United Forklift and Access Solutions has been awarded a major contract with nationwide logistics provider Bluestar Global Logistics.
United supplied over 60 units to Bluestar’s national depots, including a combination of heavy-duty and high-performance CAT 2.5t LPG forklifts, CAT 3.0t LPG forklifts and CAT 1.6t electric reach trucks, each of which is well suited to heavy-use industries such as logistics, warehousing and transport.
“In a competitive tender, United were the standout company, because their service truly went above and beyond,” said Mr Peter James, Asset & Compliance Manager, Bluestar Global Logistics.
Before submitting their tender, United visited each of Bluestar’s national offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to assess areas where they could provide cost-saving solutions that optimised efficiency and productivity.
United’s National Major Accounts Manager, Mark Pemberton, and his team identified two major problem areas where United could provide innovative solutions. “We discovered that the hosing and hydraulic cylinders in their old fleet were left too exposed, and they were having to replace them frequently due to damage. Our CAT forklifts have been fitted with a low profile hose which is positioned further back, along with a custom designed and manufactured cylinder protector. Both of these features reduce damage to these otherwise vulnerable parts and enhance the overall safety of the machines, ultimately reducing the cost of life to our customer,” said Mr Pemberton.
“The other wear issue we identified was that the heel of the forklift tynes was wearing out over time, and once it’s worn past a certain point, the forklift is no longer standards or safety compliant. We added a lift cylinder spacer, which means that when the front of the tynes are touching the floor, the back is still slightly elevated. In addition to stopping wear from hitting the ground, it stops the heel scraping along the ground if the forklift moves with its tynes down,” he said.
United’s CAT forklifts are all speed-limited to Bluestar’s site requirements and feature CAT’s electric on-board pin-code access system, which prevents unauthorised use of the machines.
Each forklift features a swing-down LPG bracket for the gas bottle, so that operators never have to lift the bottle during replacement, which would cause excess operator fatigue.
“Forklifts are the lifeblood of our business,” said James. “Our customers expect quick delivery times, and their customers expect quick delivery times, so there’s a significant flow-on effect if we have any issues with our forklifts.”
Financial services company Deutsche Asset Management (Deutsche AM) purchased two logistics facilities located in Melbourne and Brisbane from Australian real estate investment trust PropertyLink on Monday 14 February.
The US$56.07 million ($73 million) transaction was conducted off-market on behalf of a German institutional client.
The facilities located in Derrimut, Melbourne, and Parkinson, Brisbane, offer a total of 64,000sqm over two single-story warehouses with offices and parking.
The purchase follows Deutsche AM’s acquisition of a grade-A logistics warehouse in Tokyo in December.
The cold-storage facilities in Melbourne and Brisbane were originally designed for refrigerated interstate transport and warehousing company Rand Transport, and were purpose-built in 2010 to connect to the local port, airport, railway stations and major transport routes in both Melbourne and Brisbane.
“We are pleased to add Rand Transport’s facilities to our portfolio,” said Victoria Sharpe, Head of Real Estate – Asia Pacific, Deutsche Asset Management. “With good quality, cold storage accommodation in prime Australian locations in small supply, over the long term we expect the assets to deliver stable cash flows with low volatility in line with the strategy for our investors.”
Supply chain management company CEVA Logistics has signed a four-year lease at the Calibre industrial development – owned by property group Mirvac – at Eastern Creek, New South Wales.
Construction of the building CEVA will occupy has yet to complete, though it will consist of approximately 18,000sqm of warehouse and 1,000 metres of office space, allowing CEVA to consolidate three existing warehouse operations from different locations into one.
“As a world leading supply chain management company, CEVA will benefit from Calibre’s unmatched transport links. At the nexus of the M4 and M7 motorways, the site has a dedicated multi-directional signalised intersection connecting to major transport links,” said Stuart Penklis, Mirvac’s Group Executive, Industrial.
