New smart distribution centre for Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric has announced the successful completion of the digital transformation to its flagship, Pacific Smart Distribution Centre (DC) in Ingleburn, New South Wales.
The Smart DC comprises of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure technology, driving end-to-end efficiency for the industrial environment, and housing an industry leading Control Tower.
Schneider’s Smart DC is one of the largest in the Pacific, spreading more than 17,500 square meters, and operating 24 hours a day, five days a week. It dispatches more than 5000 lines over 70 routes (air and road) daily, servicing more than 3500 customers in Australia and New Zealand.
“The innovative approach brings together in a single site logistics, customer care, and personnel representing all our international and domestic transport carriers. This way information from global tracking dashboards can be openly and easily shared and discussed to quickly resolve queries and issues,” said Gareth O’Reilly, zone president of Schneider Electric.
“The Control Tower approach has demonstrated a strong return on investment with a 65 per cent reduction in time taken to resolve complaints.”
“We support our clients through the digitisation journey with our EcoStruxure IoT-enabled system architecture and platform. The Ingleburn Distribution Centre is an important player in our global network of Smart sites that showcases the EcoStruxure offerings to customers,” Gareth said.

Mirvac opens logistics hub in Western Sydney

Mirvac has celebrated the official opening of its logistics hub Calibre, in Eastern Creek, Western Sydney.
Calibre’s 22-hectare site includes a mix of flexible warehousing, A-grade office space and advanced specifications with 110,000sqm of floor space across five buildings. Ideally placed to cater to logistics, warehousing and manufacturing companies, Mirvac secured premium brands CEVA Logistics, Miele, Pet Circle, Sheldon & Hammond and ACFS e-Solutions at Calibre, with the Estate 100 per cent leased ahead of its practical completion.
“At Calibre we’ve elevated the standard for industrial and warehouse facilities in Sydney with our focus on quality, functionally and flexibility which will futureproof the estate for years to come. Mirvac drew on its uniquely integrated business model and cross-sector experience to bring the best of office and residential design to an industrial asset, to exceed customer and industry expectations,” General Manager, Industrial at Mirvac, Richard Seddon said.
Treasurer of NSW, The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, said the logistics hub was boosting employment in Western Sydney creating hundreds of jobs during construction and on a permanent basis.
Mirvac Group said approximately 450 construction jobs were generated during the development phase with 480 permanent jobs resulting.
Displaying best practice design and sustainability, Calibre has energy efficient lighting, rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic solar, cyclist and end-of-trip facilities and 100 per cent natural lighting to reduce energy bills and create savings for customers.
Operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Calibre is located at 60 Wallgrove Road, Eastern Creek at the centre of Australia’s national supply network within the Eastern Creek logistics hub.

Toyota Materials Handling opens new facility in Sydney

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has announced it has opened a new purpose built, state-of-the art facility for its branch in Orange, New South Wales.
The branch recently relocated from its former Cameron Place location to a prized position on a 2,000 square-metre site at the intersection of Northern Distributor Road and Astill Drive.
TMHA Orange branch manager Richard Bopping said the new premises is an improvement for staff and customers in every way.
According to Richard, the previous site’s workshop was also proving to be too cramped, given the branch’s growth in Central Western New South Wales.
“We operate across a massive area stretching as far out as Bourke, Cobar, Dubbo, across to Mount Vic and even occasionally Broken Hill and down to Cowra, and everything in-between such as Mudgee, Forbes, Parkes, Narromine,” he said.
“Our core business is our forklift rental fleet, which is over 200 units-strong and is serviced out of the branch. We have more than double that, again, with retail customers that we service and provide parts and repairs for.
“We also deal in warehousing equipment such as electric pallet jacks, stackers and also skid steers loaders. New products have come online recently – such as sweepers, scrubbers, scissor-lifts, vertical lifts and the Taylor Dunn product line – to name a few. These are opening opportunities for us to expand into other markets and with our new premises we are well-placed to support our expanding range,” he said
With a site (land) size of 2000m2 and a building of 880m2 – with office being 140m2 and another 140m2 for an office mezzanine level – TMHA Orange has ensured it has all the appropriate space it required, with the addition of future-proofing. “In the future we would be able to support a rental fleet double the size of our existing fleet of 200 units, we would have enough provisional space in our workshop to support that,” Richard said.
The new building has been built for TMHA with environmentally sustainable principles in mind. “We have greatly reduced environmental impact footprint with the new building. We have solar on the roof which will just-about negate any power bill and a water tank plus a greywater system for the building. And we were able to achieve all this at a similar cost to running our old one,” Richard concluded.

