MHD Supply Chain Solutions July 2024

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Körber named Leader in 2024 Gartner MQ for WMS while preparing for CeMAT


Prological providing guidance for warehouse automation TMHA hosts its annual National Skills Competition PUTTING TECHNICIANS TO THE TEST

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Supply Chain Solutions


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We’ve already reached that month when we say “goodbye” to one financial year and “hello” to the next.

As we enter deeper into the latter half of 2024, it’s time to look forward to the upcoming and exciting industry-related events with the likes of CeMAT being held in July at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, and Prime Creative Media’s very own MEGATRANS being hosted at the same venue from September 18 till September 19 in less than two months’ time.

In this edition of MHD Supply Chain Solutions, all eyes are on automation and robotics as the technological revolution continues to change many facets of this ever-evolving sector.

On the cover is the software supply chain company, Körber, with the latest on its role as Leader in the 2024 Gartner Magic Quadrant Warehouse Management Systems, and its presentation of a range of sophisticated solutions at CeMAT 2024. Prological’s MD, Peter Jones, provides insight in what consulting companies like his can do for current and potential clients who are looking at automating their warehouses in a cost-effective and productivity-increasing manner.

Like there’s never a dull moment in the supply chain and logistics world, there’s never a dull moment in the MHD world, as we bring informative and new features from experts in everything robotics and automation, including Priority Integrated Systems, Airstack Intralogistics, Adept Conveyors, Falcon Autotech, AutoStore, and many more.

The July issue wouldn’t be complete without content from MHD regulars such as Toyota Material Handling Australia, which is highlighting its annual National Skills Competition where its technicians put their knowledge, experience, and expertise to the test for a grand cash prize and overseas trip, and Argon & Co, whose Academy program is now up and running in the Australian and New Zealand region.

To add to this mix of fresh and invigorating content, we have a peek at the Women In Industry Awards, which was celebrated in June in Sydney, and delve into a Mercury Awards first: the MHD Sustainable Warehouse Award, unveiling four out of the eight nominees for what will be a much coveted and highly valued accolade.

To make matters even more interesting, we have special features about Linfox’s efforts to decarbonise logistics with its prime movers, and FedEx’s new Drive Through Pallet technology being rolled out across its major Australian DCs.



DHL Australia’s (DHL) workplace culture has been recognised following the results of a survey by Great Place To Work (GPTW), a global authority on workplace culture.

This year, DHL’s GPTW certification was a DHL Group effort covering the company’s four business units – DHL eCommerce, DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding, and DHL Supply Chain. DHL’s four CEOs; Denise McGrouther, Vice President and Managing Director, DHL eCommerce; Phil Corcoran, Managing Director, DHL Express; George Lawson, Managing Director DHL Global Forwarding; Steve Thompsett, CEO, DHL Supply Chain, were pleased with the result.

“The results are a testament to the collaboration of the four divisions, our commitment to creating a work culture that attracts and retains the best talent and fosters innovation and development,” says Denise McGrouther, Vice President DHL eCommerce.

“It is a positive reflection on our foundations for growth, delivering value to both employees and customers for long-term business success.”

“This is a true reflection of the high levels of trust, teamwork and positive contributions that our dedicated employees working at our DHL Group facilities across the country continue to deliver to grow our company’s culture. I couldn’t be more proud,” says Phil Corcoran, Managing Director, DHL Express.



FedEx Express has announced the appointment of Sandeep Shahi as Vice President, Information Technology in Asia Pacific (APAC) as it says he will drive the company’s technology operations in the region. Sandeep started his career in Germany with SAP AG before joining the logistics

industry to lead digital transformation and the adoption of digital solutions, playing a key role in the modernisation of integrated IT architectures.

Operating at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds, FedEx’s business strategy in the Asia Pacific region is deeply rooted in innovation.

“Great Place To Work certification makes our employees proud, helps us recruit top talent and motivates us to do even better,” says George Lawson, Managing Director, DHL Global Forwarding.

Steve Thompsett, CEO, DHL Supply Chain adds: “The work we do is an essential part of everyday life for Australians, and we recognise and reward the extraordinary work that our employees do daily to keep our customer’s operations running smoothly.”

The company is dedicated to making supply chains smarter by deploying technology to enhance the service experience, automate processes, and improve efficiency for customers.

Some examples include FedEx Data Works, which harnesses the company’s rich data ecosystem to help optimise internal operations, fuel innovation and build more intelligent supply chains around the globe.

FedEx’s new digital platform called fdx, will offer end-to-end e-commerce solutions for businesses of all sizes.

This first-of-its-kind data-driven commerce platform will connect the entire customer journey and make it easier for SMEs to manage their supply chain.

To enable transparency in sustainable reporting, FedEx has also introduced FedEx® Sustainability Insights.

This innovative cloud-based data engine allows customers to measure the carbon footprint of their shipments using near real-time FedEx network data to estimate CO2e emissions.

It takes just 20 minutes for an order to be picked at Bolloré Logistics’ Blue Hub facility, tailor-built to handle online and store orders for perfumes and cosmetics. A Dematic Goodsto-Person system enables these superior customer service levels for Bolloré clients, optimising order fulfilment speed and accuracy while delivering very high productivity.

With space a premium in Singapore, the Dematic Multishuttle® high-throughput, high-density storage engine provides a 400% increase in capacity. The result: Flexibility, capacity and a superior service for Bolloré Logistics’ clients.

Sandeep Shahi, Vice President, Information Technology, APAC.


In a rapidly evolving logistics sector, leveraging modern technologies is paramount to ensuring optimal profitability. SICK’s innovative solutions have become indispensable, guiding logistics companies towards more efficient and financially rewarding outcomes.

In 2022, SICK demonstrated its pivotal role in the sector with impressive global revenues of EUR 2,511 million in orders and EUR 2,190 million in sales.1 These figures not only underscore financial success but also highlight the market’s growing demand for advanced smart sensor solutions, with SICK leading the charge. This recognition signifies the crucial role technology plays in boosting logistics profitability.

SICK’s investment of EUR 241 million, accounting for 11 per cent of its sales, underpins the company’s vision and pace of innovation. This isn’t just a financial decision – it’s a promise to its clients including the logistics automation industry. With a focus on Sensor Intelligence, SICK is moulding the systems and technologies

to streamline digital and automated logistics processes.

The sheer volume and nature of patents registered by SICK in 2022 paint a telling picture. Of the 122, over half were in the realms of software and artificial intelligence. As logistics seeks its next big profitability leap, the journey is rooted in the amalgamation of intelligent systems, data analytics, and actionable insights.

Take, for instance, SICK’s Lector85x. This camera-based code reader, fortified with AI capabilities and top-tier software, is not just a breakthrough for logistics centres, but also an essential tool in the aviation industry for luggage sorting.


SAP announces

SAP, an enterprise applications and business AI provider, has announced a new suite of generative AI solutions and strategic partnerships. Named Joule, this AI copilot sorts and contextualizes data from multiple systems to advance automation and improve

SICK’s Lector85x is a camera-based code reader, fortified with AI capabilities and top-tier software.

AI innovation in business. These partnerships are with Google Cloud, Meta, Mistral AI, and NVIDIA. The reasons for these collaborations include:

• SAP and Google Cloud use Business AI to help enterprises better predict and mitigate supply-chain risks to minimise disruptions and maintain optimal inventory levels.

• SAP will leverage Meta’s Llama 3 suite to generate scripts that render customized analytics applications in SAP Analytics Cloud.

• SAP will add new language models from Mistral AI, a global company headquartered in Paris specializing in generative AI, to the generative AI hub capability in SAP AI Core.

Its proficiency extends to accurately reading codes at remarkable conveying speeds of up to 3.5 m/s, and when coupled with its 12-megapixel imaging capability, the result is unparalleled operational efficiency. Such technological advances lead to swifter processes, diminished errors, and optimised workflows, all of which contribute directly to enhanced profitability for users. Then there’s the SICK Augmented Reality Assistant (SARA) app, a beacon of how technology can reshape ground operations. By seamlessly integrating sensor data with real-world scenarios, the app offers users invaluable, real-time insights. decision-making. Already launched in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Solutions and SAP SuccessFactors, the expansion will see it integrated with SAP Ariba and SAP Analytics Cloud solutions. SAP also announced a series of strategic partnerships that will scale

• SAP and NVIDIA Corporation will be advancing a cross-product partnership to embed cutting-edge technologies into enterprise-ready business applications.

its AI copilot, Joule.


Air conditioning manufacturer Daikin is continuing its investment in Australian manufacturing, with construction commencing in late May on its new 7500 sqm facility in Sydney’s west under TMX’s guidance.

The new site expands upon their

Australian headquarters on Governor Macquarie Drive in Chipping Norton. “Daikin’s second factory…further develops our ability and long-term strategy to design and manufacture products that meet the needs of local businesses and homes,” says Nicholas MacDonald, Daikin’s



Cold Xpress, a Melbourne-based cold storage and transport company, is expanding its operations to bring sustainable cold storage solutions to its clients.

Located in Rowville, the new facility is being built in an existing 8000 sqm warehouse and ultimately will be a 12,000-pallet position cold storage facility.

Cold storage can require a large amount of electricity. Projects like this are not often associated with sustainable logistics, but Cold Xpress is willing to ensure it is.

The cornerstone of the new facility is using the warehouse’s roof space for solar power, enabling it to run on renewable energy during the day, with an at-night battery solution soon available.

Cold Xpress has also opted for modern CO2-based refrigeration units. Although CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it is up to 4000 times less harmful than conventional refrigerants like R404. In the unlikely event a leak occurs, environmental harm is minimised. CO2 refrigeration also requires less energy to run than conventional refrigerants. Other sustainable aspects of the facility include:

• High-quality fire-retardant insulated sandwich panels reduce the need for additional refrigeration.

• Use of recycled pallet racking to minimise the carbon footprint created by steel production.

• Retrofit of an existing warehouse, minimising the need and use for new building materials, thereby reducing the carbon footprint

General Manager of Manufacturing.

“Daikin engaged TMX through a preexisting relationship to guide us through to completion of our new facility. Their ongoing support through due diligence, feasibility analysis, development approvals and now into construction management has been invaluable.”

Daikin has more than 80 global production sites.

“We are proud of our long and ongoing relationship with Daikin and excited to be in a position where we can continue to support their growth, as they move into the construction phase of their new facility,” Adam McDonald, TMX Transform’s Head of Operations.

“This is a complex existing site and as superintendent, and specialists in the industrial and manufacturing space, TMX can understand and deliver upon these bespoke needs to ensure Daikin is best positioned to deliver to their customers.”

Construction on Daikin’s new facility is expected to be completed by March 2025.

of building works.

• Built its own TMS and WMS and is striving to go completely paperless.

To complete this project, Cold Xpress has enlisted builders A1 Precision Solutions. The two have worked together before, and Cold Xpress feels that A1 has the experience to make sure both - the project and the new facility operate sustainably.

A1 Precision Solutions has been instrumental in the implementation of many of Cold Xpress’ green initiatives and has found innovative solutions to suit its needs.

Construction on Daikin’s new facility is expected to be completed by March
Cold Xpress has opted for modern CO2based refrigeration units.


Argon & Co, the global management consultancy specialising in operations strategy and transformation, is delighted to announce the launch of new ANZ industries: Healthcare and Heavy Industry.

The new industries come about with the integration of Caliba Group, which will be integrated with Argon & Co in June 2024 after joining late last year.

“By welcoming Caliba Group, we are strengthening our procurement service offering globally and expanding our industry reach locally,” says Paul Eastwood, Managing Partner of Argon & Co APAC. “We are excited to welcome a team that aligns with our culture and values, shares commitment to excellence and delivers real results for our clients.”

Caliba Group is one of the leading procurement consultancies in Australia with deep knowledge across a variety of industries including healthcare,

The combined entities will also benefit from a new Brisbane office, joining the company’s 160 consultants spread across offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Brisbane.

“We are delighted to be adding our procurement expertise to Argon & Co’s great supply chain services and are eager to begin work across shared clients and projects,” adds Founders of Caliba Group, Jim Cowan and Daniel Williams, who join Argon & Co as Partners and will lead the ANZ procurement offer.

heavy industry, government, transport and logistics, and food and drink, with substantial cost-reduction expertise.

The move will reinforce Argon & Co’s market-leading position in Australia and New Zealand and the firm’s expansion strategy – bringing immediate scale, expanded procurement capabilities and a reinforced global offering to the business.

“And with the addition of our new Brisbane office, we are excited to offer greater coverage for our clients and more career and personal development for our talented team.”

The two new industries will reinforce Argon & Co’s existing end-to-end capability in ANZ, enhancing both its expertise and scale, offering more to clients as well as wider market demands.


Linde Material Handling Australia explains in this column for MHD the various green initiatives it is implementing to make its operations more sustainable and ensure a cleaner future.

At Linde Material Handling Australia, sustainability is more than just a green logo or a comprehensive sustainability report. It’s a commitment evident through actions and achievements.

Since the beginning, our products have been designed with sustainability top of mind. For over a decade, our comprehensive sustainability strategy has been instrumental in developing low-emission LPG and diesel forklifts and high-performance electric models with reduced energy consumption, including those with alternative drives. Since 2012, Linde Material Handling’s sustainability efforts have been assessed and certified by the independent service provider EcoVadis.

