NewCold November 2019

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Speaking to Supply Chain Digital in Wakefield, Abhy Maharaj, Global Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Operating Officer, discusses how influential automation has become to his firm’s operations


he industry is changing — automation has become king. The influence of technology on how businesses operate shows

no signs of slowing down and its now become paramount that companies are agile or risk getting left behind. In the case of NewCold, the latest industry trends have been embraced and instilled into four key pillars: innovation, trust, agility and automation. NewCold is recognised as a leader in the development and operation of highly automated cold stores. The firm has a global network with eight locations in three continents and is still growing.


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TGW is your reliable partner for intralogistics solutions: We deliver complete integrated solutions for our customers, realize and service mechatronical subsystems or products adapted to the specific needs of our distributors. TGW Distributor Business is proud of the successful long-term cooperation with NewCold, which includes most areas of intralogistics.


the data, its value and how to build the

at the company’s Wakefield site, Abhy

logistical business around it. All of our

Maharaj, Global Chief Commercial

sites are 80-90% automated and you

Officer & Chief Operating Officer,

won’t find anything else close to that

stresses just how vital technology

all over the world.”

has become to NewCold. “At the heart

Maharaj lives and works at NewCold’s

of NewCold is technology and we

Asia Pacific headquarters in Melbourne.

always operate with the customer in

Still relatively fresh into the role having

mind. What makes us different is the

joined in July 2019, Maharaj believes

way in which we leverage technology

that NewCold’s key focus on customer-

to deliver solutions for our customers,”

centricity was an important factor on his

he explains. “Take Big Data for instance,

decision to join the firm. “When I looked

when NewCold thinks about automa-

at the model, it was breath-taking

tion or about its customers and services

because it centered around automation

— that starts with data. We understand

and getting large volumes of product w w wc old . com

Degrees Beyond. Founded in 1997 on the principles of sound construction, exceptional customer service, financial responsibility and personnel management, we are a structurally dynamic organization dedicated to outperforming our competition and exceeding the expectations of the cold storage industry. Most importantly, we are here to help our clients succeed. As an employee-owned company, each member of our team is empowered and vested in the success of our clients. We commit 100% to each detail, big and small. We dismiss the idea of cutting corners and we aim to provide the best for our clients in every aspect. We pledge to complete your job safely, efficiently, on-time and within budget. The partnership with Newcold and their construction team highlights our commitment to listen to our clients and tailor solutions that fit their particular needs. SubZero is your partner from concept to completion. 949 216 9506


in and out,” affirms Maharaj. “I developed

I feel like it’s a great time to be joining

a strong relationship with NewCold’s

NewCold and also for us to realise our

founder, Bram Hage, who I felt was

potential beyond the three continents

a great visionary and always had the

that we’ve just entered.”

customer at heart. I truly believed it

With automation at the forefront of

was a business model that suited me

operations, NewCold leverages ware-

very well and it’s tremendously scalable

house management software (WMS)

across the world. It’s rare that a

in its automated facilities, which has

European-based business can enter

proven highly successful at the compa-

the US and Australian markets so quickly

ny’s eight facilities worldwide. The WMS,

and we’re only just scratching the surface.

developed by Davanti Warehousing,



Abhy Maharaj Abhy Maharaj is the Global Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Operating Officer for NewCold. Maharaj is from New Zealand and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Auckland. In his previous roles Maharaj was Head of Strategy & Investor Relations for Air New Zealand, Director of Equity Markets and Strategy for Fonterra Co-operative Group and CFO for Fonterra Australia. During this time, he was responsible for a number of significant transformation initiatives ranging from establishment of new business ventures, re-engineering of customer engagement models, technology and online innovations and complex financial restructuring including leading a $13bn IPO. Maharaj also studied at Harvard Business School and is married to Ashika Maharaj. He has three children.