DB Schenker launches direct air freight service from Chicago to Sydney

DB Schenker has launched Direct Express – Australia –  a new weekly scheduled air cargo service from Chicago to Sydney, Australia.
The service offers direct 777-300 freighter service to Sydney, every Monday departing from Chicago.
With a payload over 102 metric tons, the 777-F provides more capacity than any other twin-engine freighter as well as being one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly aircraft effectively reducing carbon emissions as compared to most other aircraft currently in service.
Additional service features include:

  •  A 22:45 departure resulting in a late cut-off for shipment drop-offs
  • With a 12:05 Wednesday arrival in Sydney, shipments are Customs cleared with same-day connections for next-day delivery to most major markets in Australia
  • Cold chain storage operations in both Chicago, IL and Sydney, Australia
  • With the ability for block space agreements, shippers can get guaranteed lift during heavy or peak periods of the year
  • Shipments remain under DB Schenker’s single-source control
  • DB Schenker’s eSchenker web portal offers shippers 100 percent shipment visibility from pickup to delivery
  • A wide range of shipping solutions for heavy and outsized products

 

LOGOS buys 15.3ha Villawood site from Toll Group

LOGOS has exchanged contracts to acquire a 15.3-hectare infill development site in Villawood, Sydney from Toll Group, including a partial sale and leaseback agreement. The acquisition is due to settle in late 2019.
Located at 246 Miller Road, Villawood, the property has good access to Sydney’s key transport network, with five freeway entry points within 10km and existing entry to the South Sydney freight railway line.
The acquisition includes a partial leaseback to Toll over a portion of the site, with LOGOS to undertake upgrading works across the existing facilities. LOGOS plans to redevelop the remaining 11.3 hectares of the site into a logistics and intermodal estate on a speculative basis with an estimated on completion value of circa $200 million.
LOGOS’ head of Australia and New Zealand Darren Searle said: “The Villawood property acquisition is a new strategic infill development opportunity that will greatly benefit both intermodal and logistics operators.
“To capitalise on the property’s strategic location and the future infrastructure development in the area, we will look to develop intermodal and logistic facilities to service the strong demand we are seeing from our existing and new tenants in this area for modern, high quality facilities,” he said.
The NSW Government is investing circa $80 billion in infrastructure across western Sydney over the next four years, including the construction of the WestConnex and NorthConnex Motorways and upgrades to the area’s existing road systems under the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.
The acquisition also strengthens LOGOS’ relationship with Toll, with the Group having developed three facilities for the global logistics provider.
Mr Searle added: “We are pleased to be working with Toll on this strategic acquisition and look forward to enhancing their existing facilities for them within this this key industrial market”.

Import containers: the costs just keep mounting

A reduction in empty container park capacity, larger numbers of containers being handled, and a high level of import empty container ‘re-directions’ by shipping lines, are causing significant additional empty container handling costs in Sydney.
CTAA director Neil Chambers said: “The empty container management situation in Sydney has been getting progressively worse over a number of months now.
“For many container transport operators, it has reached the stage where they cannot fully absorb the additional costs.
“A conservative estimate is that the additional costs being borne by transport operators in managing empty containers in Sydney are between $90 to $200 per container, depending on the level of delay and additional handling necessary.”
Staging of empty containers via transport yards: added costs
Gate capacity and available truck arrival slots are at a premium at some key Sydney empty container parks (ECP) given the numbers being directed to those facilities by shipping lines. This is amplified when the ECP do not operate regularly after hours or on weekends.
Therefore the vast majority of empty containers must be staged through transport yards to manage the task.
This results in additional costs:

  • Container lift-on / lift off – container staging.
  • Additional administration and yard planning.
  • Additional truck kilometres and one-way truck travel with reduced opportunities to backload.

