Cold and Oxford to be each other’s closest competitors, as the companies provide similar services to similar customers.”
“The ACCC is concerned that losing the competition between Emergent Cold and Oxford in an already concentrated industry would result in higher prices and lower service levels,” Rod said
The combined Emergent Cold-Oxford would become the biggest supplier of third-party cold storage services in Victoria, controlling almost 40 per cent of total market capacity.
Market feedback indicates that the other main suppliers, Americold and NewCold, have limited spare capacity and business models that focus on supplying the largest customers.
The ACCC is seeking further information from market participants about the level of competition that would remain if the deal proceeds, as well as the ease and likelihood of entry by new operators.

Infrastructure Audit highlights need for freight infrastructure investment

The release of the Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019 brings attention to how more targeted investment in freight infrastructure is necessary according to the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).
Prioritising regulatory reforms to alleviate bottlenecks, particularly in non-bulk, agricultural and urban freight supply chains along with effective investment targeting freight infrastructure were going to be essential to helping Australia maintain its economic position in the world.
“Australia’s freight task is growing more rapidly than our population, increasing by 50 per cent in the decade to 2016, compared with population growth of 18 per cent over the same period,” Kirk Coningham, CEO at ALC said.
“The National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy released less than a fortnight ago projects freight volumes will increase by more than 35 per cent between now and 2040,” he said.
“Such rapid growth will place enormous pressures on our freight network. Unless we take concrete action to deal with challenges such as urban congestion, bottlenecks in regional supply chains and reform inconsistent and outdated regulatory regimes, the performance of our freight networks will suffer and Australian consumers will pay the price.”
The ALC said it welcomed the emphasis the audit places on addressing fragmented access conditions across the freight network.
Building new infrastructure, despite infrastructure investments across Inland Rail, Western Sydney Airport and port rail facilities, will not solve every problem according to Conningham.
Regulatory reform he said that delivers greater cross-jurisdictional consistency in access arrangements, operational matters and safety is essential to reducing delays in freight movement for customers.
It would bring down costs for freight logistics operators across all modes of freight transport.
“Similarly, the audit correctly notes that Australia’s regulatory regimes are inhibiting the take-up of technology that can deliver measurable improvements to the efficiency, safety and environmental performance of our supply chains,” said Conningham.
“This includes technology that can capture data about freight movement, allowing for more effective route-planning and infrastructure investment, as well as the adoption of high productivity vehicles, electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles in the freight sector,” he said.
“As all governments prepare their National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy Implementation Plans ahead of the November meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council, ALC will be encouraging all jurisdictions to commit to action that will address these fundamental challenges.”

Hallite introduces robotics and automation at site in WA

Dematic has announced its first installation of the AutoStore solution in the Australia and New Zealand region in Hallite’s warehouse in Perth, WA.
Hallite is a global manufacturer and distributor of high performance seals and sealing solutions for the world’s hydraulics industry.
Hallite’s mission was to improve lead times and ensure products are available for customers – the company wanted to futureproof its warehousing operations.
“The AutoStore solution maximises available storage space and capacity without increasing the footprint, so was very suited to our warehouse requirements. We chose Dematic to implement this solution due to their strong global experience with AutoStore,” Tony Pace, Managing Director, Hallite said.
AutoStore is a compact and cost-effective storage and order picking system for small items and packages, which can be integrated into any kind of warehouse. It consists of an aluminium grid which provides storage space for the warehouse’s goods, which are stored in plastic bins inside the grid.
The AutoStore system to be implemented in Hallite’s warehouse will include approximately 4,000 totes, four robots and three conveyor ports. The system will enable goods to be received and loaded into totes at a ‘Goods In’ workstation prior to being stored by a robot within the grid. When orders are released the robots will retrieve the specific totes required and send them to one of the picking ports for order assembly.
“The key benefit of the AutoStore solution for companies such as Hallite is the reduced footprint required to store a high range of SKUs, together with the fact that it is suitable for retrofitting into an existing site including designing around existing building columns,” Pas Tomasiello, Senior Director Integrated Systems Group ANZ, Dematic said.
AutoStore is flexible and easy to expand, which will allow Hallite to continue to grow and add more SKUs in the future.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to improve our business and allow for future growth, which is why we are also planning to have Dematic install a number of systems to the business globally,” Tony said.