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SOLUTIONS Potyzestraat 42 B-8900 IEPER BELGIUM Tel.+32 57 21 86 21

- Major refrigeration contractor to the European frozen food industry - Specialist in the design of large industrial ammonia plants - Manufacturer and installer of large modular IQF freezing tunnels - Authorised installer of Howden, Grasso & Bitzer - Up to 40 tons/hour - More than 50 years of experience - Service 24/24 - 7/7


“ I feel like it’s a great time to be joining NewCold and also for us to realise our potential beyond the three continents that we’ve just entered” — Abhy Maharaj, Global Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Operating Officer

delivers its own state-of-the-art product — the innovative cloud-based management system CORAX. Having been developed using the latest Microsoft technologies, the SaaS (Software as a Service) allows NewCold to control the software design to meet its requirements and fulfil the needs of its customers. Through the assessment of these customer needs, NewCold provides tailor made solutions for the specific transport requests of its customers. The company possesses a range of different solutions to execute the transport of its customers, which w w wc old . com



includes a fleet of 200 own managed trucks and a diversity of partnerships which enables a full network optimisation. From operating a large-scale own transport fleet to a 3PL managed transport solution with dedicated partners, Maharaj’s customer-centric approach comes from understanding the drive behind his customers’ requirements. Despite the influx of new technology, Maharaj believes that it is vital that all incoming technology serves a purpose and enhances existing processes to ensure technology is not embraced for the sake of it. “Our sites are developed with sustainability in mind because customers want less energy use. Typically, NewCold’s sites are 50% more energy efficient than conventional cold storages,” he explains. “We make it easy for our customers to understand exactly where their products are in order to enable them to track it in real-time. Our systems are very smart so if a product arrives and is in the warehouse only for a few hours, it is placed in the most optimal position so that it can be moved in and out efficiently. There’s already quite a degree of AI already built into our software system.” w w wc old . com



In Burley, Idaho, NewCold celebrated the grand opening of one of the largest frozen storage facilities of its kind. This impressive project includes a high bay warehouse with 90,000 pallet positions supplied by SSI Schaefer. Additional high bay warehouses for NewCold have been built in Tacoma, Washington, as well as Wakefield, UK and Rheine, Germany. SSI Schaefer has a longstanding partnership with NewCold. As a leading provider of modular warehouse solutions – especially rack clad storage systems, SSI Schaefer has provided several deep-freeze high bay warehouses for NewCold. The latest automated deep-freeze warehouse project is currently underway in Rennes, France. The demand for deep-freeze products continues to grow. As volumes increase, requirements placed upon deep-freeze logistics are getting more complex. SSI Schaefer offers flexible, modular, and scalable solutions that optimize storage, picking processes, and profitability within cold storage facilities. Along with complex logistics solutions, SSI Schaefer also provides rack structures as a standalone business.

The long-term success of all businesses lies with the relationships that is developed with its customers. By operating with an agile approach, it allows NewCold to be lean and easily adapt its processes. “Engagement with our customers is key,” he explains. “We need to be constantly aware of the latest industry trends and the needs of our customers. For example, an increasing number of people are eating out of their homes, or using innovations like UberEats or DoorDash, so you need to consider the impact that this is having on our customer’s

“ At the heart of NewCold is technology and we always operate with the customer in mind” — Abhy Maharaj, Global Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Operating Officer

businesses.” With customer demands frequently changing, Maharaj believes it’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in order to retain its position as a leader in the market. “It’s all about understanding those requirements from our customers to enable us to think ahead,” says Maharaj. “Our software is not just about warehouse management; it also revolves around starting to integrate more into the customer channels. We’re in multiple markets with some of our major customers and it’s important to recognise that supply chain and logistics aren’t w w wc old . com

Building the Future

At Kingspan Insulated Panels, we are pioneering better technologies and methods of building for a low carbon world. Improving building performance, construction methods and ultimately people’s lives – that’s what drives our people across the world. Energy efficiency is at the heart of our innovation, from making the industry’s most thermally efficient core for our insulated panels, to producing the most airtight interfaces, to providing technical and fieldservice support on how to build optimally. As the world demands more from buildings in terms of energy efficiency, fire safety, weather resilience, health and aesthetics, Kingspan envelopes will take our built environment to the next era of efficiency and wellbeing.