In 2023, Linde Material Handling achieved above-average scores, resulting in a Platinum rating and placing us in the top one per cent of 125,000 companies evaluated. This marks a significant improvement over our previous gold ratings obtained consistently since 2020. EcoVadis evaluates companies based on 21 criteria across four areas:

environment, labour practices, ethics, and supply chain, aligning with standards from the Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact, and the sustainability guideline ISO 26000. These certifications reflect our ongoing commitment to offering sustainable products.

The goal at Linde Material Handling is to design environmentally friendly and energy-efficient products and solutions, offering operationally productive, costeffective, and resource-efficient options to our customers. This includes using materials that are environmentally friendly and easy to reuse, repair, and refurbish.

Our products not only help customers reduce energy use and emissions but also enhance occupational safety standards. Furthermore, our trucks must offer maximum driving performance with minimum fuel consumption.

Meet us at at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from July 23-25! Our team of financing experts would love to talk options at booth 416.

Assists your cashflow with no principal repayments during the agreed installation period: DLL makes all progress payments to the suppliers during the installation period.

All future electric forklift trucks will be compatible with both lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells.
The new industries come about with the integration of Caliba Group, which will integrate with Argon & Co in June 2024.


After being named a Leader in the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Warehouse Management Systems for the sixth consecutive year, Körber remains focused on shaping its software to meet developing challenges in the supply chain.

Today’s supply chain landscape is rife with challenges –port disruptions, global conflicts, land restrictions, and economic constraints limiting capital availability all drive the need for digital efficiency.

These common challenges are amplified by the labour shortage problem in Australia, where fewer young people are joining the industry, and more employees are exiting jobs.

To navigate these challenges and build resilient supply chains, organisations around the world have relied on business intelligence –combining software excellence with technical know-how.

Speaking of Körber’s vision for this year and beyond, Sean Elliott, CTO Software, Körber Business Area Supply Chain, explained that customers are at the heart of the company’s work to enhance workforce efficiency and resilience.

A result of Körber’s commitment to its customers is the recent accolade of six straight years named Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems. Körber was also acknowledged in the 2023 Gartner Peer Insights Voice of the Customer for Warehouse Management Systems.

The ‘Voice of the Customer’ report, which aggregates user reviews into

third-party logistics providers.

“More than 70 per cent of companies state that their supply chain complexity has grown over the past year and more than 80 per cent now recognise the supply chain is mission critical,” says Sean.

“We view our placement as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems as another milestone in our journey to enable companies to build and futureproof agile, efficient and resilient supply chains.”

Körber’s recent project with Officeworks to modernise its supply chain operations by harnessing WMS and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) technology exemplifies why Körber is consistently recognised as

an industry leader.

Last year, Officeworks continued its partnership with Körber to increase the speed of stock delivery to customers and stores, as well as improve availability and inventory management of tens of thousands of products through a new 15,000 sqm site in Perth, Western Australia.

The new Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) is the most sophisticated of the national network and is the equivalent size of more than eight AFL fields, or 12 Olympic swimming pools.

Officeworks is using Körber’s WMS integrated system with 90 autonomous solar-powered Geek+ mobile robots, directly controlled from Körber’s cloud platform. The

centre will reach its capacity of 150 robots by 2025 with Körber’s Robot-as-a-service (RaaS) enabling the CFC to scale efficiently during peak periods.

“The recognition as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant is excellent, but what matters to us is the recognition from our customers –the reason we exist is because of our customers,” explains Sean.

“We are growing our own business so we can help to grow theirs. A partnership approach is important for large-scale projects, where there will always be challenges along the way, but both sides are determined to find the sweet spot – the solution which works for their unique business needs.” ■

actionable insights, highlighted Körber with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on 41 reviews, with 95 per cent of reviewers willing to recommend Körber as of 31 August 2023. Placed in the upper-right corner of the “Voice of the Customer” grid, Körber was recognised as a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice. As companies scramble to meet rising consumer expectations, effective supply chain technology is of vital importance. Körber’s WMS solutions make it possible to meet customer expectations regardless of the size of the organisation, catering to the unique needs of small businesses, global enterprises and

Körber’s WMS solutions make it possible to meet customer expectations regardless of the size of the organisation.
Images: Körber
Officeworks is using Körber’s WMS integrated system with 90 autonomous solar-powered Geek+ mobile robots.


Körber explains to MHD what solutions it will showcase at CeMAT, one of the largest supply chain and logistics conferences in the world, as it takes centre stage at the event.

Körber Supply Chain’s APAC team will demonstrate a variety of technology solutions at CeMAT 2024, one of the world’s leading trade shows for intralogistics, materials handling and supply chain management.

Industry leaders will converge at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from July 23 to July 25 to exchange ideas, share common challenges and demonstrate technology solutions that are shifting supply chain operations.

The CeMAT exhibition will be a onestop-shop for technology and service providers in intralogistics, robotics and automation, warehousing, supply chain management and materials handling.

At the Körber booth, attendees will delve into the solutions available in

The exhibition will feature interactive experiences to demonstrate how Körber help customers to solve supply chain challenges.

the company’s growing portfolio of automation, software and supply chain technology.

The event brings like-minded businesses together to gain news and share insights about supply chain technologies – helping leaders identify their strategic direction, accelerate decision-making, and drive their organisation’s future success.

“CeMAT is an opportunity to educate and demonstrate our broad range of proven supply chain solutions to fit any business size, strategy and appetite for growth,” says Anthony Beavis, Körber Managing Director Software APAC.

“As Australian and APAC businesses continue to struggle with cost pressures, supply chain disruptions

The technology shown by our expert team at CeMAT will focus around solving business problems and elevating our customers.

and labour shortages, the power of technology can enhance operations to build more efficient, resilient supply chains.

“The technology shown by our expert team at CeMAT will focus around solving business problems and elevating our customers.”

As well as Körber offering product demonstrations, visitors will also be able to access the event’s Knowledge Theatre, which will offer attendees insights, inspiration and practical take-away solutions to challenges facing decision makers and frontline professionals in the logistics and warehousing industry. ■

To register for the event, visit the CeMAT website.

At the Körber booth, attendees will delve into the solutions available in the company’s growing portfolio.


Prological Managing Director, Peter Jones, discusses with MHD the importance of tailoring automation and robotics solutions to clients’ specific environments, tasks, and needs, and why consultancies are essential in guiding these processes.

Automation and robotics are irrevocably changing warehousing and supply chain management. Yet, despite the incredible potential these technologies hold, there’s a crucial caveat: there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

This was a key insight shared by Peter Jones, Managing Director at Prological who’s a seasoned consultant in the field, whose expertise sheds light on the nuanced approach necessary for successful implementation of automation systems.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution in robotics and automation,” says Peter. This statement underscores the diversity in needs across different clients and environments.

Automation solutions are tailored to specific situations. Consequently, what works well in one setting might prove suboptimal in another. This is a critical understanding that can save companies

from costly mistakes.


A clear analogy illustrates this point. Imagine a family of five needing a new car. A sleek Mazda MX-5 might be a fantastic vehicle, but it wouldn’t be practical for a large family. Similarly, a business might be sold on an impressive piece of robotics technology, only to find it ill-suited for its specific needs.

“It’s not about the tool itself being good or bad,” explains Peter. “It’s about whether it’s the right fit for the task at hand.”

Salespeople in the automation industry excel at showcasing their products, often using impressive case studies and success stories. However, these examples are typically tailored to specific environments and tasks.

Changing the client, environment, or task profile can make even the most advanced technology unsuitable. This is where an objective consultant becomes invaluable.


Consultants bring a broad understanding of the myriad options available within the automation landscape. They help clients discern which technologies will genuinely benefit their operations, rather than simply relying on the most compelling sales pitch.

“A higher level of complication arises because very few environments will be best served with just one type of automation solution,” notes Peter. For instance, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are excellent for specific tasks but might not be as effective for others. In larger operations, integrating multiple technologies often yields the best results.

However, this introduces another layer of complexity: integrating different systems and managing various suppliers. Here, consultants help strike a balance between the perfect automation solution and the practicalities of system integration and sustainability.


The stakes are high in automation investments. These technologies require significant capital expenditure and have long return on investment (ROI) cycles. Despite the potential for substantial

The Amazon facility at Erskine Park uses multiple low-height floors for AMRs. Shutterstock/Frederic Legrand COMEO.

operational efficiencies and service improvements, a misstep can result in suboptimal performance and wasted resources.

Peter warns, “It can be very easy to put $20 million, $50 million, or even $100 million into a facility and end up with a solution that doesn’t quite fit.”

This financial risk underscores the importance of making well-informed decisions. The benefits of automation – reduced operational costs, faster fulfilment, and improved inventory control – are contingent on selecting the right technologies and integrating them effectively into existing systems.


Automation is not only changing how warehouses operate but also how they are designed. Peter explains that high capital expenditure on automation can lead to significant savings in footprint and leasing costs.

“Many modern automation solutions are agnostic to height, enabling the use of taller warehouses with smaller footprints,

“We have examples in Sydney of warehouses over 20 metres high with very high levels of automation,” Peter points out.

Such designs challenge the traditional warehouse model, which typically involves large, sprawling facilities.

The Amazon facility at Erskine Park, for example, uses multiple low-height floors for AMRs, with a total building height of 26m, maximising both floor and cubic space efficiency.

Similarly, the Woolworths National DC at Moorebank is over 45 metres tall, an automated pallet facility at 44,000 sqm. This demonstrates the potential of automation led, vertical warehousing, a principle that can start making sense at as small as 10,000 sqm in a traditional build.


The introduction of advanced automation technologies significantly alters the roles within a warehouse. In highly automated environments, the nature of work shifts from manual, person-to-goods tasks to more static, goods-to-person workflows. This

change reduces physical movement but increases the need for focus and adaptability.

“People need to be changing tasks every 90 minutes to two hours to avoid monotony and potential health issues.”

Additionally, the type of person suited for these roles changes.

Automation environments require individuals who can maintain concentration on a narrower range of tasks without the traditional stimuli of a bustling warehouse,” Peter explains.


Artificial intelligence (AI) is often hailed as the next big thing in warehousing and supply chain management. However, according to Peter, there isn’t a role, yet, for AI in the warehouse environment that tier-one warehouse systems can’t already handle.

“While AI has proven transformative in predictive tasks such as inventory management and forecasting, its applications within the physical warehouse are limited and the capabilities some discuss are already present in advanced warehouse management systems (WMS),” says Peter.

AI shines in areas involving complex predictive analytics and big data, but in the realm of day-to-day warehouse operations, existing systems are already highly sophisticated.

“For example, WMS can interleave tasks to minimise dead running, significantly improving efficiency,” says Peter. “Eventually AI may find a more substantial role, but for now, its impact in the warehouse is more evolutionary than revolutionary.”


Given the high stakes and complexities involved, engaging with a specialised supply chain consultancy like Prological is crucial before investing in automation and robotics.

As Peter highlights, “The world of automation is full of traps and pitfalls led by some of the best salespeople. An objective consulting team can guide you through this intricate process.”

Consultants bring an unbiased, experienced perspective to help

businesses navigate the maze of options, ensuring that decisions are well-informed and aligned with longterm goals.

They assist in designing tailored solutions, developing accurate business cases, and managing the cultural and operational changes that come with automation.


In the next decade, automation is expected to become normative in most businesses, much like barcoding did in the late 90s and early 2000s. However, this shift will also bring challenges, particularly regarding existing warehouse infrastructure.

Many traditional warehouses are not designed for the demands of modern automation, from slab specifications to vertical space utilisation.

Peter’s insights paint a future where automation is not just an operational advantage but a necessity.

Businesses that fail to adapt may find themselves left behind in an increasingly automated world. This is why the journey towards automation must be undertaken with careful planning, expert guidance, and a clear understanding of both the potential benefits and inherent challenges. ■

Automating food intralogistics. Swisslog offers a range of solutions including automation deisgned for fast, store-friendly mixed case palletising.

The Woolworths National DC at Moorebank is over 45 metres tall. Shutterstock/Daria Nipot.


Forklift retailer Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) recently hosted its National Skills Competition for 2024. Its Lead Technical Trainer and Adviser, Luke Rowley, spoke to MHD about the importance of celebrating its technicians’ skills.

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has held its National Skills Competition for almost two decades. Since its inception in 2007, this event has grown in significance, recognising and celebrating the best talents within TMHA’s service teams across the nation.


The National Skills Competition is more than just an event; it is a testament to TMHA’s dedication to excellence and continuous improvement.

“The National Skills Contest is a long-standing pillar of TMHA,” says

Luke Rowley, Lead Technical Trainer and Adviser.

“It’s an essential part of the business, recognising excellence in our service teams nationally.”

The competition’s rigorous selection process ensures only the most skilled technicians and apprentices make it to the finals, where their expertise is put to the test.

The contest’s importance to TMHA can’t be overstated. It serves as a platform to highlight the technical prowess and dedication of its service personnel.

“It’s not easy to make it to the finals and even more difficult to win,” notes Luke. “The finalists are rightly looked at as the best of the best, and we celebrate their achievements.”



The journey to the finals of the competition is a challenging one, designed to sift out most competent individuals. The process begins with two stages of online exams, which serve as the initial filter. These exams are a mix of multiple-choice and longanswer questions that cover all of TMHA’s product lines.

“The online exams are open book with increasingly difficult questions throughout,” explains Luke.

recognition boosts the morale of the employees and sets a benchmark for service excellence within the industry.
The journey to the finals of the competition is designed to challenge even the most competent of individuals. Images: Toyota Material Handling Australia

This format ensures only those with a deep understanding of the products and strong problem-solving skills advance to the next stage.

