McCain to move into state-of-the-art robotic cold storage facility in Melbourne

McCain Foods Australia today announced a contract agreement with cold storage provider NewCold.
NewCold’s will manage the storage and handling of McCain’s frozen products at the storage provider’s new warehouse in Truganina, Melbourne, as part of a 10-year agreement commencing in July 2017.
Construction has significantly advanced on the automated facility, which will consist of an integrated system combining automated, state-of-the-art pallet handling systems, using in-house warehouse and control software developed by parent Dutch cold storage innovator, NewCold Advanced Cold Logistics.
Taso Kourou, Supply Chain Director at McCain Foods ANZ stated that the facility upgrade will drastically improve logistics capabilities, meeting the needs of local and international customers, demanding improved efficiency from production to distribution of frozen products. “The storage and handling of McCain’s frozen products in the new automated facility will give us a more stable temperature regime and highly accurate stock control,” he said.
Louis Wolthers, Regional President for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India & China at McCain Food said that the McCain team is keen to see the outcomes of the new agreement take effect. “From a sustainability perspective, through the use of the warehouses’ highly controlled in-and-outflows combined with efficient cooling equipment, energy usage per pallet stored is up to 50 per cent lower compared to a conventional storage option,” he said.
The warehouse’s unmanned stacker cranes, conveyors and automated truck unloading systems will handle receipt, storage and retrieval of palletised products, all together dealing with more than 11,000 pallet movements per day.

Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association seeks Executive Officer

Following the resignation in late 2016 of Russell Sturzaker, the Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association of Australia Ltd (RWTA) is on the lookout for a new Executive Officer.
Chairman David O’Brien thanked Sturzaker for his work on the association’s website, events and fundraising, and wished him well for the future. “On behalf of the RWTA Board and all members and associate members of the RWTA, I wish to thank Russell for his professionalism, thoroughness and dedication during his two-year tenure with the Association,” he said.
The search for a replacement is ongoing, and O’Brien expects the position to be filled early this year.

Amazon’s robot workforce grows by 50 per cent

The e-commerce giant Amazon has announced that it ‘employed’ 45,000 robots in 20 of its fulfilment centres during the 2016 holiday season, up from the 30,000 working alongside 230,000 human colleagues during the 2015 holiday season.
The amount of human workers employed in the last holiday season is to be announced at the company’s earning calls in early 2017.
The Seattle Times noted that the company’s 2016 robot workforce has a bigger ‘headcount’ than the armed forces of the Netherlands.
The robots in question are Kiva Robots, made by the robotics firm bought by Amazon in 2012, Kiva Systems.

Amazon files patent for flying warehouse

Amazon has reportedly filed a patent for a flying warehouse to support the company’s drone delivery technology, CNBC reported at the end of December.
Referring to a patent filing from April 2016 that was not publicised by Amazon at the time, CNBC said the US e-commerce giant was picturing the airborne fulfilment centre (AFC) to float at an altitude of 45,000 feet (ca. 13,000m) – much like an airship or blimp.
Drones would be able to access the flying warehouse to carry out local deliveries within minutes, for example to supply food or merchandise to fans at a stadium, CNBC reported.
“When a customer places an order, a drone or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will fly down and deliver the package. Amazon insists that this would require little power because the drone would be gliding down rather than having to take off and land,” CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal reported.
“Amazon’s filing explains that the blimp would remain in the air and be refueled and replenished using a shuttle. This could be a smaller aircraft capable of docking onto the AFC and unloading products as well as fuel.”

Whether or not the plan is feasible may be up for debate, though, according to US logistics news service Heavy Duty Trucking. “The logistics of placing a large blimp thousands of feet above a populated area for long periods of time would require regulatory approval, not to mention the fact that Amazon’s drone delivery system is still in its infancy.”
In July, Amazon had already caused headlines with a patent that revealed it was thinking about using tall buildings and structures such as lampposts or churches as docking stations for drones to recharge.
Another patent described how drones would ‘talk’ to each other to plan routes and communicate.
In the UK, Amazon officially delivered its first package by drone in December, and the company said that it expected to expand trials in the near future.

Warehouse sales set to increase in 2016

It is interesting times for Sydney Industrial property in 2016 as we see demand for prime industrial properties relatively strong along with a diminishing supply of serviced and industrial zoned land.
With South Sydney and parts of inner and central Sydney areas continue to be rezoned and redeveloped to cater for mixed use development, more tenants are being forced to make locational and operational decisions around their warehouse property requirements.
Whilst staying in inner and central areas and competing in a shrinking industrial market is the only consideration for some, more companies have migrated to the outer west to achieve cost effective and operational suitable facilities.
With new development and prime grade leasing activity being relatively strong in key outer west suburbs over the last 3 years and only limited new industrial zoned and serviced land entering the market at the same time, it has become more challenging for companies to find the right property.  The market is currently fielding some significant requirements for large warehouse D&C facilities (i.e. 25,000m2 plus) and it is said at this time there are only a handful of land opportunities that could meet these building requirements.
The limited prime grade facilities and suitable land is also having an impact on companies seeking prime grade warehouse facilities in the 3,000m2 – 6,000m2 size range, especially in the M4 and M7 corridor.  Development in the outer west area can focus on facilities greater than 10,000m2 and supply below 6,000m2 can be limited and tightly held either with tenants or owner occupiers.  We have recently experienced this lack of supply with some clients and situations where companies have had to move quickly to secure buildings, often competing with multiple parties.  In some instances landlords who have undertaken some developments under 10,000m2on a speculative basis have been able to lease these prior to construction being completed.
There are still opportunities in the market but it may be another 2 years before we see more significant parcels of serviced and zoned industrial land become available. It is important for companies to invest in completing strategic reviews of their industrial property, including timing and cost considerations, for their next property lease.  Companies should:

