Kaufland confirms further stores in Victoria

Kaufland’s Victorian expansion is gathering steam, with the global supermarket chain receiving approval for a further two stores and proposing at least nine more, which – if approved – could deliver hundreds of extra jobs.
Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas has announced the go-ahead for stores in Coolaroo and Oakleigh South, with the latter to also hold Kaufland’s headquarters.
This is on top of its 115,000 square metre distribution centre in Mickleham – which is currently being built – and three already approved stores in Dandenong, Epping and Chirnside Park.
Kaufland has announced plans to build at least nine additional stores across Victoria – in Braybrook, Lyndhurst, Geelong, South Morang, Bendigo, Narre Warren, Warrnambool, Coburg and Pakenham, the Andrews Labor Government has referred the proposals to an independent advisory panel for consideration.

“With five approved stores, as well as the additional nine sites under review, we are committed to our long term, sustainable growth across Victoria. We look forward to creating thousands of jobs and creating opportunities for local businesses ”said Ms Kern.

Victoria will also be home to one of Kaufland Australia’s two test stores, which both commenced construction last week.

“Our Dandenong store marks a tremendous milestone in our development here in Australia, and we are very happy to break ground for our first store in Victoria.”

Ms Kern said she was looking forward to seeing Kaufland’s positive early growth in Australia and she was eager to open stores in due course.

“Australia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and we are excited to grow with it. Our aim is to raise the bar in retail excellence and provide an uncompromising quality food shop for our customers” Julia said.

All approvals will be exhibited for public comment and be subject to public hearings which will help inform the advisory panel’s report to the Planning Minister.
Kaufland’s investment in Victoria is worth $435 million and expected to create 1,500 jobs. If the nine stores are approved, the investment will top half a billion and create up to 2,400 jobs.
One of the world’s largest retailers, Kaufland chose Victoria as the starting ground for its Australian expansion, joining the likes of Costco, Aldi, Uniqlo, H&M and MUJI.
The supermarket giant is already engaging with Victorian suppliers, so it can source local products where possible and will provide opportunities for complementary independent retailers such as cafes within shopping complexes.
Their investment will also benefit the construction industry, with the distribution centre and stores set to create hundreds of opportunities for local construction businesses, workers and apprentices.
“This is great news for consumers – another major player in the market will provide more choice for Victorians, more value for money at the checkout and create thousands of jobs,” Tim Pallas, Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas said.
“With five approved stores, as well as the additional nine sites under review, we are committed to our long term, sustainable growth across Victoria. We look forward to creating thousands of jobs and creating opportunities for local businesses,” Julia Kern, Managing Director, Kaufland Australia said.

Asahi introduces automation at its Heathwood DC

Dematic has helped Asahi Beverages to successfully increase productivity by 250 per cent with the installation of an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in its new Heathwood DC.
The ASRS has improved the efficiency of warehouse operations, reduces manual processes and enables Asahi to better service its customers.
Asahi Beverages has a number of distribution centres (DCs) located across Australia. Previously in Brisbane, Asahi operated across multiple locations and used manual forklifts for block stacking, which they found came with a lot of disadvantages and challenges.
“We previously had a very labour intensive system in place, with every truck that came in having to be unloaded by a forklift, we then had to receive the paperwork manually, check the pallets manually, move the pallets into the storage location and then do all that in reverse to pick them,” Nathan Lucinsky, Heathwood DC Manager, Asahi said.
In making the decision to consolidate its sites into one DC and upgrade to an automated warehouse solution, Asahi wanted to achieve a number of benefits, including reducing costs, improving efficiency and productivity, and being able to better meet the needs of its customers.
The high bay racking at Asahi Heathwood DC is 13 levels high, 34 bays deep, and the ASRS extends to six pallet positions deep on either side of the six cranes, accessed by satellite carts. In total there are approximately 31,500 pallet storage positions.
“After assessing Asahi’s warehouse requirements, we knew that the best solution for them was the six-deep satellite ASRS. The ASRS we built for Asahi uses Dematic’s newest and fastest crane, the 1200 H1. This is also the tallest satellite system we have built in Australia,” Dominic Figliano, Project Manager, Dematic said.
“An automated system such as this eliminates a lot of the manual handling of pallets,” said Dominic. “This not only creates efficiencies and a high productivity boost of 250% for the customer, but also increases safety for workers in not having as many forklifts.”
In a DC such as Asahi’s Heathwood site, each manual touch of a pallet represents a cost to the business and comes with the risk of human error.
“We’ve now automated our warehouse processes and only use manual processes where it makes sense,” added Nathan. “In fact, most of our pallets won’t be touched by a human until they get to our customer DC.”
A key factor in Asahi’s decision-making process when looking for a new provider was working with a company that understood the local market. Asahi chose Dematic, as it has a demonstrated capability in delivering similar projects within Australia.
In addition to the ASRS, Dematic integrated third party equipment including the skate docks, stretch wrapper machine, label applicators, and a pallet inverter.