Once the initial stages are cleared, the finalists head to Sydney for the ultimate test: practical assessments on real units. These practical exams are designed to evaluate the technicians and apprentices in a real-world setting, ensuring their theoretical knowledge translates into practical skills.


The finals of the competition are spread over two days, featuring eight stages. These stages are divided into four service stations and four repair stations, each representing different product areas within TMHA.

“We have Toyota counterbalance forklifts, warehouse forklifts, Huski Construction Equipment, and allied products such as our elevated work platforms represented,” explains Luke. This approach guarantees the competitors are tested on an array of skills and knowledge, reflecting the diverse range of products that TMHA offers.


The adjudicators of the National Skills Competition adhere to strict criteria

The competition isn’t just about identifying the best technicians and apprentices; it’s about fostering a culture of excellence, safety, and innovation.

when evaluating the competitors. Safety principles are of utmost importance.

“Safety principles are paramount when judging the stations,” notes Luke.

The judges look for best practices that do not compromise safety in any way.

“We are also assessing their professionalism, methodical approach, and overall how well they can solve the problems presented to them,” adds Luke.

This holistic evaluation ensures the winners truly embody the excellence TMHA strives for.


The competition isn’t only about honouring skills, but also about rewarding them.

Apart from the ability to win cash prizes, the rewards for the top performers are substantial. The winner of the Apprentice of the Year title is awarded a trip overseas to one of TMHA’s production facilities, providing them with invaluable exposure to international practices and innovations.

The Master Technician also accompanies the Apprentice of the Year on their trip overseas.

“The prizes are designed to both recognise and incentivise excellence,” says Luke.

Michael Scheepers from TMHA Adelaide was judged Master Technician for 2024.

TMHA Brisbane-based Luke Agnew claimed the runner-up prize, while Aaron Smith also from TMHA Brisbane rounded out the top three.

As Master Technician, Michael was awarded a cash prize, as well as a free international trip and factory tour of one of Toyota Material Handling’s manufacturing facilities. Possible destinations include Japan, Sweden and the US.

Six of the highest-scoring apprentices were also flown to Moorebank, where they spent a single day rotating through six 45-minute stations ranging from fault finding, to servicing and electrical processes such as crimping terminals and soldering, testing batteries and fork tynes, chains and hydraulics.

After a close-run finish, fourthyear apprentice Joshua Lambert from TMHA Adelaide was awarded the 2024 National Apprentice of the Year award, and as a result will be accompanying Michael on an overseas factory tour.


The National Skills Competition has carved out a legacy of excellence within TMHA. Since its addition in 2008, the Apprentice Skills Contest has become an integral part of this legacy, fostering the development of young talent and ensuring a continuous influx of skilled professionals into the industry.

For TMHA, the competition isn’t just about identifying the best technicians and apprentices; it’s about fostering a culture of excellence, safety, and innovation. It showcases the company’s commitment to providing high-quality service and support to its customers, underlining the importance of skilled service personnel in maintaining TMHA’s reputation for reliability and excellence.

By recognising and rewarding the best talents within its service teams, TMHA not only enhances its service quality, but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

As Luke says: “The finalists are rightly looked at as the best of the best, and we celebrate their achievements.”■


Argon & Co recently launched its Academy in the Australian and New Zealand region. MHD caught up with Lead Consultant, Sean Fuller, to find out more about this unique educational and training-related offering.

Companies face the daunting challenge of delivering on strategic objectives while fostering a positive and productive culture.

Argon & Co’s ANZ Academy stands at the forefront of addressing these challenges by focusing on lean operations and leadership training. Its approach is meticulously designed to equip businesses with methodologies that eliminate waste, enhance efficiency, and cultivate a culture of continuous improvement.


At the heart of the Academy’s philosophy is the principle of lean operations. This methodology is pivotal in helping organisations streamline processes, reduce inefficiencies, and achieve their strategic goals.

“Our focus on lean operations and leadership is designed to deliver strategic objectives,” explains Sean Fuller, Lead Consultant at Argon & Co.

“We provide businesses with methodologies that eliminate waste and enhance efficiency.”

One of the core tenets of the Academy’s approach is problemsolving. By instilling robust problemsolving skills within organisations, the Academy ensures businesses can identify and address issues effectively, thereby aligning their operations with strategic ambitions.

“We really emphasise core principles, with problem-solving being at the core,” adds Sean. “This ensures organisations can achieve their strategic goals or ambitions.”

A comprehensive approach is essential, encompassing collaboration, customised solutions, and alignment with the strategic vision of each

business. The Academy works closely with clients from the outset to understand their unique challenges and objectives.

This tailored approach ensures the solutions implemented aren’t just theoretical, but practical and applicable to the specific needs of the business.


Central to the Academy’s training programs is the SC Prime framework, a successful concept that assesses a business’s maturity and identifies skill gaps.

“With the SC Prime framework, we can tailor our training programs to address specific needs,” notes Sean. “This customised approach ensures the workforce is equipped with the necessary skills to build internal capability and sustain growth.” By leveraging the SC Prime

The Academy ensures its training and development programs remain relevant and effective. Image: Adobe Stock/Sunday Cat Studio.

framework, the Academy develops endto-end supply chain training programs that are bespoke to each organisation.

This approach avoids the pitfalls of generic training and instead focuses on the unique challenges and opportunities within each business.

“The SC Prime framework has really shaped how the academies are moving forward,” adds Sean.


The practical application of the Academy’s training programs is exemplified by its work with various industries. Sean shares an ongoing engagement with a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, where the tailored training solution has been pivotal in shifting the mindset of employees across multiple locations.

“We’re building not only internal capability but also fostering collaboration among employees,” he says. This approach ensures that learning is not siloed but shared, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the training.

The Academy’s reach extends beyond Australia, with programs also available to businesses in New Zealand.

“We ensure a common language and common goals across different locations,” explains Sean. The flexibility of online sessions allows the academies to cater to the needs of employees working across different time zones and shifts.

“I’ve run training sessions at two o’clock in the morning to accommodate night shift teams,” Sean adds,

highlighting the commitment to meeting clients’ needs.


What sets the Academy apart from other training programs is its emphasis on flexibility and a personalised approach. Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, the Academy offers bespoke training tailored to the specific needs of each business.

“We tailor everything to our clients’ needs,” says Sean. “At times, we have to challenge our clients to ensure we understand the real problem we’re trying to solve.”

A key component of the Academy’s offering is the ongoing coaching provided to employees. This coaching can be delivered in larger groups or on a one-on-one basis, ensuring the training is effective and sustainable.

“We focus on building capability through both structured and informal coaching,” notes Sean.


The Academy ensures its training and development programs remain relevant and effective.

“We continuously review industry trends, technical advancements, and thought leadership,” explains Sean. This proactive approach allows the Academy to adapt its strategies to meet its’ clients evolving needs.

Feedback from clients is integral to this process, ensuring the Academy’s programs are aligned with the

objectives and challenges of the businesses it serves.

“We have a continuous improvement process, gathering feedback from clients to ensure we’re meeting their objectives,” says Sean. This commitment to ongoing improvement ensures the Academy’s training programs are not only current but also forward-looking.


The academies’ training programs are further enhanced by the integration of advanced technologies such as automation and robotics.

“We’re helping businesses update their processes and embrace new technologies,” explains Sean This involves not only training employees on the technical aspects of these technologies, but also shifting their mindset to see the benefits and opportunities they offer.

A current project exemplifies this approach, where Sean is leading a team to help a business integrate automation and robotics into their operations. “We’re breaking down silos and shifting mindsets,” he says. “Their roles will evolve, and this training ensures they understand and embrace these changes.”


The Academy’s diverse client base spans various industries, including FMCG and more. This broad reach ensures the training programs are enriched by insights and best practices from different sectors.

“We work across a wide range of industries, applying our training to meet diverse needs,” notes Sean.

Th Academy provides a comprehensive and customised approach to lean operations and leadership training. Its emphasis on problem-solving, collaboration, and continuous improvement ensures businesses can achieve their strategic objectives while fostering a positive and productive culture.

Through the SC Prime framework, ongoing coaching, and integration of advanced technologies, the Academy equips organisations with the skills and mindset needed to thrive in today’s dynamic business environment. ■

✓ Improving workflows

✓ Increasing efficiencies

✓ Reducing ergonomic strain

✓ Boosting outputs

✓ Picking, sorting or packing

✓ Stock fulfillment systems

✓ New conveyor system design

✓ Existing system improvements

Central to the Academy’s training programs is the SC Prime framework. Image: Argon & Co.


Ferag Managing Director and Head of Region APAC, Karl Friesenbichler, talks about the company’s warehousing solutions.

erag is a global company with its APAC head office based in Sydney and its global headquarters in Hinwil/Zurich.

It is a Swiss family-owned group and has been the global market leader in conveying and processing systems in the graphical industry for over 65 years.

Ferag has now shifted focus to Intralogistics and offers end-to-end solutions, from initial consultancy to system integration, project delivery, service and support.

Ferag’s product offerings encompass cutting-edge UCS (WMS/ WCS / WES) software, sortation systems, AMRs and AGVs, as well as service and support to ensure optimal performance.

With a strong emphasis on innovation and technology, Ferag maintains a global presence, represented by 19 sales and service companies, delivering tailored solutions designed to address

warehousing demands.

During peak demand periods like Black Friday or promotional events, warehouses often struggle to meet capacity needs, despite the urgent requirement for fast order fulfillment in e-commerce.

As the Managing Director of Ferag APAC, Karl Friesenbichler, explains, this is a key issue – balancing cost efficiency with the need for speedy delivery to satisfy emotionally invested customers.

“The problem with e-commerce is the emotional journey of the buyer,” says Karl. “Once you purchase something, your money is gone, and you feel ownership of the product, even though it’s not yet in your hands. This is the big issue with e-commerce: the emotional aspect.

“As your supplier, I’m in a difficult position because I haven’t yet fulfilled my promise. I must deliver it as soon as possible because of this emotional attachment.”

When considering methods to manage these operations, some of the options are zone routing and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS).

But as Karl explains, the uses for AS/RS systems are situational and a hybrid approach typically offers the best results.

“For large, bulky items, AS/RS can be inefficient, and for fast-moving stock, AS/RS may cause double handling, making it less suitable,” adds Karl.

“AS/RS excels in storage density, fitting many products into a small space, but during peak demand, it may lack the capacity to retrieve stock quickly enough.

“A well-designed warehouse typically combines different systems: fast-moving products are efficiently handled with a conveyor-based system or zone routing, while slower-moving, or less frequent items, can be stored in AS/RS.”


Karl says that The Iconic, an online retailer, exemplifies the effective mix of manual and automated picking systems.

“The Iconic is a prime example of mixing manual picking areas with automated picking systems, using multiple different automated systems to meet various product requirements,” he continues.

“Cosmetics, perfumes, or high-value items are stored differently than super fast-moving fashion items, and fragile or dangerous goods require their own handling methods”.

“As an online retailer, The Iconic effectively uses an eclectic mix of systems tailored to their diverse

Karl says that the SkyFall system has a proven legacy of precision and robust engineering. Images: Ferag.

product mix.”

Each system’s validity in the warehouse is crucial, but interconnection is key.

Traditionally, conveyors were used but had issues with space and fire exits. Recently, pouch sorters utilising ceiling space have become popular.

Automated packing integrates seamlessly, eliminating human interaction and easing peak day pressures.

ferag.doWarehouse advanced software further enhances efficiency by predictively moving stock into the pouch system before peak days, reducing peak demand.

These systems can ultimately handle up to 100,000 pouches, processing 30,000 pieces per hour, outperforming conveyors.

“Instead of occupying a large floor area where orders wait for pieces to be gathered from different areas, they utilise pouch sorting,” says Karl.

“This method eliminates restrictions on the number of orders that can be processed simultaneously, allowing operations to scale with demand.”


Karl highlights the challenge of forecasting and predicting warehousing demand, noting its propensity for inaccuracies.

Predicting merchandise behaviour proves challenging, but at Ferag, we can analyse product trends and historical data effectively.

“Using doWarehouse’s AI and machine learning, we identify patterns and enhance our forecasts,” says Karl.

“Our data science team supplements this with additional data such as weather patterns, holidays, migration trends, and customer demographics.

to utilise space efficiently,” he says.

“By constructing automation systems beneath the ceiling, we require minimal floor space. This allows us to integrate new solutions seamlessly with existing infrastructure, minimising disruption.”

Karl says that the Skyfall system has a proven legacy of precision and robust engineering.

These factors help predict if a product will sell faster each week, enriching forecasts provided by our customers, our merchandise or sales teams.

“For example, consider soft drinks: sales increase significantly during sunny weekends compared to rainy weather. For fashion items, online sales might spike on rainy winter days when people prefer shopping indoors. Our forecasting models account for these variables to optimise which products are stocked in our systems.”

Ferag have effectively implemented these predictive measures for their clients, namely, Mayoral.

It not only places orders but also collaborates closely with Ferag to continually enhance its systems. It also assesses whether actions were correct or if products need repositioning within an ASRS.

This feedback loop is crucial as it allows ferag.doWarehouse’s machinelearning algorithms to improve over time by learning from successes and failures.


One of Ferag’s flagship systems is called SkyFall. This is an innovative overhead conveyor system that utilises gravity and the third dimension.

It features a straightforward rail profile with roller bodies, enabling a range of items weighing up to 20 kilograms to be transported from point A to point B.