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the same in every market. It’s really

Kinspan, SSI Schager, Deweerdt,

about acknowledging how we can

S-Zero. Maharaj believes the ability

apply the learning across not only one

to develop mutual trust and under-

country but multiple ones and then

standing is vital to all successful

bring that to our customers and say

partnerships that NewCold estab-

‘you could potentially improve your

lishes. “Partnerships are essential

business if you adopt these changes,’

to us. We have a co-competence that

and that’s really how we work together.”

relies heavily on our partners. At the

Highlighting the importance of devel-

core, we need to grow together and

oping strategic partnerships to help

learn from one another, so trust plays

accelerate operations, NewCold has

an important role in that,” explains

developed key partnerships with a

Maharaj. “Partnerships also help

number of companies such as; TGW

us with innovation too. If they’ve got

Group, SKT, B-Built, Ancra, Fisher CGI,

thoughts and ideas on the latest w w wc old . com


OUR PARTNERS NewCold values the impact its partners have on its success and collaborates with TGW Logistics Group, SKT, B-Built, Ancra, Celonis, Fisher Construction Group, CGI, Kingspan, SSI Schaefer, Masterveil/De Weerdt BVBA and Subzero Constructors. This affirms why each of these partnerships are critical to driving success at NewCold. 18

TGW Logistics Group TGW Group is NewCold’s partner for the conveyors and lifts in the cold storages, which takes care of pallet transport within the warehouse. It is a global, preferred supplier of NewCold, the two firms have worked in partnership for a considerable amount of time. SKT SKT is NewCold’s supplier of industrial cooling solutions for the European market. SKT delivers the industrial equipment to control the freezing temperatures in the cold storages. It’s a Belgian family-owned company which NewCold has a long-term partnership with.

B-Built B-Built is a general contractor of NewCold for the European market. B-Built takes care of the actual construction of a NewCold facility. It is a family-owned, small scale company with a lot of flexibility. Ancra Ancra is NewCold’s preferred partner in the innovative application of Automatic Loading and Unloading systems for warehouses and trailers. With this system, no human hands touch the food products from loading at the producer to in- and outbound at the NewCold warehouse. Ancra is a Dutch company with a global playfield. Fisher Construction Group Fisher Construction Group is a preferred general contractor of NewCold in the USA. Fisher built the NewCold facilities in Tacoma (WA) and Burley (ID). Fisher has long-term experience in the construction of cold storages which is of great value in its projects. CGI CGI is a global IT and consultancy services provider that helps maximise the technologies that transform the business of

its customers. CGI supported NewCold in Melbourne to define KPI’s and test protocols for the start-up of a crucial functionality. Their knowledge of Business Intelligence and Testing Methodology helped NewCold to optimise its operation. Kingspan Kingspan is NewCold’s global supplier of insulation panels; they form the external, high insulating cover of NewCold’s facilities. Its high-quality panels are always at the forefront of innovation, which is – in relation to fire safety and insulation value – a high-impact value for NewCold.

It’s a Belgian based company with a a high innovative drive and flexibility. Subzero Constructors Subzero Constructors is NewCold’s supplier of industrial cooling solutions for the Northern-American market. Subzero Constructors, a US-based company, delivers the industrial equipment to control the freezing temperatures in the cold storages.


SSI Schaefer SSI Schaefer is NewCold’s preferred supplier of pallet racking. The racking in the high bay construction of NewCold’s facilities takes care of the huge storage capacity. SSI Schaefer is a global, solid company, originated in Germany, with which NewCold has a long-term partnership. Masterveil/De Weerdt BVBA Masterveil is the designer and supplier of NewCold’s aircurtains and dehumification systems. These systems take care of a solid closure of external openings in NewCold’s cold storage, for instance at train docks.

