VIC storage leasers may be eligible for refund

Companies leasing warehouse facilities in Victoria may be entitled to a refund from their landlords thanks to a recent decision made by the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal.
Essentially, the Court held that the lease of premises used to provide cold storage and logistics services was a ‘retail lease’ for the purposes of the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic), Hunt & Hunt lawyers has shared.
Hunt & Hunt noted that the decision has practical implications for warehouse operators and freight forwarders, making many entitled to repayment of expenses including land tax and repair costs going back six years.
The Retail Leases Act impacts all aspects of the formation, operation and ending of covered leases. In terms of costs for tenants, landlords are not able to pass on land tax liability or legal costs associated with the preparation of leases, and
landlord are responsible for maintaining premises in the same condition as at the beginning of the lease, this includes equipment, appliances and fittings provided on the premises under the lease.
For the case that brought about the decision, IMCC Group (Australia) Pty Ltd v CB Cold Storage Pty Ltd [2017], the Court had to consider whether a lease of premises used to operate cool storage facilities would be classed as a retail lease.
“The landlord argued it was not due largely to the nature of the services provided and the fact that almost all of the tenant’s customers were businesses,” Hunt & Hunt shared. “The Court of Appeal held that the lease was a retail lease and took the following factors into account: any person could purchase the storage services if the appropriate fee was paid; the tenant’s business was open during normal business hours; and the tenants customers were the actual consumers of the storage service.”
The Court was reportedly not concerned that the premises were acquired for a business purpose.
Hunt & Hunt advises that the criteria for ascertaining whether a warehousing and logistics business’ lease is eligible to be classified as retail will include the rental amount, the size of the premises, whether customers can attend the premises, the hours of operation, the services provided and the permitted use of the premises under the lease.
“Every tenant that provides warehousing and logistics services should have their lease reviewed to determine whether it is potentially a retail lease,” Hunt & Hunt noted. “If it is a retail lease under the law, but the tenant has been paying land tax and maintenance and essential safety maintenance costs, there may be a very strong case to demand repayment of those costs from the landlord.”

Siemens to construct super efficient air cargo centre at London’s Heathrow Airport

Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL) has been commissioned to install an air cargo centre at the international London Heathrow Airport.
International Airlines Group (IAG) issued the contract for IAG’s subsidiary British Airways.
Siemens is equipping a complete new cargo terminal, allowing the airline to profit from a substantial expansion of the existing air cargo capacities and an optimisation of complex cargo processes. The centre will contain with a’ fast-track facility’ – capable of processing particularly urgent air cargo in only 45 minutes.
“With our many years of experience and our in-depth knowledge of air cargo logistics, we will be able to help IAG strengthen their competitive position,” said Michael Reichle, CEO, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics.
“We are proud to have held our ground for years as a major player in the highly contested air cargo business,” added Sarah Coulson, Head of Strategy and Business Development, IAG Cargo.” Premium solutions such as the ability to process air cargo at short notice will help us to successfully keep ahead of the competition.”
In order to enable fast cargo handling, Siemens has developed a streamlined operational concept which avoids long distances and supports optimal use of the area with a surface measuring just 11,30sqm. Siemens will install a sophisticated system consisting of four elevating transfer vehicles (ETVs) and four transfer vehicles (TVs). The scope of delivery also includes three truck docks for loading and unloading, and four conveyor lines for build-up and breakdown. The air cargo centre with a throughput of 135,000 tons per year will have over 110 positions for unit load devices (ULDs). Siemens will also deliver 54 special cold storage and deep-freeze rooms for perishable goods.

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