Lindsay Australia reveals record revenue results

Lindsay Australia, delivered a record revenue for the 12 months ended 12 June 2019. The company reported a revenue of $386.07 million and a net profit after tax of $8.87 million, an increase of 10.2 per cent over the prior year, as part of its FY2019 results.
Underlying Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) for the financial year increased $1.57 million to $37.72 million, an increase of 4.4 per ent. On a reported basis, EBITDA increased 11.8 per cent to $40.41 million. The uplift in the EBITDA benefitted operating cash flow and lowered the Group’s net debt position.
Transport external freight revenue for the year grew $18.54 million (7.4 per cent) to $268.26 million. Produce freight volumes were negatively impacted in some regions due to adverse weather and seasonality but these reductions were offset by growth across capital cities and additional revenue from expansion and refrigerated rail. Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth revenues collectively increased 14 per cent for the year.
Transport is reported to have made a divisional contribution in FY2019 of $31.22 million, which included additional fuel tax credits of $3.36 million relating to prior years.
Import/Export logistic revenue for Lindsay Fresh Logistics increased by 18 per cent in FY2019 to $5.48 million. Investment in new equipment during the second half of the year will reportedly generate revenue for the division by providing value-add services for both existing and new customers.
Rural external revenue growth for the year grew $4.07 million (3.7 per cent) to $113.99 million. Rural made a Divisional contribution in FY2019 of $3.87 million, an increase of $880,000 (29.4 per cent). the division was also able to benefit from operating cost reductions from the branch rationalisation and consolidation.
“We are pleased to announce a strong set of results for the 12 months to 30 June 2019, achieving record revenue and over 10 per cent growth in net profit after tax. This result is a testament to our investment strategy which has seen is diversify our location and service offering over recent periods, mitigating industry risk and capturing new revenue,” Kim Lindsay, CEO at Lindsay Australia said.

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.

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.

Woolworths turns to automation to meet online demand

Woolworths Group and Takeoff Technologies have announced plans to implement automated micro fulfillment capabilities at an initial three sites to help meet customers’ growing demand for shopping online.
The implementation of Takeoff’s automated solution will begin within the next 12 months, with Woolworths Group to then evaluate the suitability of the technology for further roll-out.
Takeoff Technologies is an eGrocery startup, based in Boston, USA, that builds compact, automated micro fulfillment centres. Using a store’s existing footprint to improve online operations, the automation minimises the space required by using innovative technology that functions in compact vertical spaces.
The Takeoff technology is designed to meet the growing demand for online shopping by moving products closer to the picker – saving team members from walking up and down the aisles to locate products.
“Our customer expectations are changing rapidly, with more and more turning to online shopping to help them in their busy lives. At Woolworths, we are continuing to look for ways to enhance our customers’ online experience, especially the speed at which we make orders available to them. This partnership with Takeoff will allow us to deliver ultra convenience at a local level, with the ability to be even closer to the customer for that last mile delivery,” Brad Banducci, Woolworths Group CEO said.
“We are thrilled to partner with Woolworths Group. They are a major player in the online grocery and drinks sector and our solution provides them with the perfect platform to continue to evolve their eCommerce operations and meet customers’ changing needs. We look forward to a very successful deployment of our partnership,” Jose Vicente Aguerrevere, co-founder and CEO of Takeoff said.