As Karl explains, the beauty of implementing a system like this is that it causes little disruption to processes.

“When considering how to integrate a significant level of automation into an existing warehouse with minimal disruption, our approach is designed

“The chain utilised in the SkyFall system has its roots in the graphics industry, initially developed for overhead transportation of newspapers,” he says.

“This gives a vivid image of newspapers gliding across the ceiling, which is essentially what our systems achieve. The technology behind the chain used in these systems has been refined over six decades.”

The technology embedded in these chains has ultimately undergone continuous refinement over six decades, embodying Ferag’s longstanding commitment to engineering excellence.

“There’s this current hype in the market around pouch systems,” says Karl. “It’s intriguing for me to highlight that while SkyFall isn’t a pouch system, the underlying technology that powers it predates this trend by six decades.

“It’s fascinating to witness the reliability, engineering prowess, and the innovative ideas that have shaped our systems through years of learning. These qualities are evident and constitute major feedback from our customers.” ■

Come and see Karl discuss this topic at CeMAT Melbourne on Tuesday 24 July 2024 at 3pm.

Our cutting-edge material handling products are engineered to enhance efficiency, safety, and productivity. From robust forklifts to versatile pallet trucks, our equipment is designed to meet the rigorous demands of your business.

ferag.doWarehouse advanced software further enhances efficiency.
One of Ferag’s flagship systems is called SkyFall.

Reliability for over 65 years

Experts for innovative Intralogistics


Adaptalift’s Lyle Consul tells MHD how it fitted out its long-term partner Silk Contract Logistics’ new Perth-based facility with sustainable Material Handling Equipment solutions, helping it as it strives to achieve a rare Six Green Star rating.

swiss engineering

Reliability for over 65 years

Experts for innovative Intralogistics swiss engineering

In a remarkable stride towards sustainability, Silk Contract Logistics is working towards achieving the prestigious Six Green Star rating for its new Perth-based facility, located in the suburb of Kenwick.

This achievement will be a testament to its commitment to environmental responsibility and innovation. A pivotal player in this green transformation is Silk’s chosen Material Handling Equipment (MHE) partner Adaptalift.


Adaptalift’s role in Silk’s sustainability goals centred on providing a fully electric Lithium-Ion MHE fleet tailored to Silk’s specific operational needs.

“Through close collaboration with the Silk team, we determined that a

lithium-ion power solution was the most optimal for their new facility,” explains Lyle Consul, National Major Account Manager at Adaptalift.

Lithium-ion batteries offer a safer and more reliable power solution.

The batteries are fully sealed and maintenance free resulting in significant operational benefits for customers.

“The lithium power solution drastically reduces the requirement for strict charging procedures,” adds Lyle.

“This eliminates potential battery mismanagement resulting in increased life cycle expectancy, which is tantamount to savings for our customers.”

Lithium-ion batteries are also highly efficient when charging and use less energy than lead acid alternatives, resulting in lower total cost of ownership.

“As this was Silk’s first foray

See the exclusive interview with Ferag in this issue’s article: Meeting peak demands with automation

into the use of lithium-ion, it was reassuring to have our long term MHE partner Adaptalift, aid in working through how this technology would benefit our business,” says Stephen Lanham, GM Solutions at Silk Contract Logistics.

“As we already have lead acid battery technology in use, we can now directly compare both power solutions to better measure the benefits we expect from deploying the lithium-ion solution at our new Kenwick facility. This will also enable better decision making for future facilities that we plan.”


Achieving a Six Green Star rating would be a significant accomplishment, with only 15 facilities in Australia currently holding this esteemed accolade.

The Green Star rating system evaluates the environmental impact of buildings, with a Six Star rating representing world leadership in sustainability.
The partnership between Silk and Adaptalift is built on mutual understanding and shared goals. Images: Adaptalift.

The Green Star rating system evaluates the environmental impact of buildings, with a Six Star rating representing world leadership in sustainability.

Attaining a Six Green Star rating offers more than environmental benefits. For Silk, it will distinguish the company from its competitors, showcasing a strong commitment to sustainability in an industry increasingly valuing green practices.

This dedication enhances marketability and attracts customers and employees who prioritise environmental responsibility.

Silk’s new facility, which opened in March, features roof-mounted solar panels, EV charging stations, energy efficient lighting amongst other green solutions.

The MHE fleet provided by Adaptalift utilises the facility’s solar panels for battery charging during the day, further reducing Silk’s carbon footprint.


Adaptalift has supplied Silk with advanced materials handling equipment, including reach trucks, low-level order pickers, and counterbalance forklifts. Each piece of material handling equipment has been supplied to enhance operational efficiency and safety.

“The reach trucks in operation have a lift height of 12.5 metres and are fitted with fork mounted cameras that assist operator visibility at height, promoting safe practice,” explains Lyle.

“Fork positioners have been included to enhance flexibility and productivity. The low-level order pickers, used for picking and order fulfilment are equipped with taller load guards and allow operators to carry up to two pallets simultaneously to enhance picking productivity.

“They are also used for stock transfers and put-aways within the facility. Additionally, the counter balance fleet has been supplied with a range of attachments to improve product handling flexibility and safety.

“The fleet is equipped with our

ForkTrack fleet management system.

This system provides Silk with valuable insights into fleet utilisation and performance via comprehensive reporting and analytics. This maximises productivity, vehicle longevity and operator safety.”


The partnership between Silk and Adaptalift is built on mutual understanding and shared goals.

Since Silk’s inception, Adaptalift has been a trusted partner, supplying high-quality materials handling equipment to support Silk’s dynamic growth nationally.

This collaboration was evident during the equipment handover process, where the Silk and Adaptalift teams worked closely in relation to product training and familiarisation.

“We were very impressed with the comprehensive equipment induction provided by the Adaptalift team and the overall quality of the solution,


Innovative Global Supply Chain Solutions

particularly the 4G monitoring of the lithium battery solution,” explains John Heathfield, Silk Site Manager.

“For a facility operator, this is game changing.”


Silk Contract Logistics’ goal of obtaining a Six Green Star rating will be a landmark event in its sustainability journey.

This partnership between Silk and Adaptalift underscores the importance of sustainable practices in the logistics industry and sets a benchmark for others to follow.

As the industry moves towards a greener future, the collaboration between Silk and Adaptalift exemplifies what can be achieved through innovation, commitment, and strategic partnerships. ■

Don’t hesitate to contact Silk Contract Logistics for all your logistics, warehouse and transport needs.

Comprehensive supply chain management solutions, including transportation, warehousing, distribution and last mile delivery.

Reliable, agile and competitively priced FCL, LCL and consol services with varying routings and transit times.

Partnering with global carriers to provide time sensitive and quality services globally.

Comprehensive marine insurance solutions for complete peace of mind.


Santova is an international, technology-based trade solutions specialist, delivering innovative end-to-end supply chain solutions. With offices across 11 countries, our team in Sydney and Melbourne provides unrivaled expertise and experience when managing the import and export of cargo globally.

transparency and accurate realtime tracking functionality required to proactively manage your supply chain. |

Adaptalift has supplied Silk with advanced materials handling equipment, including reach trucks, low-level order pickers, and counterbalance forklifts.


While China International Marine Containers (CIMC) has operated in Australia for many years, Henry Hui, Co-Founder of Airstack Intralogistics and partner of CIMC, explains how the focus is on providing automation systems to clients.

China International Marine Containers (CIMC) Pteris Global (Suzhou) Limited is an automated logistics system integrator with steady system operation headquartered in Shenzhen in China. Airstack Intralogistics is a CIMC partner and works closely with the company.

CIMC was founded in Shekou, Shenzhen in 1980. As a supplier of logistics and energy equipment, CIMC transports more than $17.7 billion worth of containers and generates $2.8 billion in logistics and $4.2 billion in containerisation annually.


CIMC is committed to providing high-quality reliable equipment and

services in the following main business areas: containers, road transport vehicles, energy and chemical industry, food processing equipment, marine engineering, logistics services, and airport equipment.

“As a diversified multinational industrial group serving the global market, there are more than 30 CIMC member enterprises and four listed companies in Asia, North America, Europe, Australia, and other regions,” says Henry Hui, Co-Founder, Airstack Intralogistics. It has more than 300 member companies, four listed companies, and 72,000 employees.

Since 1991, the company has been involved in the logistics transportation and automatic

projects have been implemented in chemical industry, food, cold chain, pharmaceutical manufacturing, manufacturing and circulation, equipment manufacturing, home furnishing, steel, third-party logistics, 3C electronics, and other industries at home and abroad, ranking the top among domestic logistics system integrators, among which aviation processing system ranks the top three in the world.


Between 2018 and 2023, CIMC has increased its installation of automation systems in warehouses considerably with 10 per cent growth year on year. In China, it has implemented its solutions for customers such as where 10 million parcels are handled daily. CIMC has also carried out projects in European countries such as Germany and countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand and the Philippines.

In May 2023, CIMC signed a contract with MultiGate Medical Products in Sydney.

Henry has been working with CIMC. During this time, he has introduced automation systems to

customers in Australia, ranging from ASRS to automated conveyor system and automated logistics.

“The quality in the factory is strictly managed during the production and procurement stage,” explains Henry.

“For example, the use of modularised pre-assembly and multi-module pre-assembly tests help avoid the problems that may be encountered in the field assembly in advance.”

For the Multigate project in Sydney, Australia, CIMC provided four RGVs, nine cranes, and 352 conveyor sortation systems. Additionally, it equipped the facility with four sets of film wrapping machines, and 14 sets

of labelling machines. Its other solutions include the high-speed wheel diverter, cross belt sorter, narrow belt sorter, workbin conveyor sorting system solutions, pallet conveyor system solutions, parcel conveyor system solutions, high-speed mini-load stacker crane, heavy-duty stacker crane, singlemast stacker crane, double-mast stacker crane, shuttle elevator, and four-way multi-level shuttle.

tridimensional warehouse business such as air cargo handling equipment and systems.

It has become one of the most powerful solution providers, system integrators and equipment suppliers in the field of domestic automatic logistics systems through decades of accumulation and continuous innovation.

In recent years, to meet the needs of the rapid growth of the market for automatic logistics system, in addition to maintaining the leading position in the air cargo processing system, the company has continued to increase investment in technology research and development, and the business scale has achieved rapid development.

At present, hundreds of large-scale

“As a company with more than 30 years’ experience in logistics system planning, and integration with advanced design concepts and complete design methods, CIMC has technical R&D team consisting of more than 20 members. The company fully equipped with professional equipment covering machinery equipment, hydraulic system, FEA, electrical control, logistics system simulation, computer software including WMS and WCS,” adds Henry.

“Currently, it has applied over 300 patents (207 patents in validity), most of which are issued in developed countries in Europe and America.

With access to CIMC’s vast resources, Airstack Intralogistics can provide professional end-to-end solutions to the Australian market. From initial consultation and detailed design, to procurement, installation, commissioning and handover, and finally support and maintenance. Basically a “one-stop shop” for customers – no matter how big or small.

“To find out more about CIMC and Airstack Intralogistics, please feel free to contact either me or my business partner, Ken Seto.”

CIMC was founded in 1980. Images: CIMC.
In 2023, CIMC achieved sales revenue of USD $16 billion.
With access to CIMC’s resources, Airstack Intralogistics can provide professional end-to-end solutions to the Australian market.


Priority Integrated Systems offers customised automation solutions to clients by assessing their needs and selecting appropriate technologies. MHD interviewed Graham Bingham and Henry He about warehouse operation challenges and using technology to address them.

In the warehousing and logistics sector, Priority Integrated Systems is notable for its innovative use of advanced technology and deep understanding of the Australian market.

Leading this company are Graham, the CEO; Henry, the CTO; James, the COO; and Ben, the BDM. This team is instrumental in driving significant changes in warehouse operations.


The partnership between Graham and Henry is a compelling story of complementary expertise coming together to create a leading force in warehouse automation.

Graham’s 30-year background in

Priority Integrated Systems prides itself on being brand agnostic. Images: Priority Integrated Systems.

warehouse operations, combined with Henry’s expertise in technology and warehouse design, established the foundation for Priority Integrated Systems.

“Henry brought cutting-edge autonomous mobile automation technology to Australia, and I was immediately excited by its potential,” says Graham. This synergy ignited their journey, propelling them to the forefront of the industry when they implemented Australia’s first eCommerce AMR deployment for Australia Post.


Priority Integrated Systems offers a suite of automation technologies, including Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS), and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). These technologies are meticulously integrated to address the unique needs of each client, delivering optimal supply chain solutions.

“We ensure that the technology we offer is the right fit for each customer,” explains Graham. “For instance, a customer handling large, bulky products requires a different solution than one dealing with small parts. Our approach is to tailor the technology to improve the customer’s operations in terms of safety, service, people engagement, and cost.”

“You can even see this within a individual customers business” said Graham. “If you take CocaCola for example, AMR Goods-ToPerson would not be an effective

solution for their palletised beverage products. However, it was extremely effective for picking small parts for their vending machine maintenance operations.”

James emphasises we focus on understanding the customers business in detail, using data analytics and process mapping. Our approach is to understand the business as well as the client does.

“This allows us to develop a solution that addresses the underlying problems, not just the symptoms. By customising different elements like workstations and storage configurations, we create an optimal solution for each client,” says James.


Priority Integrated Systems prides itself on being brand agnostic, by sourcing the best products globally to bring to its clients in Australia and New Zealand. Henry’s role is pivotal in this aspect, ensuring they are not locked into one particular type of technology allowing the best solution to be provided.