Queensland trials most advanced driverless car in Australia

For six kilometres the $1.5 million Renault ZOE2 automated vehicle navigated roundabouts, cross streets and driveways through Brisbane, Queensland.
The car is built with with high-tech sensors, LIDAR, cameras, computers and software to record data for research.
The car is built with with high-tech sensors, LIDAR, cameras, computers and software to record data for research.
It will play a role in the Queensland government’s Cooperative and Highly Automated driving program which will travel around the state over the coming years testing the state’s automated vehicle readiness.
It will also assist the Department of Transport and Main Roads to ensure road infrastructure, legislation, regulation and licencing arrangements are ready for these vehicles.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the strong showing is proof Queensland wants to lead the way on automated vehicle technology.
“Not only do we want Queensland roads to be AV-ready, we want Queensland industry to be AV-ready too and to create the jobs of the future right here,” Mr. Bailey said.
Built by French research consortium VEDECOM, CEO Philippe Watteau said the research collaboration was looking forward to working together with Queensland researchers.
“We are pleased to have supplied ZOE2 to Transport and Main Roads and Queensland University of Technology and are looking forward to working together in the fast-developing field of sustainable, shared and autonomous mobility,” Mr. Watteau said.
“Our cooperation with Queensland researchers underpins our common goal of identifying innovative mobility solutions and reinforces France-Australia strategic cooperation in the field of innovation.”
Queensland University of Technology Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Director Professor Andry Rakotonirainy said the unique research vehicle, one of the most advanced of its type, was born from strong international collaboration and would enhance Australia’s capacity to assess the safety of automated vehicles.
“This vehicle will facilitate multidisciplinary investigations into how road users accept, adopt and cooperate with new automated systems. It will assist in identifying and addressing policy, institutional, societal and regulatory challenges to ensure their safe integration into our transport system,” Professor Rakotonirainy said.

Dexion partners with Infinium Robotics to distribute drones

Dexion has signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Infinium Robotics to distribute Infinium’s autonomous stocktaking drones in Asia Pacific.
The Dexion Infinium Scan robot is a fully autonomous drone that aids in inventory management for full pallets and reconciles differences with warehouse management systems automatically. The drone can scan up to 16,000 full pallets a day and can operate for four hours, the longest operational time in the industry.
The agreement is for exclusive distribution in Australia and New Zealand with non-exclusivity in the rest of Asia.
“In today’s warehouses the segregation of staff and equipment is essential to reduce risk. Having an autonomous drone take over the function of the manual stock taker is achieving a total segregation between material handling equipment and staff,” Dexion’s Head of Systems Martin Kramer says.
“Stocktaking is an extremely labour intensive and costly process, especially when warehouses need to be shut down for periods of time. With the Dexion Infinium drone all that is eliminated and the drone can autonomously count the inventory without requiring the warehouses to shut down and have staff do cycle counts.”
Infinium Robotics CEO Junlang Woon added, “The partnership with an industry stalwart like Dexion, which has been in business more than 80 years, is a win-win collaboration. Dexion can help Infinium Robotics maximise our customer sales reach and serve customers throughout Asia-Pacific.”
The Dexion Infinium drones are the latest innovation in Dexion’s pipeline of new products to be released over the next six to 12 months.

Hallite introduces robotics and automation at site in WA

Dematic has announced its first installation of the AutoStore solution in the Australia and New Zealand region in Hallite’s warehouse in Perth, WA.
Hallite is a global manufacturer and distributor of high performance seals and sealing solutions for the world’s hydraulics industry.
Hallite’s mission was to improve lead times and ensure products are available for customers – the company wanted to futureproof its warehousing operations.
“The AutoStore solution maximises available storage space and capacity without increasing the footprint, so was very suited to our warehouse requirements. We chose Dematic to implement this solution due to their strong global experience with AutoStore,” Tony Pace, Managing Director, Hallite said.
AutoStore is a compact and cost-effective storage and order picking system for small items and packages, which can be integrated into any kind of warehouse. It consists of an aluminium grid which provides storage space for the warehouse’s goods, which are stored in plastic bins inside the grid.
The AutoStore system to be implemented in Hallite’s warehouse will include approximately 4,000 totes, four robots and three conveyor ports. The system will enable goods to be received and loaded into totes at a ‘Goods In’ workstation prior to being stored by a robot within the grid. When orders are released the robots will retrieve the specific totes required and send them to one of the picking ports for order assembly.
“The key benefit of the AutoStore solution for companies such as Hallite is the reduced footprint required to store a high range of SKUs, together with the fact that it is suitable for retrofitting into an existing site including designing around existing building columns,” Pas Tomasiello, Senior Director Integrated Systems Group ANZ, Dematic said.
AutoStore is flexible and easy to expand, which will allow Hallite to continue to grow and add more SKUs in the future.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to improve our business and allow for future growth, which is why we are also planning to have Dematic install a number of systems to the business globally,” Tony said.

