HNA International acquires AHG Refrigerated Logistics

Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) has entered into a binding agreement to sell its refrigerated logistics business – comprising its Rand, Harris, Scott’s and JAT operations – to CC Logistics (Australia), a wholly owned subsidiary of HNA Group, for $400 million.
The sale will comprise approximately $280 million in cash, and the acquisition by HNA of approximately $120 million in finance lease liabilities associated with the refrigerated logistics operations.
“AHG has previously announced it would explore all opportunities to maximise shareholder value from the refrigerated logistics business,” said David Griffiths, Chairman, AHG. “Although the restructuring initiatives are delivering a significantly improved financial performance, the sale provides AHG with the opportunity to realise a certain value for shareholders that reflects this continuing improvement.
“The sale also provides AHG with both the resources for further growth in our automotive operations and scope for capital management.”
John McConnell, CEO and Managing Director of AHG, added, “HNAI has indicated a commitment to growing and continuing to invest in the refrigerated logistics sector, both internationally and in Australia.”
Stephen Cleary, the current CEO of AHG Logistics, will remain in his role with the refrigerated logistics business and will be supported by the existing management team and employees of the business.
Completion of the transaction is expected to occur in the first half of 2018, and remains subject to the satisfaction of regulatory approvals and to other customary conditions precedent.
The sale of its refrigerated logistics operations is not expected to have any material impact on AHG’s automotive retail division or non-refrigerated logistics operations.

Seaco Global strengthens presence in Australia

In January 2015, Bohai Leasing Co. of China acquired Cronos Containers Pty Ltd and subsequently integrated the container leasing activities into Seaco Global.
Bohai is controlled by HNA, a large Chinese conglomerate engaging in transportation, logistics, tourism, hotel, property, airport management, financial services and retail.
Since the amalgamation of Seaco and Cronos, Seaco has been strengthening its presence worldwide and in Australia, establishing representation in Perth, new sales offices in Brisbane and Sydney and building the Seaco/HNA brand, whilst meeting the needs of existing clients and developing new business relationships.
Peter Folkard, Regional Vice President – Oceania & Americas, said he is proud to have formed a collaboration with Sydney based Container Rotation Systems (CRS).
“We are delighted to be working in association with CRS due to the compatibility and capability of their automatic lid lifting and container rotation system compatible with our half-height containers,” Folkard said. “These are very exciting times for Seaco Global Australia and we are looking forward to developing projects in other locations worldwide.”
The Australian team’s success has been backed by access to a global leasing fleet and portfolio of equipment including: general purpose containers; ISO bulk liquid, powder and gas tanks; refrigerated and temperature-controlled units and specialised container types (suitable for bulk items). The company is particularly keen to support Australia’s agriculture and farming; construction, defence, food, government, logistics, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas and waste sectors.
Seaco Global Australia has also announced the launch of a new website to help reinforce the company’s brand positioning in the local marketplace:

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.

AHG acquires Refrigerated Logistics

The Automotive Holdings Group has acquired Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways.

SRF is a national cold logistics business with refrigerated road and rail line haul, local refrigerated distribution and cold store warehousing.

It acquired the company for approximately $116 million, with the acquisition including JAT Refrigerated Road Services.

JAT is based solely in Queensland.

AHG managing director Bronte Howson said this takeover will see SRF combined with Automotive’s existing Rand and Harris operations, and will create the largest provider of transport and cold storage operations in Australia.

“This acquisition expands AHG’s customer base and product expertise and will diversify AHG’s exposure to seasonal peaks in fresh produce, allowing for more efficient use of infrastructure across the year,” Howson said.

SRF is forecast to generate FY14 revenues of around $237 million, and EBITDA of $25 million.

Alternative to Refrigerated Vehicles for Sensitive Goods


Saving Energy and Costs – Top Priorities for Logistics

Portable Insulated Containers Provide Solutions

The number of “green” consumers in the World is growing rapidly and they are becoming very conscious of the carbon footprint of the products they buy. When you combine this trend with the very obvious benefits to profitability, this means that the time is at hand when the food and pharmaceutical sector must change its operations and cut its carbon emissions – if only to stay ahead of competitors.

Many food manufacturers and processors already have systems in place to ensure that excessive (and expensive) quantities of power are not used, temperatures of refrigeration equipment are kept within the correct levels for economic operation, loading bay doors kept shut when not in use and their staff made aware of the cost of wasting energy. However, this does not always apply to the distribution system, whether carried out by the manufacturer, their customer or a third party logistics provider.

There is an alternative to the obvious use of refrigerated vehicles for temperature sensitive goods – portable, insulated and/or refrigerated containers. Thus the actual vehicles can have normal dry-freight bodywork without the need for costly refrigeration systems (both to buy and operate with many having an additional diesel engine). There is a saving in energy and reduced running costs as a result of lower unladen weight without refrigeration and less energy is consumed in the manufacture of a non-insulated body. It is also possible to reduce the actual vehicle fleet as both ambient and temperature-controlled goods can be carried in the same vehicle.


As the goods are delivered in their own “mini” cold stores there is no need for refrigerated stores at the delivery point. It is also not necessary to have temperature-controlled assembly areas or loading banks. An added benefit is that the refrigeration systems used by CoolPac/Olivo containers (eutectic plates or injected CO2) are totally silent – ideal as well for “out of hours” deliveries.

As the CoolPac/Olivo containers have a very long life, further energy requirements are not needed to regularly replace old and worn out equipment. By using eutectic plates for refrigeration these can be frozen in the freezing plant at the factory without the need for additional equipment. The Siber System of injected CO2 uses gas that is predominantly obtained from chemical processes in industry. This gas is usually just vented to atmosphere if not used.

In the UK, The Carbon Trust, which exists to help companies to understand systematically the known risks and opportunities associated with climate change, found that last summer alone poor energy efficiency cost the food and drink businesses in the United Kingdom at least £26 million (€35 million/ $52 million)! By simply adopting a forward-thinking approach to carbon emissions and looking closely at their supply chain with such simple solutions as annotated above, companies have the potential to realise significant carbon savings and develop new profit opportunities as we create a low-carbon economy.

A wide range of food and pharmaceutical distribution organisations around the World have found that by choosing CoolPac/Olivo containers for their operations, large cost savings have been a feature and with the added benefits of considerable reductions in their carbon emissions.


For more than fifty years in Europe, industrial size insulated containers together with Eutectic technology have been used to transport chilled and frozen goods alongside dry goods using non-refrigerated trucks/vans. 

For more information, contact or phone Lyn Radnell on 0425 720 885

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