“This flexibility allows us to integrate solutions end-to-end, from goods inwards to goods out, covering every type of material handling,” says Graham.

Priority Integrated Systems’ commitment to understanding the local market is evident.

“When AMR vendors first entered the Australian market, they were pushing solutions based on their experience in Europe, Asia, and the US. We made sure all our solutions

could directly handle Australian sized pallets, which was unique” explained James.


The Test and Training Centre (TTC) is a cornerstone of Priority Integrated Systems’ strategy, serving as a hub for de-risking deployments and showcasing technology to customers.

“The TTC allows us to bring new technology into the Australian market by first deploying, testing, and making necessary adaptations on our site,” explains James. “This way, we can push boundaries and innovate without impacting our customers’ operations.”

The TTC also facilitates predeployment testing of customer software, interfaces, and hardware, significantly de-risking projects and preventing negatively impacting customers operations.

“For the Munro Footwear Group project we completed system integration testing, user acceptance testing, and team member training at our fully deployed Test and Training Centre (TTC) concurrently with their new warehouse being built, which allowed for an earlier go-live date than would otherwise be possible,” adds James.


The Priority team’s prowess is demonstrated in its successful deployments across various warehouse environments. For the Munro Footwear Group, it managed the largest AMR deployment in the

automation. Team member shortages are addressed by making processes intuitive and easy, reducing training times to just hours.

“The feedback from our customers is that new hires are productive sooner and make fewer errors,” says James.

“Our automation systems not only enhance operational efficiency but also make warehousing roles more appealing,” adds Henry. “Employees are excited to work with new technology, which aids in recruitment and retention.”

Southern Hemisphere, synchronising installation with ongoing construction.

“Our project management and communication skills were crucial in ensuring a successful outcome, even while sharing the site with other contractors,” explains James.

In brownfield operations, Priority Integrated Systems’ focus is on minimising disruption to existing processes. “We progressively build and integrate systems, allowing the customer’s business to continue with minimal impact,” notes James.

This approach was exemplified in its work with Monde Nissin, where the team implemented a dual-temperature solution for chilled and ambient goods, addressing issues like condensation and order consolidation.


Priority Integrated Systems tackles several key challenges in warehouse operations, including inbound flows, high volumes of returns, increased customer expectations, and challenges hiring and retaining quality team members.

“In manual warehouses, people spend circa 60 percent of their time walking to locations,” says Graham.

“Our goods-to-person systems eliminate this travel, significantly boosting efficiency.”

Returns processing, often a costly and time-consuming activity, is streamlined through directed put-away systems that create returns orders and bring locations to the operator, increasing efficiency from as low as 20 lines per hour in manual systems to 150 lines per hour with


Priority Integrated Systems’ success lies in its customer-centric philosophy and innovative mindset.

“We strive to understand the customer’s problem first, rather than forcing a technology to fit,” explains Ben. “This approach, combined with our supply-agnostic strategy, ensures we solve the customer’s challenges effectively.”

“We help the client improve their process first, then automate, as opposed to the traditional approach of automating existing and potentially inefficient processes,” says James. “We believe in getting the process right first.”

“For many of our customers, they picked their bulk and small goods separately, then consolidated to order at packing or despatched separately. To reduce double handling and save on shipping costs, we have been able to design an automated solution that allowed for picking of both large and small SKUs simultaneously.”

Priority Integrated Systems is not just about deploying cutting-edge technology; it’s about transforming warehouse operations through tailored, innovative solutions that address the unique challenges of each client.

With a deep understanding of the local market and a commitment to continuous improvement, Priority Integrated Systems is setting new benchmarks in the industry.

As Graham and his team continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible, the future of warehouse automation in Australia looks exceedingly bright. ■

The Priority Integrated Systems team, including James Bingham, , Graham Bingham, Henry He, and Ben Fenlon.


TMHD spoke to 2024 Women in Industry Awards finalists, Orlane Mortimer and Jenny Fellows , about their career achievements in transport.

he Women in Industry Awards honour the women who have excelled in their sectors by demonstrating leadership, innovation, and commitment.

These awards recognise the tireless work women have done to spotlight diversity in traditionally maledominated sectors. With 11 categories in total, including the ‘Woman of the Year,’ winners were honoured at a gala on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at Doltone House Hyde Park Ballroom in Sydney.

A highlight category is ‘Excellence in Transport,’ which recognises individuals’ significant positive impacts on Australia’s transport and logistics sectors. Orlane Mortimer, finalist for ‘Excellence in Transport’ this year, is recognised for her role as business manager of Wollongong Crane Trucks and advocacy for gender empowerment.

Orlane’s certifications, leadership, and adaptability to industry changes have led to her finalist status this year.

Upon finding out she was a finalist, Orlane got emotional to see her hard work over nearly 10 years rewarded.

“When I got the email, my emotions were all over the place – I just started crying,” says Orlane.

“This one was pretty important knowing that it focuses solely on women, and it’s nationwide.”

The Women in Industry Awards recognises those who advance inclusivity and excellence within traditionally male-dominated sectors. ■

Are You Ready for Automation?

automation you adopt, the first question you

to ask is, will my floor meet the demands of the equipment using it?

overlook the importance of your warehouse floor. Whether a brand-new facility or an existing warehouse, your floor is critical to a successful implementation.


Falcon Autotech shares what it has done to transform Aramex, the global logistics company’s Sydney-based facility, and how the partnership has helped deliver optimal results.

In an era where logistics and parcel delivery services are the backbone of e-commerce, the efficiency and accuracy of sorting systems can make or break a business.

Aramex, a global logistics company, understood this necessity and turned to an old partner with a proven track record: Falcon Autotech.

Falcon Autotech’s latest collaboration at Aramex’s Sydney facility showcases the strides that can be achieved when innovation meets operational excellence.


The relationship between Aramex and Falcon Autotech is not new. Their partnership spans several successful installations of warehouse automation systems across various regions. However, the Sydney project was different.

“Although Falcon didn’t have a presence in Australia at the time, it was opportunistic that we were able to work with a familiar partner,” says Sawyer Dearborn, Head of Operations Sydney at Aramex.

“Their proven success, competitive pricing, and post-implementation support were the determining factors for selecting Falcon.”


The Sydney facility required a more extensive and complex system than Falcon had previously provided for Aramex.

“Throughout the design and development stages, it was evident the relationship was going from strength to strength as Aramex requirements were unique and the system far larger and more complex than what Falcon

had been required to deliver for Aramex in the past,” says Chris Josey, Regional Head ANZ at Falcon Autotech. The design and planning phases were meticulous. Falcon Autotech’s commitment to efficiency was evident in the detailed planning of the international freight task and installation program. They developed a plan for container and crate unloads, as well as storage locations within the facility to minimise movement and maximise optimisation.


The heart of the system is Falcon Autotech’s advanced sortation technology, featuring the FOCR (Fixed Optical Character Recognition) technology, a first for Australia. The sorter operates in two modes: normal and peak.

In normal mode, it handles the daily flow of parcels with high precision, ensuring accurate and efficient sorting. During peak periods, the sorter ramps up its capabilities to

and satisfaction. The hard work and dedication had paid off.

“Starting and operating the system for the first time brought a big sigh of relief,” adds Sawyer.

“My team worked tirelessly to ensure our master data was accurate and validated, ensuring our go live was not only successful on the implementation but also that the operation and efficiency would be attained immediately. It was.”


Seven months into operation, the impact of the new system on Aramex’s business has surpassed expectations.

Labour costs have been lower than anticipated, and parcel rejections have decreased due to the FOCR technology.

The accuracy of sorting has improved, benefiting the 200 courier franchisees who can now spend 30 to 45 minutes less in the depot each afternoon.

manage increased volumes without compromising on accuracy or speed.

The technical specifications of the sorter are impressive. It can handle a variety of parcels, from small packages to large boxes, ensuring that Aramex can efficiently process the diverse range of items it handles daily.

The FOCR technology enhances data accuracy, reducing parcel rejections due to inferior data labels and improving overall efficiency.


The implementation phase was a testament to the collaborative spirit between Aramex and Falcon Autotech.

“Throughout the installation, daily and weekly planning and progress meetings were conducted,” says Sawyer.

Despite the inevitable challenges that arise in such a project, both teams met these hurdles with decisiveness and a collaborative gusto to ensure they met the go live date. When the system was first activated, it was a moment of immense relief

This efficiency allows them to reverse up to the automation system and unload their parcels directly, rather than manually sorting them.

“To date, the project has been a great success, and we continue to work closely with Chris and the team at Falcon Autotech on further enhancements and other opportunities within Aramex Australia,” says Sawyer.


The success of the Sydney facility is a testament to what can be achieved when two innovative companies collaborate with a shared vision.

Falcon Autotech’s cuttingedge technology, combined with Aramex’s commitment to operational excellence, has resulted in a stateof-the-art facility that sets new standards in the logistics industry. As both companies continue to explore new opportunities, their partnership promises to deliver greater innovations in the future. ■

The Sydney facility required a more extensive and complex system than Falcon had previously provided for Aramex. Images: Falcon Autotech.
The FOCR technology enhances data accuracy, reducing parcel rejections.


MHD speaks to AutoStore’s Business Development Manager, Jason Wu, about the new solutions the cube storage company is displaying at CeMAT 2024.

Cube storage pioneer, AutoStore, plans to return to CeMAT 2024 to showcase its FusionPort Workstation, space-efficient ConveyorPort as well as the newest addition to its Red Line family, the R5 Pro Robot.

Jason Wu, Business Development Manager, describes what visitors can expect to see and what AutoStore’s latest developments in technology will bring to the Australian market.

“In 2024, we are showcasing the latest technology that we have released to the market. One product is our FusionPort, which is a workstation that has not yet been seen in Australia. Then there is our latest robot, which is our R5 Pro Robot.”

The FusionPort is designed for higher throughput and to improve warehouse productivity.

Equipped with a dual bin presentation and a screen that can display numbering, the new station enables workers to pick more effectively and efficiently.

“It has a lid on both bin presentation slots so every time a bin is presented the lid will open and when it is finished the lid will close and the bin will go away until a new bin is presented,” says Jason. “This process creates a safe environment for the worker.”

Recognising employee wellbeing is at the top of most companies’ agendas, Jason explained how ergonomics also plays a part in the design, ultimately helping to reduce worker fatigue.

“We have also considered and incorporated ergonomics into this design since it has a higher throughput. The product is tilted at 15 degrees at the port, which allows for minimal impact on the body,” he said.

With a higher throughput compared to the product AutoStore showcased last year; Jason predicts the product will be of benefit to all industry verticals.

“Due to its many features –particularly its ability to create sets

presentations per hour on this model, whereas last year the CarousalPort we showcased can do 350.

“In terms of throughput requirement, we are expecting the customers who are opting for the FusionPort have a higher volume of orders, either same day delivery or dispatch, or they need something quickly and efficiently.”

The FusionPort also comes equipped with eco-friendly features, aimed to assist companies in reducing their carbon footprint.

AutoStore’s space-efficient goods-to-person, ConveyorPort. Images: AutoStore.

with user input – I can see this particular product will be of benefit to not only the industrial hardware sector, but also the retail and e-commerce industries,” adds Jason.

“With the higher throughput, we are looking at more than 500 bin

Even though the model doesn’t differ in design compared to its predecessor, the R5, Jason describes the distinctive features that have made for a new and improved automated solution.

“The design of the model is like the R5, but it comes with different battery technology, which enables it to run a lot longer,” he adds.

“For the foreseeable future, we plan to be at CeMAT every year for the opportunities it affords us to showcase our products and all they can do.

“It is important for customers to see the solution in action because often there is a lack of understanding on how our products work.

“At AutoStore, 10 robots consume the same power as one vacuum cleaner so really you can’t get more energy efficient than us,” says Jason.

“In terms of recycling, all our bins can be recycled when they come to the end of their product life. However, on the other hand, our equipment is designed to last, which also adds to their eco-friendliness.

“Even though I say our bins can be recycled, the first customer we had for over 18 years is still using their original bins. This proves that the longevity of our products is exceptional.

“In terms of our carbon footprint we are the densest system in the world for the last 20 years. With our products, we will save four times the storage capacity within the same footprint if you’re operating in a manual environment.

“Because the smaller the warehouse you need, the smaller your carbon footprint is. Not as much concrete is required to build a warehouse, and less heating and cooling and ventilation are needed. That is all sustainability and that is all green.”

In addition to the FusionPort, AutoStore’s latest robot innovation, R5 Pro Robot, will also make its debut, exhibiting new battery technology that enables it to run for longer durations.

“The R5 is our most popular range that we have had for over 10 years now,” says Jason.

“After COVID, we saw a spike in the growth of businesses, volume and a lot of change in how companies started to function, especially in their day-today operations.

“One of the main things we see today is longer operating hours. Recognising this, we released the R5 Pro Robot.”

Equipped with a built-in battery design, the R5 Pro not only runs longer but needs less time to charge. For a business this has ample benefits, Jason says, especially when it comes to minimising charging downtime and increasing productivity.

“Technically, this is the same robot just with different built-in battery technology. The R5 Pro can reduce the required number of robots on standby due to its runtime capability.”

Taking advantage of the large number of attendees that CeMAT attracts each year, Jason explains the advantages it has for them as a company, especially in creating awareness around their manual solutions.

“It is the go-to show for every automation provider in Australia. Having the opportunity to showcase our latest technology at such a prestigious event is something we can’t miss out on,” he says.