Qantas and Australia Post in $1.4b deal

Australia Post and Qantas have announced an expanded domestic and international air freight agreement to support the growing demand for parcels.
Marking nearly a century of partnership between the two brands,  Australia Post says the agreement will benefit online shoppers and businesses across Australia by increasing capacity and providing greater network flexibility to meet customer expectations.
The seven-year agreement valued at over $1 billion will give Australia Post customers access to Qantas Freight’s dedicated freighter aircraft and priority access to the cargo space on up to 1,500 Qantas and Jetstar passenger flights to over 110 destinations each day, in addition to space on partner airlines globally.
It will also see the introduction of up to three Airbus A321P2Fs (Passenger to Freighter) to the freighter network used for Australia Post. Qantas will be the first airline in the world to operate the A321 as a freighter aircraft.
Each A321P2F will add nearly 50 per cent more capacity – or an additional nine tonnes – compared to the existing Boeing 737 freighters, with the first A321P2F due to enter the fleet in October 2020.
Christine Holgate, CEO and Managing Director, Australia Post, said the strategic alliance with Qantas means Australia Post and its customers can continue to power the eCommerce engine that’s driving Australian trade domestically and internationally.
“Australia Post plays a critical role connecting Australian businesses and communities to each other and the rest of the world, and with the continued growth in online shopping, we can now take it to new heights,” she said.
“This agreement will further boost our unrivalled, dedicated air freighter network with newer aircraft and more capacity right up until the opening of the new Western Sydney airport in 2026.
“The enhanced air freighter network complements $900 million in investment across our network through automation and infrastructure, and provides the speed, flexibility and reliability customers expect.
“It means that we can build flexibility into the air freight network to manage increased volumes and demand in the lead-up to Christmas. Last year we flew more than 400 tonnes of mail on our busiest night, and more than 40 million parcels during December; this year, we expect to exceed both those targets.”
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said the seven-year agreement was a vote of confidence in the future growth in eCommerce and will support the rising demand for next-day delivery.
“This builds on the longstanding partnership between Australia’s national carrier and the nation’s postal service to deliver for customers.
“Consumer preferences and expectations are rapidly changing and together with Australia Post we’re responding by growing our dedicated freighter fleet to provide a better experience for consumers and businesses,” Alan said.
The partnership between Australia Post and Qantas dates back to when the national carrier first started flying airmail for the postal service in 1922.

Melbourne-based Arrow acquires Sydney Sideloaders

Melbourne-based Arrow Transport and Logistics has acquired Sydney Sideloaders, a top ten container transport operator at the Port of Sydney.
Part of Arrow’s ongoing strategy to grow its business, this acquisition gives Arrow an excellent footprint to commence its operations in Sydney, the company claims.
Sydney Sideloaders operates primarily from its site at the corner of McCauley Road and Botany Road, directly opposite the Port of Sydney terminals.
From this site, Arrow plans to continue to service Sydney Sideloaders existing client base as well as providing a Sydney-based Port Logistics services to its own clients.
Chris Divis, Director of Sydney Sideloaders will remain with Arrow after the acquisition as Port Logistics Manager NSW. Other members of the current operational team at Sydney Sideloaders will join the Arrow team. Arrow will also move some staff from Melbourne to Sydney to assist with the integration.
“We are very pleased to have concluded this transaction with Arrow. We look forward to being part of a larger, growing organisation that has the same focus on customer service that Sydney Sideloaders has always had,” Chris said/.
“We are extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to acquire Sydney Sideloaders. The operation will complement our existing business extremely well and enable us to provide a grater level of service to new and existing clients in Melbourne and Sydney,” Craig Webster, Managing Director of Arrow said.
The acquisition will formally complete on Monday 2 September 2019.

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