  1. Understand current availability and future stock levels in current or future locations and how this will impact on their timing.
  2. Start discussions early with landlords should they wish to remain in existing premises and put in place strategy to achieve the most cost effective outcome for their business
  3. Assess whether the existing premises can be reconfigured  to allow an extended period for the short to medium term
  4. Get internal pre approvals, included expected capital costs, before going to the market looking for new space
  5. Depending on size and requirements start looking at your lease requirements 1 – 2 years from existing lease expiry

Luke Stafford is the Director of Symmetry Partners, an independent corporate property advisory company who represents and advises occupiers of commercial and industrial property throughout Australia.

Manhattan Associates named a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems

Manhattan Associates today announced it has received recognition as a market leader in Gartner, Inc. Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems.

This is the eighth consecutive time Manhattan Associates has been named as a Leader and the company is positioned the furthest along both axis of measurement: completeness of vision and ability to execute of that vision.

"We believe that the publication of this important piece of research is a chance for us to reflect on what we've accomplished on behalf of, and in close coordination with, our customers," said Brian Kinsella, vice president of product management for Manhattan Associates.

"We are honoured by our position in the report and look forward to shaping the next generation of distribution management solutions as the world of omni-channel fulfillment continues its brisk pace of change."

Manhattan's release of innovative products, such as DM Mobile (Distribution Management Mobile), Order Streaming and applications that optimize complex and high-volume order fulfillment, helps world-class companies tackle the unique fulfillment challenges and digital disruption presented by e-commerce and omni-channel market dynamics. 

Stressing the importance of innovation, Gartner Research Vice President Dwight Klappich writes, "Innovation is a critical differentiator, and it is important for vendors to demonstrate the ability to support innovation by staying close to the most creative solutions or complicated problems in the market to drive pioneering functionality."

Crown Equipment focuses on training in new facility

Crown Commercial Training has made significant changes to its training program with a new opportunity offered to design a new corporate training environment.

The new training facility comprises various common material handling environments ranging from yard work to racking aisle work, right up to the challenges involved in working in extremely tight surroundings with very narrow aisle equipment.

According to Crown compliance and operations manager Hywel Williams, “We had our racking arm, Crown Warehouse Solutions, design and install two new stockpicking aisles so that operators undergoing narrow aisle stockpicker training would be working in real-life conditions.”

Crown is currently providing training to 5,000 operators annually, so it is important that their training modules are kept to a high standard. To achieve this, the company has spent the last three years upgrading and refining their training modules and materials.

Their training manuals are designed to be totally portable, so that operators who undergo courses in their own company premises are afforded the same quality training as those who undertake training in Crown’s Sydney facility.

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GraysOnline uses new warehousing solutions at its NSW warehouses

Australian online auction house GraysOnline has utilised Toyota Materials Handling to equip its main NSW warehouse.

The 30 000 square meter warehouse at Homebush handles around 85 per cent of the company's products, with approximately 35 000 individual stock movements a week.

Rick Jacobs, GraysOnline's Homebush warehouse manager explained that due to its high volumes in the warehouse, the company needed material handling equipment compatible to that used at Australia Post.

"It is vital that our warehouse equipment can operate with Australia Post's uniform loading devices," he said.

"The high-reach forklifts had to be specified with low multi-stage masts, so they could work under our mezzanine racking and also reach the top pick heights in the seven-metre high racking."

Due to the heavy level of stock movements, coupled with the need to carry these out at speed, the auction company has implemented 35 Toyota battery electric machines.

According to Toyota the site's equipment includes Toyota 1.8-tonne payload 8FBN18 counter-balance forklifts, Toyota three-tonne payload 7FB30 forklifts, BT RRE reach forklifts, and BT low-level order pickers and BT Levio pallet trucks, with the last ones commissioned in March earlier this year.

Jacobs said it turned to Toyota after considering three factors – its safety capability, service maintenance, and whether the company's product range met GraysOnline's warehouse needs.

He stated that the after sale service levels has been high.

"The number of forklifts on site means TMHA's Sydney service technicians are here once a month for regular maintenance," Jacobs said.

 

METALSISTEM heads to MATEX 2008

METALSISTEM will be showcasing just a few of the endless variety and configurations of European storage systems that are available in Australia on stand 202 at MATEX 2008.

METALSISTEM’s stand will include:

• Wide range of pallet racking systems approved by a world leading safety and standards codes.

• Drive in display using UNIBUILD racking.

• Long span shelving using Super 456.

• Our successful modular & boltless shelving system Super 123 with a full range of accessories.

• Super 456 mezzanine structure for retail and industrial purposes.

• Multi tiered application using Super 123 with walkways.

• METALSISTEM SIDAC gondola system for shop fittings.

• Stainless steel outdoor furniture.

According to Ms Oshi Kirk from METALSISTEM, they have been exhibiting with MATEX since 2005.

“Being a wholesaler for the METALSISTEM brand in Australasia we find it easier to extend our network after an exhibition like MATEX since the unique display we design every year attracts a large number of potential distributors.” she said.

Come and see the METALSISTEM on stand 202 at MATEX 2008 – Australia’s premier materials handling and warehousing exhibition. MATEX 2008 will be held as a three-day exhibition at the Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Olympic Park, from the 15th to the 17th of April. To find out more about MATEX 2008 log on to www.matex.com.au

 

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