“If we can explain to them and give them more knowledge and background information on what our solutions can do and how these can benefit their operations, we can help them visualise it working in their warehouse. This will help take any hesitation away that people may have when investing in our products.”

Jason also talked about AutoStore’s future plans.

“Due to current economic conditions such as inflation, higher rental costs and labour cuts, our offering has become more attractive,” he said.

“We are seeing huge growth and are now adding resources to our team and hope to set up a new office later this year in Sydney.

“We ultimately want to enhance our presence and to let people know that we are here to stay.” ■

For those attending CeMAT 2024, they can see the FusionPort and R5 Pro Robot, as well as one of AutoStore’s hero products, the ConveyorPort.

R5 Pro Robot has new battery technology that enables it to run for longer durations.


DLL’s Steven Davey and Marco Wagner speak to MHD about the growing demand for automation and the increasing importance of ESG and sustainability initiatives in supply chain management, the need for education on financing complex projects, and more.


n the past 12 months, DLL has witnessed a dynamic shift in the logistics and automation sectors, driven by an increasing demand for innovative solutions and a significant resurgence in project initiations. As the world grapples with post-pandemic recovery, DLL’s role has become more pivotal, meeting the complex asset funding needs of its clients with agility and foresight.


The previous two years saw a dip in project activations due to the global uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. However, 2024 marked a robust turnaround. “Since the beginning of the year, many projects that were put on hold or delayed have finally gone live,” says Steven Davey, DLL’s Intralogistics Lead for Australia & New Zealand.

“The pressure on companies to automate hasn’t diminished; in fact, it has intensified.”

The rise in demand spans multiple sectors. While traditionally dominated by large multinational corporations, automation now attracts small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well.

“Smaller and medium-sized companies are increasingly forced to automate due to labour shortages,” adds Marco Wagner, Global Head of

market and establishing our network, we’re filling that gap.”




To remain responsive to the fastevolving logistics and automation sectors, DLL has strategically embedded itself deeper into the ecosystem. “We’ve focused on building stronger relationships with suppliers, integrators, real estate firms and consultants,” explains Steven.

“This allows us to be involved early in the decision-making process, helping to structure business cases and design specific solutions tailored to client needs.”

Moreover, DLL has expanded its presence in regions previously untapped for intralogistics projects. “We’ve recently extended our services into Singapore and Korea,” notes Marco.

“In these countries, there was a significant knowledge gap about the availability of our intralogistics asset financing services. By educating the


Australia presents unique challenges for DLL. The macroeconomic environment, characterised by sticky high inflation and geopolitical uncertainties, has made companies more cautious.

“Companies have realised they can’t wait for interest rates to drop to prepandemic levels before greenlighting projects,” notes Steven. “We’ve seen many dormant projects come back online as businesses adapt to the new normal.”

Another significant challenge is the education of the market about financing options in complex projects.

“There’s been a learning curve for many companies to understand that we can finance intralogistics opportunities with associated soft costs like consulting fees, labour, software and not just hard assets like robots or warehouse racking,” explains Steven. This education piece is crucial in helping businesses realise the full potential of automation.


To address these challenges, DLL is focusing on creating innovative financing solutions. Locally, the company is exploring tripartite structures with supplier partners to streamline the financing process.

Globally, DLL is expanding its team and services to meet the growing demand for automation. The company has hired industry experts and is increasing its footprint in key markets.

“We’ve just hired a new resource in the DACH region from a global integrator company,” reveals Marco.

“Additionally, we’re exploring new markets like Singapore and Korea, which previously had no intralogistics asset financing services like ours.”

Another strategic focus is on leveraging DLL’s extensive asset management capabilities. “We constantly update our team on new technologies and opportunities,” says Steven. “Being able to draw on this global knowledge ensures that we stay ahead of the curve. There have been several recent transactions locally that have benefited from this insight to help construct a solution that we have successfully implemented overseas.”

with small-scale automation projects to test the waters,” observes Steven.

“This approach is leading to larger opportunities down the line.”

The trend towards hybrid models, combining manual processes with automation, is also gaining traction.

“Even in developing countries like Brazil, where labour costs aren’t the main issue, availability is,” explains Marco. “Companies are adopting hybrid models with partial automation to address this.”


As the market continues to mature, several key trends are emerging. The increasing importance of sustainability in supply chain decisions is one such trend.

“Sustainability is now a crucial part of any investment decision,” notes Steven. “We’re frequently asked about the sustainability benefits of our solutions.”

Additionally, companies are becoming more conservative with their capital, seeking innovative financing solutions to fund their automation projects.

“We’ve seen even large multinational companies reach out for different ways to finance assets,” adds Steven. “This cautious approach is driving the demand for our flexible financing solutions, without using companies’ equity or cash.”

“We’re looking at ways to integrate financing directly through suppliers, making it simpler for end customers,” mentions Steven.

Globally, DLL is also emphasising sustainability and energy efficiency in supply chain investments. “Every Greenfield project now incorporates sustainability elements like solar power, charging stations or innovative heating technologies,” adds Marco.

“This trend is becoming a significant part of our global projects.”


The demand for automation in Australia is evolving rapidly. Companies that were previously hesitant are now beginning to dip their toes into automation, starting with smaller projects involving Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs).

“We’re seeing more companies start

and educating the market, DLL is addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities presented by a rapidly evolving industry.

The demand for automation in Australia and New Zealand, driven by labour shortages, sustainability goals, and economic factors, continues to grow. With its strategic priorities aligned and a keen eye on emerging trends, DLL is well-equipped to support businesses on their automation journey, ensuring they remain competitive in an increasingly automated world.

“The push towards automation is inevitable,” explains Steven. “Companies are recognising the need to innovate, and we’re here to support them every step of the way.”

Marco adds: “Whether through new technologies, flexible financing, or sustainability initiatives, DLL is committed to helping our clients navigate the future of logistics and automation.”

DLL CeMAT stand will be at Booth 416 at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

Next month, DLL highlights its partnership with Cardinal Logistics, an award-winning full-service third-party logistics company. ■

To find out more, reach out to Steven/DLL via the QR.

DLL’s ability to adapt and innovate has positioned it as a leader in asset finance solutions for the logistics and automation sectors. By expanding its team, enhancing its services,

Intralogistics at DLL. “This trend is noticeable not just in Europe, but also in Australia and other parts of the world.”
Steven Davey, DLL Director. Images: DLL.
Marco Wagner, Global Head of Intralogistics at DLL.
DLL is expanding its team and services to meet the growing demand for automation.


sat down with Dimi Pachiyannis from GS1 to gather insights into the state of the Australian logistical sector and where improvements can be made.


Our mission is clear, plain and simple, intelligent solutions delivered. We bring to our customers total solutions based on the experience and pragmatism of real world operators It all starts by listening and understanding your requirements.

There is no one size fits all solution.

product recall or a dispute.”

Some of the key inconsistences those at GS1 see in the freight industry include inefficiencies in tracking and tracing, poor labelling quality, errors due to manual data entry, lack of real time updates, and Fan absence of interoperability between systems.

“These problems can lead to significant delays, increased costs, and customer dissatisfaction,” notes Dimi.

GS1 is placed to help industry address, and overcome, these issues, boosting productivity and other key initiatives.

and industry representatives from around the world. Subsequently all parties across the supply chain can leverage a common standard (“language”) across the supply chain which is system/technology agnostic, instead of learning and setting up different proprietary formats for each party in the supply chain.”

“This promotes the interoperability and seamless data exchange between different parties as the freight moves through first, middle and last mile to the end consumer.”

here are more than 40,000 freight companies that work within Australia. Each has its own unique system and data formats, which contribute to inconsistent labelling and other issues, in turn impacting across a multitude of

Dimi Pachiyannis, Senior Advisor, Freight, Rail & Construction, GS1, highlights some of the key issues experienced by the logistics sector.

“When each freight company has its own unique system and data formats, the consistency of labelling within freight processes can vary greatly. The need to re-label freight can be quite common creating problems in supply chain, particularly in complex or international supply chains that involve multiple different carriers or stages,” says Dimi.

“When different labels are used through a product’s journey, it can become difficult to trace that product through the supply chain, which can become a bigger issue in the event of a

“GS1 addresses these issues by providing globally recognised standards for unique end to end identification of the freight and the automated capture of data from barcodes that can be electronically shared directly to freight systems,” explains Dimi.

“The use of these standards reduces the risk of errors, increases efficiency, and enhances visibility of freight throughout the supply chain.”

GS1 is making it possible to achieve a seamless process in freight logistics across first, middle and last mile delivery to help prevent any possible logistical issues.

“Using the GS1 barcodes and electronic messaging are key enablers in this process,” says Dimi.

“For example, the Scan4Transport label was introduced to the freight industry in 2019 and has been designed to enhance the efficiency and visibility throughout all stages of the supply chain by providing a standardised way to capture and share key freight information.

“The label uses global standards developed by Logistic Service providers, shippers, solution providers

The use of GS1 standardised barcodes to identify each logistic unit (i.e., pallet, case, parcel, etc.) enables accurate tracking and tracing of the logistic unit throughout its journey.

“One label, one common language across all parties without the need to re-label,” adds Dimi.

The Scan4Transport label enables standardised, consistent data capture so that all parties have access to accurate, consistent data such as sender, recipient, delivery location, routing codes and more.

“And because the information captured in the Scan4Transport label can be shared in real time, it can provide up-to-date visibility of the logistic unit’s status and location,” says Dimi.

The Scan4Transport label incorporates a 2D barcode that can capture larger volumes of data in a small area and is designed with a high level of error correction, which allows it to be read even if part of the code is damaged or obscured.

“Already some Logistics Service Providers have elected to use the Scan4Transport standards as their default label, while a number of others have confirmed they are

Dimi Pachiyannis, Senior Advisor, Freight,

able to process freight with the Scan4Transport label through their network,” says Dimi.

“We expect the adoption of the standard to continue to grow as freight companies continue to realise the potential.”

Dimi adds that the Scan4Transport label was a prime example of the work they do at GS1.

“At the core of what we do at GS1, is our engagement with industry. We bring together key industry leaders, governments, and other peak associations to solve for industry challenges around data exchange in a neutral, collaborative environment,” explains Dimi. “We are here for industry”.

“By working with the industry to better understand their needs we can then leverage our global and local networks to develop standards that can be used all over the world.”

Scan4Transport is also an example of industry leaning on GS1 expertise to help overcome consistent issues being faced in the sector.

“The Scan4Transport standard is one example of that. Industry approached GS1 about the challenges caused by the many different labels and inconsistencies and the work undertaken by the industry working group and GS1 standards development process led to the standardised label

for industry use,” says Dimi.

“Since then, the standard was further evolved, incorporating additional standards specific to the needs of temperature controls for temperature sensitive freight.”

In the logistics sector, there can be many instances where the electronic manifest does not arrive before the freight. This solution helps prevent that occurrence.

“The use of GS1 Application Identifiers (standardised qualifiers) is a game changer for freight carriers enabling them to view specific temperature requirements just by scanning the label,” says Dimi.

“The encoded data can include minimum and maximum requirements, which can allow for proactive measures that will help freight handlers to stay ahead of potential challenges.

“This maintains temperatures within the necessary range to ensure product shelf life is maximised, keeping waste to a minimum whether that’s in fresh foods, dairy or pharmaceuticals.”

This approach offers better efficiency than the use of cold freight colour changing labels where issues were only able to be identified once temperatures exceeded a set limit.

The standards continue to emerge to meet the evolution of industry.

“If freight companies have

implemented GS1 standards in their systems, new enhancements can be very straightforward, allowing companies to move away from needing to manage these changes in proprietary systems and just focus on what they do best,” explains Dimi.

Recently a milestone in creating a more uniform standard in Australia was the introduction of new Australian Standards by Standards Australia.

“These new standards incorporate the use of standard GS1 keys,” says Dimi.

“The keys include the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) for identifying products, the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) for identifying logistics units, the Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN) for identifying logistics units delivered to a customer together, the Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) and Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI) for identifying assets, and GS1 Application Identifiers for standardising the encoding of supplementary data in barcodes, tags and other media.”

Overall, GS1’s standards and solutions, such as the Scan4Transport label, play a crucial role in overcoming the logistical challenges faced by the freight industry, paving the way for a more efficient, reliable, and transparent supply chain. ■


GS1 is making it possible to achieve a seamless process in freight logistics. Images: GS1 Australia.


Swisslog talks to MHD about Global CEO Jens Schmale’s tour of Australia and why automation will increase efficiencies across the supply chain.

Swisslog Global CEO, Jens Schmale, sees great potential for the Australian market after a local tour allowed him to strengthen ties with customers using the company’s warehouse automation technologies.

Schmale, who commenced his role as CEO at the start of 2024, has been actively looking at ways to enhance customer relationships throughout their automation journey.

“I believe stronger collaboration with customers will lead to us delivering the best possible warehouse automation solutions, and fostering greater long-term relationships that are truly based on teamwork and common goals,” he says He believes Australian industry continues to innovate and is using automation to drive even greater efficiencies. He sees a huge potential in Australia to continue this upward trend of increased competitiveness and productivity.

As part of his Australian tour, Schmale, and members of the Swisslog Global Leadership Team, visited several customer sites across Melbourne and Sydney, including SKUTOPIA in Alexandria, Sydney.

SKUTOPIA’s new Micro-Fulfilment Centre (MFC) – which utilises a customised Swisslog AutoStore solution – provides software-led e-commerce fulfilment automation that enables e-commerce businesses to scale their business from 200 to 20,000 orders seamlessly.