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incoming technology, then they share

measuring risk when looking to imple-

that information and we collaborate

ment new software and processes.

together to develop new solutions for

“With any technology and innovation,

our customers or improve efficiencies.

there’s a risk attached. We tend to

I also believe that due to the pace of

develop our own systems and technol-

which NewCold is growing; execution

ogies because we’ve got existing sites

and agility is also critical. As we con-

that we can test and if it’s not working,

tinue to incorporate new customers

we also have mechanisms in place

and enter new markets, we need to

where we can quickly stop the pro-

be fully informed of the trends that

cess.” Maharaj believes in a ‘fail fast’

are out there as well as the challenges

process that if something isn’t going

that we might face.”

to work, then the process can be

With innovation recognised as one

moved into an environment that can

of NewCold’s key pillars, Maharaj

be tested more easily. “We don’t take

understands the importance of

massive risks where we will implement w w wc old . com

Outside door (protection)

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new untested processes on a full site

our customers need to believe in and

all at once. We’ll take an approach where

be educated on the automation we

we collaborate with our customers,

have. When you look at the advance-

our people and understand what the

ments of technology, we have spent

risks are. We manage the risks and if

a considerable amount of time educating

the worst happens then we always

and making sure that people fully

have a back-up plan.” Another vital part

understand what it’s all about — there

of NewCold’s mantra is trust. Maharaj

has to be the trust there.”

believes this to be essential to NewCold’s

With an intent to reduce the impact

strategy. “Due to the way our logistics

its operations have on the environment,

and cold storage business is set up,

NewCold has begun to optimise the cold supply chain and introduce innovating concepts. Due to its facilities being tall, it allows the buildings to embrace storage technology with a high stock density. The company’s stacker cranes in the cold store operates in the dark, with

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“ We have a strong philosophy around sustainability and we want to help bring a greener 24 future. There’s still more to do — we aren’t finished yet” — Abhy Maharaj, Global Chief Commercial Officer & Chief Operating Officer only LED lighting used for maintenance. This approach has enabled NewCold to use 50% less energy per pallet position in comparison with traditional cold storage facilities. “There’s a substantial focus on sustainability


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The specialist in automatic truck (un)loading. Ancra Systems is the specialist in the field of automatic truck loading and unloading systems, from standard system to customer specific solution. Tailored to your industry and calculated based on your logistics requirements. Ancra Systems has been streamlining loading and unloading worldwide for more than twenty years.

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COLD AS ICE A fast-growing specialized construction company, B-Built has extensive experience in building large-scale cold store warehouses in Western Europe. Acquired knowledge that we continuously and successfully apply in the building of new logistics facilities. LEARN MORE



Year founded

years and beyond. “We’ve got substantial projects already underway and our existing sites are filling up. Across Europe, most of our sites are full so

730,000 Pallet positions


Approximate number of employees

there’s extension work to be done on our sites in order for us to increase our capacity,” he explains. “We’ve already entered Australia and the US, with both our sites becoming busier, I believe there’s also possibility for new builds coming into those regions. Our immediate focus is to ensure that we bring in new business as we look to enter new markets. We’re always looking to grow and it’s a big part of

worldwide and we like to think we focus

our focus by scaling up our software

heavily on helping to bring that change

developers, operations people and

too,” affirms Maharaj. “In the early days

management team to ensure we deliver

of NewCold’s model, we dramatically

on our commitments and successful

reduced energy consumption and with

implementation of projects on-time

our customers becoming increasingly

and on-budget.”

more focused on sustainability, it has led to it becoming an important driver for us. We have a strong philosophy around sustainability and we want to help bring a greener future. There’s still more to do — we aren’t finished yet.” Looking to the future, Maharaj has a clear vision of the position he hopes NewCold to be in over the next few w w wc old . com

NewCold Headquarters Gravinnen van Nassauboulevard 105 4811 BN Breda the Netherlands T +31 88 060 1400

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