“The advanced specification of the facility sets a new standard of quality and amenity for industrial estates in Australia, whilst delivering long-term efficiency and flexibility for CEVA,” he added.
Penklis said that the state government investment in infrastructure is drawing large-scale users to Western Sydney.
“The upgrade of the M5 Motorway and WestConnex has stimulated demand as it will improve access and connections between Western Sydney, Port Botany and Sydney CBD. Calibre is ideally placed adjacent to the motorway, catering for logistics and manufacturing occupiers looking to benefit from this investment in infrastructure.” Carlos Velez Rodriguez, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, CEVA, said, “We’re very pleased to have secured the first facility at this new premium logistics hub. Calibre raises the bar for contemporary industrial estates, and the quality and design make it an exceptional opportunity to have secured.
“This transaction allows us to consolidate from different locations across the state, creating a huge value proposition and bottom line efficiencies. Against the back drop of high demand for industrial sites in Sydney’s west, Calibre’s prime location makes it an unmatched opportunity.”
The Handheld Group, manufacturer of tough mobile computers, handhelds and tablets, has announced a new product to join its range – the Algiz 8X tablet.
The Algiz 8X offers communication features such as LTE and dual-band WLAN, along with an eight-inch ultra-bright chemically strengthened projective capacitive touchscreen built for outdoor use. With glove mode or rain mode enable, the tablet can operate in changing weather.
Handheld reports that the ‘compact’ and ‘rugged’ Algiz 8X has been put through exhaustive testing, including an impact test in which a 64-gram steel ball was dropped on the screen 10 times from a height of 1.2 metres.
“We’ve pushed the limits of modern field technology with this product, fulfilling customers’ needs for powerful computing, mobility, outstanding screen performance and battery life. We made no compromises,” said Johan Hed, Director of Product Management at Handheld.
The Algiz 8X comes standard with Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB, and an optional active capacitive stylus. LAN port, COM port and barcode scanner options are available and custom features and electronics can be added using a ‘backpack’ system.
The Algiz 8X is available from March.
The warehouse management system (WMS) market size will reach US$3,112 million ($4.2 billion) by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 15.2% from 2016 to 2022, according to a new report published by Allied Market Research. The growth is expected to come as a result of the increase in inventory and workload of WMS in warehouse operations, and Europe is expected to be the largest market during the forecast period.
The report, ‘Global Warehouse Management System Market by Component Type, Industry Vertical, and Geography—Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecasts, 2014–2022’, found that among the various industry verticals, transportation & logistics is projected to dominate the market, however pharmaceuticals industry is expected to have the fastest growth rate.
“The European market is most productive as compared to others with diverse industry verticals implementing WMS at a greater extent. Furthermore, it is projected to generate the highest market revenue over the forecast period with predominant deployments in the transportation & logistics industry” said Seapee Bajaj, Lead Analyst, Construction & Manufacturing at AMR.
Asia-Pacific is estimated to grow fastest due to increase in the adoption of WMS services and extensive growth in Japan, China, Australia, and India.
Amazon leased seven million square feet of warehouse space in the UK in 2016, 19 per cent of the region’s total letting for the year until mid December. Real estate consultancy Gerald Eve’s Prime Logistics report analyses the UK’s 50,000+ sq ft warehouse market. Amazon’s dominance was particularly pronounced, it found, during Q3 2016, when Amazon took 3.4 million sq ft of new space, a quarter of the 13.8 million sq ft of total lettings.
“For one company to be responsible for a fifth of all lettings is remarkable – all the more so given Q3 saw the highest-ever quarterly take-up, putting 2016 on course to be the strongest year for the industrial occupier market we have recorded,” said Richard Ludlow, partner at Gerald Eve. “Despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote in June, occupier demand for warehouse space remains strong, and it is online retailers such as Amazon that are underpinning this interest. The strength of this demand highlights just how robust the sector’s future prospects are.”
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.
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.
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 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.