“It was a great opportunity to see solutions like this in person,” says Jens.

“SKUTOPIA has expanded its AutoStore in recent years to match

its growth plans, and Swisslog is delighted to work so closely with SKUTOPIA to help them achieve their efficiency goals.”

Other customer sites Jens visited in Australia, included DHL, Jaycar Electronics Group, Mondelez, and Linfox.

Local experience, global support Swisslog Australian and New Zealand Managing Director, Dan Ulmamei, says that it was beneficial to work so closely with the global team.

“We truly feel that the Swisslog global team fully supports us,” he says. “We can leverage global expertise from thousands of warehouse automation projects, to deliver optimum results for customers here, and they are always willing to go the extra mile.

“This places our local teams in an ideal position where they have local knowledge, backed by decades of global experience in similar warehouse automation applications.

“Jens has really embraced Swisslog’s core value of ‘make team spirit come alive’ since his appointment, and we value this strong collaboration.” ■

Swisslog Global CEO Jens Schmale, left, and Swisslog Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Dan Ulmamei. Images: Swisslog.
(left to right) Swisslog Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Dan Ulmamei; Talea Bader, Managing Director and Co-Founder of SKUTOPIA; and Swisslog Global CEO, Jens Schmale.
(left to right) Jens Schmale, Talea Bader, and Dan Ulmamei.

Celebrating innovation across the freight and logistics supply chain

Showcase your business by sponsoring the Mercury Awards



MHD speaks to Kurt Larsen from Adept Conveyors about the materials handling and warehousing company’s tailored conveyor solutions.

Adept Conveyors offers conveyor solutions tailored to meet the needs of various industries.

Specialising in zero pressure accumulation systems and line shaft conveyors, the company is dedicated to enhancing efficiency, scalability, and safety for its clients.

As automation and robotics become increasingly prevalent in warehouses and DCs, the importance of integrating these systems seamlessly with existing infrastructure can’t be overstated.



The foundation of Adept Conveyors’ success lies in its ability to design and install conveyor systems that are both efficient and scalable.

This process begins with a thorough understanding of the client’s current operations and future goals.

“The first thing we do is go through the customer and figure out what they’re doing at the moment and where they want to be in the future,” explains Kurt Larsen, Business Development Manager at Adept Conveyors.

By gathering critical data – such as order volumes, product weights, and operational environments –Adept Conveyors can tailor a solution that best fits the client’s needs. Its systems range from simple replacement rollers to automated solutions for warehouses, freight companies, and manufacturing plants.

The main types of units include roller, belt and chain conveyors. Each type is designed to handle specific tasks, ensuring that the right system

is deployed for the job at hand.


One of the standout features of Adept Conveyors’ offerings are modularity and compatibility.

“All our designs are modular,” says Kurt. “If people want to upscale, they don’t have to buy a new conveyor system; they can simply add on to it.”

This modular approach allows for easy adjustments and expansions, providing clients with the flexibility to grow and adapt their operations without significant disruptions. Compatibility with existing systems is another critical aspect.

“We provide rollers for other people’s conveyors if they need them,” notes Kurt.

This ensures that even if a client uses a different brand, Adept Conveyors’ components can integrate smoothly, enhancing overall system performance without requiring a complete overhaul.




Adept Conveyors offers two main types of roller technologies: line shaft and pulse rollers.

Line shaft conveyors, while older and more expensive to run,

Safety is a critical consideration in the design and operation of conveyor systems.
Images: Adept Conveyors.

remain a staple in many operations. However, the company is increasingly promoting the use of pulse rollers – also known as zero pressure accumulation systems.

These advanced rollers provide more efficient and cost-effective operation, and they can be fitted into existing frames, making upgrades straightforward and economical.


The use of automation and robotics in materials handling is growing, so ensuring that conveyor systems integrate seamlessly with these technologies is paramount. Adept Conveyors often collaborates directly with clients’ preferred automation suppliers.

“If a customer has an existing automation provider, we talk directly to them to ensure everything works perfectly,” explains Kurt.

This collaborative approach has proven successful in numerous

projects. For instance, in a recent system installation for a freight company, Adept Conveyors worked with the client’s automation provider to integrate scanners and weigh stations into the conveyor line.

“We’re tapping into their existing scanner and weigh system, using that information to divert boxes to the right lane,” adds Kurt.

This level of integration ensures all components work harmoniously, enhancing overall system efficiency.


Safety is a critical consideration in the design and operation of conveyor systems. Adept Conveyors adheres to industry safety standards and regulations, including the Australian Conveyor Code, which is for chain conveyors and unit handling conveyors: AS/NZS 4024.3612:2015.

“During the design stage, we review all safety aspects to identify and mitigate potential hazards,” says

Kurt. “This involves implementing safety stops, barriers, and other protective measures to ensure that the systems operate safely.”

While compliance with the Conveyor Code is essential, Adept Conveyors goes above and beyond by conducting regular safety audits and risk assessments.

This proactive approach helps identify and address potential issues before they become problems, ensuring the systems remain safe and reliable throughout their lifecycle.


Adept Conveyors is poised to continue leading the industry with solutions that address the evolving needs of materials handling.

The company’s commitment to using cutting-edge technologies, such as zero-pressure accumulation systems, positions it well to meet the demands of modern, automated warehouses and DCs.

Adept Conveyors’ focus on customisation and client-specific solutions ensures each system is optimised for performance and efficiency.

“We offer a range of options, from economical systems to high-end solutions with low maintenance costs,” says Kurt. “This flexibility allows clients to choose a system that best fits their budget and operational requirements.”

Adept Conveyors’ approach to designing and installing conveyor systems is characterised by an understanding of client needs, a commitment to modular and compatible solutions, and a dedication to safety and compliance.

As automation and robotics continue to reshape the landscape of materials handling, Adept Conveyors stands ready to provide the innovative, scalable, and efficient solutions that modern industries demand.

Whether it’s enhancing existing operations with replacement rollers or installing state-of-the-art automated systems, Adept Conveyors is a go-to provider for materials handling solutions. ■

Stand out features of Adept Conveyors’ offerings are modularity and compatibility.
Adept Conveyors can tailor a solution that best fits the client’s needs.


MHD interviewed BALYO’s Sales Manager, Joshua Couturier, to find out how the global material handling company’s Autonomous Guided Vehicles, Autonomous Mobile Robots and Very Narrow Aisles are reshaping warehousing.


n an age where technological advancement is reshaping industries, BALYO stands out as a pioneer in Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) technology.

Specialising in transforming standard OEM forklifts into fully robotic machines, BALYO addresses critical challenges in Australia’s manufacturing, supply chain, and warehouse sectors.

Joshua Couturier, Sales Manager at BALYO, shares insights on how the innovative solutions are set to redefine the landscape of material handling in Australia.


Australia’s supply chain faces two primary challenges: labour shortages and rising land costs.

“Less than a year and a half ago, the need for forklift drivers was so strong that the Prime Minister was considering lowering the age to obtain a forklift license to widen the labour pool,” says Joshua.

“Thankfully, that policy wasn’t enacted. However, the problem was also never fixed.”

The shortage of willing forklift drivers persists, exacerbating the need for automated solutions.

On the front of rising land costs, warehouse and logistics leaders are compelled to use more vertical space in their facilities.

“With each level of racking you go up, you can gain 30 per cent more capacity,” explains Joshua.

“With recent estimates showing industrial rents rising above 27 per cent year-over-year, expanding on the ground is a costly endeavour that supply chains simply can’t afford in the face of rising inflation.”

BALYO’s technology enables safe storage and retrieval of pallets from ground level up to 17 metres, offering a practical solution to maximise warehouse space.


BALYO’s driverless forklifts are versatile, handling a range of pallet transport and storage applications, from inbound to outbound logistics. Its lineup includes tuggers, stackers, reach trucks, and turret trucks, also known as Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) robots.

“From simple floor-to-floor tugging to heights of 17m, we have an autonomy solution,” notes Joshua.

“From dock to block, we have an autonomy solution.” This comprehensive approach ensures that BALYO can meet diverse needs within the supply chain.



BALYO prefers the term “autonomous” over “automated” when describing its vehicles.

“When you say automated, there’s the implication of some level of human intervention and vast changes to your infrastructure,” explains Joshua. “Autonomous material handling means robots do ALL of the work.”

This distinction highlights the advanced capabilities of BALYO’s robots, which utilise LiDAR and cameras to achieve high levels of safety and accuracy, significantly outpacing traditional AGVs in terms of cost and implementation speed.

While AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots) are generally smaller and assist manual labour, BALYO’s robots combine the carrying capacity of industrial vehicles with full autonomy.

“AMRs traditionally work in closed spaces and are often used to assist manual labour, not free workers from tedious material movement tasks,” adds Joshua.

BALYO’s machines are built for

more demanding tasks, setting them apart in the industry.


BALYO distinguishes itself in two critical areas: high bay storage and speed to deployment. Its VNA robot, affectionately called VEENY, can autonomously reach heights of 17 metres.

Joshua recounts a success story from Singapore, where BALYO helped a customer achieve this impressive feat.

“When scaling massive loads into inordinately high racks, there are complex calculations and physics that need to be accounted for. We’ve developed the algorithms and operationalised them to put the safety of people and goods first.”

Deployment speed is another significant advantage. By using standard forklifts, BALYO maintains a constant rolling inventory, enabling rapid project execution.

“We help you ‘know before you go,” explains Joshua. “Using digital twin technology, we build the project virtually, so everything is set to go when the robots arrive on site.”

This approach minimises downtime and ensures a smooth transition to automation.


Customers deploying BALYO solutions can expect increased safety, heightened reliability, and significant cost savings.

BALYO robots adhere to all ISO and ANSI standards for robotic safety, with advanced laser coverage ensuring secure operations. This reliability translates to consistent material handling and perpetual motion, eliminating downtime due to human factors.

The accuracy of BALYO robots further enhances operational efficiency.

“With robots, there are no bruised egos or posturing; accuracy is the primary objective,” says Joshua. This precision reduces errors in material handling and shipping, improving overall productivity.


In Australia, where industrial rents are

soaring and land is scarce, high bay AGVs present a compelling solution. By utilising vertical space, warehouses can significantly increase their storage capacity without expanding their footprint. Sydney, with one of the lowest industrial vacancy rates worldwide, exemplifies the urgency of this need. AGVs offer several advantages over traditional mechanised systems like Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS).

They are easier to implement, require no major infrastructure changes, and integrate seamlessly with existing warehouse management systems. This plug-and-play capability contrasts sharply with the lengthy and complex installation processes of an AS/RS system.

Moreover, AGVs provide unparalleled flexibility, adapting quickly to changes in warehouse layouts and operational demands.

Their modular design allows businesses to start with a small fleet and scale up as needed, spreading investment over time. This scalability, combined with advanced safety features and the ability to work alongside human workers, makes AGVs a future-proof solution for modern warehouses.


As the logistics landscape continues to evolve, AGVs are emerging as a superior alternative for businesses seeking to enhance efficiency and adaptability.

BALYO’s innovations in high bay storage and rapid deployment set a new standard in the industry, helping warehouses maximise their potential. Joshua’s insights underscore the transformative impact of BALYO’s technology.

With their robust capabilities, BALYO’s autonomous solutions are poised to play a central role in reshaping the future of logistics and supply chain management in Australia, driving efficiency, agility, and innovation across industries.

BALYO’s AGVs offer a smarter, more sustainable approach to material handling, ensuring that businesses can meet the challenges of tomorrow with confidence. ■



Material handling company, HELI Materials, gives MHD the lowdown on its history and the range of solutions it continues to offer its clients in Australian and New Zealand.

For more than six decades, HELI Materials has been forging reliable innovations in the material handling industry.

As a subsidiary of Anhui Heli Co., Ltd., established in 1958, HELI has carved out a significant presence on the global stage, driven by a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Since entering the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) market a decade ago, HELI Materials has achieved remarkable milestones, solidifying its reputation as a leader in the field.


HELI Materials’ journey in the ANZ region began with a clear vision: to provide top-notch material handling solutions that cater to the unique needs of local industries.

“Our entry into the ANZ market marked a pivotal moment for HELI,” says Suzy, a spokesperson for the company.

Establishing a dedicated branch and warehouse in Sydney allowed HELI to offer timely support and a comprehensive range of products tailored to meet regional demands.

Over the past ten years, HELI Materials has built a robust

distribution network, forging strong partnerships with local dealers.

This network has not only enhanced the availability of their products but also ensured that customers receive the best after-sales service and maintenance support.

“We pride ourselves on being close to our customers,” adds Suzy. “Our local presence means we can quickly respond to their needs, whether it’s through technical support or having the right products on hand.”


HELI Materials offers a comprehensive range of material handling products designed for various industrial applications.

Its electric forklifts, known for their environmental friendliness and efficiency, are suitable for both indoor and outdoor operations.

The internal combustion forklifts, available in diesel, LPG, and gasoline variants, are built for heavy-duty tasks, providing robust performance in demanding environments.

In addition to forklifts, HELI’s warehouse equipment—including pallet trucks, stackers, reach trucks, and order pickers—ensures optimal warehouse management.

Materials’ forklifts over those of competitors.

The quality and reliability of HELI forklifts are unparalleled, thanks to the stringent quality control processes in place.

“Our forklifts are built to last,” adds Suzy. “They perform dependably in various environments, making them a reliable choice for any industry.”