Woolworths breaks ground on new $135m distribution centre

Woolworths has commenced building works on the supermarket’s new Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) in Truganina, Melbourne.
The multi-million state-of-the-art facility, which will be built by Vaughan Constructions, will store and deliver fresh produce and chilled products to hundreds of Victorian supermarkets, create 200 jobs during construction and 300 permanent new jobs when it opens in late-2020.
The custom-designed facility will replace Woolworths current operations at Mulgrave, and provide the leading national retailer with a market edge in terms of supply chain dynamics. The MFDC will be co-located with Woolworths’ meat supplier Hilton Meats’ production facility.
Co-location with Hilton and closer proximity to more fresh food suppliers will take up to 600 trucks off the West Gate Bridge each week and a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year.
“This development will help us deliver top quality fruit and vegetables to our customers fresher, faster and more efficiently than ever before. At one-and-a-half times the size of the MCG field, the distribution centre will provide a significant uplift in capacity to support our continued growth in Victoria. We’re proud to be investing in a best-in-class supply chain network in Victoria – delivering fresher food to our customers, taking trucks off Melbourne’s roads, and creating hundreds of new jobs,” Woolworths Chief Supply Chain Officer Paul Graham said.
At full capacity more than one and a half million cartons a week will move through MFDC bringing customers fresh fruit and vegetables and chilled goods from more than 500 suppliers.
The $135m investment on the MFDC is majority funded by landowner Charter Hall, with Woolworths signing an initial 15-year lease on the site. This builds on an extensive national relationship between Woolworths and Charter Hall across both industrial and retail properties.
The commissioning of the MFDC will take around 600 truck movements off the West Gate each week as Truganina is located closer to more Woolworths suppliers than Mulgrave. Co-location with Hilton Meats will take a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year as it eliminates shuttle runs between Mulgrave and Truganina.
The MFDC is also targeting a Five Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, with a solar panel system on the roof, charge points for electric trucks, and fuel savings of more than 400,000 litres each year from transport efficiencies. The Mulgrave Produce DC will continue to operate until the MFDC opens in late 2020.

Logistics automation market to reach $176 billion by 2026

Increasing demand for logistics automation in hardware-centric automation type coupled with high investment in research and development of logistics automation is fueling the market growth.

The Global Logistics Automation Market is forecast to reach $176 billion (USD 120.08 billion)  by 2026, according to a new report by Reports and Data.

The logistics automation market is rising rapidly in the global market owing to the proliferation of the adoption rate of automation in the logistics chains globally. The convenience of lesser human effort and enhanced overall operational improvement is fueling up the market growth of logistics automation.

In the year 2018, Manufacturing Industries segment has witnessed the highest market demand. The manufacturing industries currently are prone to have the highest utilisation of the logistics system as both the raw materials and end manufactured products require the logistics system. Retail and eCommerce segments are also significant contributors to this market.

Asia Pacific market is forecasted to generate a revenue of USD 43.83 Billion in the year 2026, owing to its extensive market penetration towards logistics automation coupled with its rise in consumer base in eCommerce and transcendence in manufacturing industries in China, Japan, and India.

Key participants of the study include Murata Machinery, Vitronic, Toshiba Logistics, Wisetech Global, Swisslog Holding AG, ULMA Handling Systems, Deutsche Post DHL Group, DSV Air & Sea Inc., FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service, Inc.

Asendia selects Tigers for B2C fulfilment in Australia

Tigers has been selected as the local logistics partner to support the launch of Asendia Oceania and provide a regional footprint for B2C and omnichannel fulfilment solutions in Australia.
Hong Kong-based Tigers has an extensive warehousing network across Australia in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, with a focus on B2C vertical markets. Read more

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