In many instances, transport operators are unable to book sufficient truck arrival slots at designated ECP in a timely manner, leading to de-hire delays and significant risks that empty containers might attract container detention fees from shipping lines for late return.
Empty container re-directions with little notice
“A significant contributor to the higher costs of empty container management in Sydney are the number and frequency of empty container ‘re-directions’ that are ordered at the discretion of the shipping lines with little notice.” observed Neil Chambers.
Port Botany is Australia’s empty container ‘re-direction capital’, with over 30 re-direction notices current every day, equating to hundreds of re-directions per month. By contrast, this is more than double the number of re-directions in Melbourne.
“Empty containers destined for one ECP, or for direct wharf de-hire, are suddenly re-directed to another location, causing significant planning difficulties for transport operators who must adjust their fleet and job allocations at the last minute.
“These re-directions are occurring solely to suit the shipping lines that want the empty containers sent to a specific location for their next use, including to meet regional rail export empty demands or for international empty repatriation, rather than the shipping line being responsible for the costs of repositioning the empty at a later date.
“That’s all well and good, but the lack of sufficient notice penalises others in the container logistics chain through higher import empty container handling and transport costs. To make matters worse, the lack of sufficient operational notice of these re-directions means that trucks with a valid ECP arrival notification, based on the original de-hire location specified by the shipping line, are being turned away because a re-direction has been put in place last minute.”
“This results in futile truck trips, added truck kilometres travelled, more one-way under-utilisation of trucks, the need to constantly rearrange empty containers stacked in transport yards, and de-hire time delays.”
Mr Chambers noted: “The lack of sufficient notice of re-directions, and the practice of not honouring original legitimate truck bookings at ECP because a re-direction has been ordered, is unacceptable to container transport operators.
“We are calling on all shipping lines and their ECP providers to give at least 24 hours’ notice of any empty container re-directions as well as a clear end-date for the re-direction.”
The administration of these re-direction notices is made more difficult where shipping lines do not provide electronic data to their ECP providers and through the Containerchain notification system, meaning that fleet allocators must manage and monitor re-direction notices manually.
This can result in futile truck trips to the wrong ECP if emailed re-direction notices are missed.
Unrealistic container detention timeframes & claims
Despite the increased delays in managing import empty container de-hires effectively, there is no incentive for shipping lines to extend container detention-free time to importers.
Container detention time restrictions are more likely to be exceeded as a result of the current delays and inefficiencies in Sydney.
“Shipping lines would be making an absolute killing at present with container detention revenue, some of which will have been incurred because of the strict policies of the shipping lines themselves leading to a lack of de-hire flexibility, last minute de-hire re-directions, and little cooperation with shippers on the extension of detention-free time.
“That is particularly perverse,” Mr Chambers noted. “Many transport operators apply business rules with their importer / forwarder customers requiring adequate business-day notification that import containers are ready for empty de-hire.
“In addition, however, transport companies are increasingly unwilling to accept container detention claims liability passed to them by their customers when the delays in de-hire are outside of their control. This is a matter for negotiation between transport operators and their direct customers.
“Transport operators aren’t a direct party to the Bill of Lading contract between the importer and shipping line on empty container detention terms and conditions.”
“So, it’s not up to the transport company to seek relief from container detention fees. And nor should it be up to the transport company to pay any container detention bills post the event when the delays in de-hire were beyond their control or not realistic in the timeframes imposed.”
“In the current circumstances in Sydney, made worse also by the fumigation delays caused by the widespread measures to address the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) biosecurity threat, it is not unrealistic for import containers to be taking more than 15 to 20 days from the date of discharge to be able to be returned empty.”
“Container detention claims prior to that are equally unrealistic.” concluded Neil Chambers.
“It is even more imperative that when delays threaten a breach of the shipping lines’ imposed container detention policies, importers and forwarders – the customers of the shipping lines – should be proactive in:

  • Seeking an extension of the ‘free time’ from the shipping line for the return of the empty container; and/or
  • Requesting that the shipping line allow the container to be de-hired into an ECP or wharf facility with more flexible de-hire arrangements and longer opening hours.

“There are several ECP in Sydney that open longer hours. Importers, forwarders and their transport providers should be more proactive in convincing shipping lines that they will direct the empty de-hires there, instead of suffering delays in trying to de-hire to nominated facilities that are congested or have limited opening hours.”
CTAA Alliance companies are discussing the current delays and inefficiencies with the ECP in Sydney, shipping lines, NSW Ports, Transport for NSW and the NSW Government.

Snack Brands to anchor $400m Sydney site

Universal Robina Corporation-owned Snack Brands Australia has committed to both a pre-lease facility and adjacent land sale for a site area of 10.42 hectares in Erskine Park with Altis. This new commitment as part of their supply chain transformation with consultancy firm TM Insight, is one of the largest industrial property deals in the last 12 months.
The 30,255 square-metre pre-lease facility, located on First Estate Mamre Road Erskine Park, will be situated on land four times the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and have an end value in excess of $400 million.
The new state-of-the-art distribution centre will transform the supply chain network for the iconic snacks company whose brands include CC’s, Thins, Kettle, The Natural Chip Company, Cheezels and Jumpy’s.
The pre-lease facility will comprise a significant 35-metre high-bay section to the building and is being developed with leading-edge technology to create an automated warehousing and distribution system.
Supply chain director at Snack Brands Neville Tapp said: “This facility will support our growth strategies and enable us to enhance our customer service at the lowest possible cost.  We are excited about working with Altis and the team at TM Insight to deliver this project over the coming years.”
Global supply chain and property consultancy TM Insight worked alongside Snack Brands in the development of the concept plan for the new site. After understanding the business case metrics, TM Insight ran the property procurement process and will be project managing the delivery of the new facility.
Director of TM Insight Travis Erridge said: “This is a significant step forward for Snack Brands in efficient operations for its customers.
“Snack Brands is investing in its future with a world class facility and has looked at all options to determine the best solution that meets both their current and future distribution requirements. Property specifications were found on the back of a robust business case and operational design completed inhouse.
“TM Insight developed the business case, ran the property procurement process and will also project manage the build. This end-to-end service ensures Snack Brands have a partner throughout the process that will make certain the facility is delivered to its highly technical specifications with the integration of automation in the building structure,” he said.
Stage one of the development will be operational in Quarter 4 2020.

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