Over the past ten years,

The company also caters to niche markets with specialized equipment like explosion-proof forklifts and high-capacity models, showcasing their versatility and ability to meet specific industry needs.

“One of our core strengths is our ability to evolve with the times,” explains Suzy. “We’ve invested heavily in research and development to ensure our products remain at the forefront of technology and efficiency.”

This commitment to innovation is evident in its advanced electric forklifts, which feature longer battery life and intelligent fleet management systems that enhance operational efficiency. HELI’s ergonomic designs also prioritize user comfort and safety, further enhancing the user experience.


The evolution of HELI’s product offerings is a testament to their dedication to innovation. By continuously updating their range to incorporate the latest technological advancements, HELI has maintained a competitive edge in the market.

“Our products are designed to be not only efficient but also reliable,” notes Suzy. “We implement rigorous quality control measures to ensure that every forklift meets our high standards.”

Prospective customers have several compelling reasons to choose HELI

The comprehensive product range offered by HELI is another significant advantage. With a diverse selection of forklifts and material handling equipment, customers can find solutions that perfectly match their specific needs.

Additionally, HELI’s innovative technology enhances efficiency, safety, and ease of use, setting their products apart from others in the market.


Customer support is a cornerstone of HELI’s success in the ANZ region. The local branch and warehouse in Sydney ensure exceptional after-sales service, maintenance, and support, fostering strong customer relationships.

“We understand that our customers need more than just a product—they need reliable support and service,” says Suzy. “Our local presence ensures we can provide that.”

Moreover, HELI products offer excellent value for money. The combination of competitive pricing and high-quality features makes HELI forklifts a cost-effective choice for businesses of all sizes.

“We believe in offering value without compromising on quality,” adds Suzy. “Our customers can trust that they are getting the best possible product for their investment.”


In an industry where reliability, innovation, and customer support are paramount, HELI Materials continues to lead the way. By choosing HELI, customers align themselves with a trusted brand committed to delivering superior material handling solutions and exceptional service.

With a rich history and a promising future, HELI Materials stands as a testament to what dedication and innovation can achieve.

As HELI Materials looks to

the future, their focus remains on pushing the boundaries of material handling technology while maintaining their core values of quality and customer satisfaction.

This visionary approach ensures that they will continue to be a pivotal force in the industry, setting new standards and exceeding expectations. ■

HELI is driven by a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Images: HELI Materials.
HELI Materials has built a robust distribution network.
HELI Materials timeline.


Linfox’s CEO, Mark Mazurek, explains what decarbonisation efforts the company is making as it deals with a transition from road to rail freight, and as it rolls out its green-powered prime movers.

In an era where sustainability is no longer optional, Australian logistics giant, Linfox, is leading the charge towards a decarbonised future. It has a multi-faceted approach to reducing emissions, highlighting its innovations in electrification, waste management, and rail transport.

As Linfox’s CEO of Logistics Australia and New Zealand, Mark Mazurek explains, the company’s journey began a decade ago, and continues to evolve with many milestones achieved along the way.


Over the past 10 years, Linfox has made substantial strides in reducing its carbon footprint. Operating thousands of motorised vehicles and cold chain operations, the company has faced challenges.

“Eighty-five percent of our emissions come from diesel, gas, and petrol vehicles,” says Mark. “Electricity accounts for another 14 per cent.”

Addressing these emissions requires a comprehensive strategy, encompassing everything from green building practices to vehicle electrification.


One of the cornerstones of Linfox’s decarbonisation efforts is the construction of environmentally friendly DCs. These buildings are designed to be energy-efficient, batteries, featuring solar arrays, smart lighting, and intelligent cooling systems.

“We’ve even installed large solar and battery setups to help power

our facilities’ needs such as electric forklifts,” says Mark. “Despite expanding our warehouse space to over one and a half million square metres, we’re using less electricity from the grid than we were five or six years ago.”

This achievement is notable given the increasing demands of refrigeration and charging electric vehicles. It demonstrates Linfox’s commitment to reducing its energy consumption even as its operations grow.


Linfox’s sustainability initiatives extend beyond energy efficiency. The company has made progress in waste diversion through its Green Fox program.

“We divert over 60 per cent of the waste from all our sites,” says Mark. This includes wood, steel, paper, cardboard, and various plastics. However, other areas remain challenging.

“We need Australian businesses to improve recycling systems for soft plastics,” he said.

Partnerships with our waste collectors have been crucial in managing workshop consumables and other difficult-to-recycle materials. These efforts underscore Linfox’s holistic approach to sustainability, addressing both emissions and waste.


An exciting development at the company is the electrification of its vehicle fleet.

Three years ago, the company introduced two FL Volvos, a rigid electric vehicle, becoming the first in the Southern Hemisphere to do

so. Since then, Linfox has expanded its electric fleet to include additional vehicles used by customers such as Coles, Woolworths and Bunnings.

“We insisted on acting sustainably, and now we are happy to see many organisations are following suit,” says Mark.

The recent addition of two electric semi prime movers to the fleet marks another milestone. These vehicles, the first of their kind in Australia, represent a step forward in reducing emissions from transport operations.

However, electrifying such a large fleet presents logistical challenges, particularly in terms of energy supply.

Electrifying the transport industry will require large amounts of energy. t is not only electric trucks that are driving this demand, the current shift from gas to electric forklifts, along with the energy needs for lighting and refrigeration, has significantly increased the load on the grid.


While zero-emissions vehicles are a crucial part of Linfox’s strategy, the company also recognises the

importance of rail transport in achieving its sustainability goals. Over the past decade, Linfox has invested in expanding its rail operations, becoming Australia’s largest containerised rail freight provider.

“Rail plays a big role, especially for long-haul routes,” says Mark. “We’ve built our distribution centres on rail heads to streamline operations and reduce emissions further.”

This approach not only supports Linfox’s decarbonisation efforts but also addresses the challenges of urban congestion and limited driver availability.


The transition to more sustainable logistics is not without its hurdles. For electric vehicles, infrastructure is a concern.

“Charging large vehicles requires substantial power, and not all industrial

estates can provide it,” says Mark.

Additionally, the physical characteristics of electric vehicles, such as their weight and dimensions, require regulatory adjustments and specialised infrastructure.

Similarly, increasing reliance on rail transport necessitates changes in warehouse design and logistics practices.

“Loading and unloading rail containers is different from traditional truck operations,” says Mark. “We need more loading docks and better infrastructure to handle these transitions.”


Amid all these technological advancements, Linfox never loses sight of the human element. The company places emphasis on training its drivers and warehouse staff to adapt to new technologies and practices.

“Our people are the heroes of this story,” Mark says. “Without their commitment and adaptability, none of this would be possible.”

The shift to electric vehicles, in particular, requires adjustments. Drivers must learn to handle new vehicle technology and control systems. Ensuring that staff are wellprepared for these changes is a priority for Linfox.


Linfox’s journey towards net zero emissions is far from over. The company continues to explore new technologies and strategies to further reduce its carbon footprint. fuel cells EVs, BEVs and HVOs, for example, are being considered for future applications, although the technology is not yet commercially viable in Australia.

“We’re engineering the future now,” explains Mark. “We’ve shown that these technologies are possible and effective. Our goal is to continue leading the industry towards a more sustainable future.”

Linfox’s decarbonisation journey is a testament to the power of innovation and commitment.

By integrating green building practices, transitioning its fleet to zero-emissions fleet, electrifying its fleet, and expanding rail transport, the company is setting a new standard for sustainability in the logistics industry. Through these efforts, Linfox not only reduces its environmental impact it shows that a greener future is within reach. ■

Mark Mazurek, Linfox CEO Linfox Logistics Australia & New Zealand. Images: Linfox.
One of the cornerstones of Linfox’s decarbonisation efforts is the construction of environmentally friendly DCs.
Linfox’s two electric semiprime movers are the first of their kind in Australia.

FedEx’s DTP solution is a system that automates the process of measuring and weighing pallets. Images: FedEx.


FedEx’s Peter Langley talks to MHD about the company’s drive-through pallet and laser-dimensioning solution for efficient freight movement, which is efficient, safe, sustainable, and complies with the Chain of Responsibility initiative.

In a world where efficiency and precision are paramount, FedEx has introduced a groundbreaking solution poised to transform the logistics and warehousing sectors: Drive Through Pallet Technology (DTP). This innovative laser-dimensioning system is not just a technological advancement but a strategic leap forward in improving operational efficiency, safety, and sustainability. Additionally, FedEx is the first company to introduce it to the market. According to Peter Langley, Regional Vice President at FedEx, “Drive through pallet dimensioning is a significant step forward for us and the industry as a whole.”


FedEx’s DTP solution is a system that

automates the process of measuring and weighing pallets. “The gantry has lasers that detect the cubic nature of the pallet, and forklifts fitted with scales capture the weight,” explains Peter. “This process is fully Legal For Trade with weights and measures.” The beauty of this system lies in its seamless integration into the workflow. A forklift operator can unload a pallet from a local vehicle, drive through the gantry, and the system automatically records the pallet’s dimensions and weight. The result is a process that is twice as efficient as previous methods. Previously, the process was cumbersome. Pallets had to be taken off the truck, placed on static weight scales, and then moved again. This not only took more time but also increased the chances of errors and potential safety hazards.

The forklift operator drives through the gantry at a constant speed, allowing the lasers to accurately measure the pallet.

“The combination of forklift scales and gantry lasers ensures precise data capture, which is communicated to the software,” says Peter.

This real-time data transmission means that the operator gets instant confirmation that all dimensions and weights have been accurately recorded.


In addition to enhancing efficiency and safety, the DTP solution is also a step towards greater sustainability.

“Less fuel is used, whether that’s from electric forklifts or gas-powered ones,” says Peter.

“We used to have to drive the forklift away from the pallet to allow cameras to take the cubic shot and then go back to collect it,” Peter recalls. “Now, we get twice the output or throughput through these systems, reducing processing time by half.”


The new system is not just about speed; it’s also about creating a safer working environment.

“You don’t get the congestion on the floor that we used to have,” says Peter.

The streamlined process reduces the physical handling of pallets, thus minimising the risk of accidents. Moreover, the technology ensures that the weight of all pallets is accurately recorded, adhering to safety and legal requirements.

ground for FMCG and other industries due to its conducive environment and available space,” explains Peter.

The success in Adelaide has paved the way for a broader rollout across Australia.

“We have now rolled out the DTP solution to 11 facilities, including major domestic movement centres in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth.”


While the initial focus has been on Australia, FedEx has ambitious plans for the DTP solution across the AsiaPacific (APAC) region.

“We are always looking for ways to be more efficient, so we can keep our rates down and still ensure a profitable return to our shareholders,” notes Peter.

The efficiency gains from the DTP solution are crucial in an industry where labour and operational costs are continually rising. An aspect of the DTP solution is its role in the Chain of Responsibility.

“Everyone involved in moving freight on a heavy vehicle must ensure the safety and integrity of the load,” says Peter.

By accurately recording the weight and dimensions of each pallet, FedEx ensures compliance with legal requirements and enhances safety for drivers and other road users.

The quicker processing times mean that shifts can be completed faster, allowing facilities to reduce their energy consumption. This translates into significant savings in energy costs and a reduced carbon footprint.

FedEx’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its holistic approach to the DTP implementation. By ensuring that all pallets are accurately weighed and measured, FedEx can optimise its logistics operations, reducing unnecessary trips and improving fuel efficiency. This not only benefits the environment but also helps in maintaining competitive pricing and profitability.


FedEx chose Adelaide as the initial testing ground for this technology.

“Adelaide is often used as a test

packs the pallet to the final delivery, we ensure every step of the chain is secure.”


FedEx’s DTP solution is a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and efficiency. It addresses critical industry challenges, from reducing processing times and enhancing safety to improving sustainability and ensuring compliance with legal standards.

“We are well underway with the rollout and are seeing benefits across our network,” says Peter.

The introduction of the DTP solution reflects FedEx’s proactive approach to leveraging technology for operational excellence.

“This technology not only helps us be as efficient as we can but also sets a new standard for the industry,” adds Peter.

The impact of this innovation is far-reaching, promising to enhance FedEx’s capabilities and set a benchmark for others to follow.

FedEx’s Drive Through Pallet Technology is a game-changer. By combining this new technology with a strategic vision, FedEx is improving its operations but also leading the way for the logistics industry.

“From the moment a customer

As the DTP solution continues to roll out across Australia and beyond, it is set to redefine efficiency, safety, and sustainability in logistics. ■

The streamlined process reduces the physical handling of pallets, thus minimising the risk of accidents.
The forklift operator drives through the gantry at a constant speed, allowing the lasers to accurately measure the pallet.


Time is running out to secure an exhibitor’s space at MEGATRANS 2024, the premier event for the logistics and supply chain industry.

MEGATRANS 2024, scheduled for 18-19 September at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, is poised to be a pivotal event for the logistics and supply chain industry. Bringing together industry leaders, innovative technology providers, and key stakeholders, MEGATRANS offers a comprehensive look at the future of logistics, focusing on sustainability, cutting-edge technology, and efficient supply chain management.


The event will feature specialised zones that address critical aspects of modern logistics:

1. Cold Chain: This zone will showcase the latest advancements in temperature-controlled logistics. With the growing demand for efficient and reliable cold chain

solutions, attendees can explore technologies that ensure the safe transport of temperature-sensitive goods, from pharmaceuticals to fresh produce.

2. Traceable Supply Chain:

Emphasising transparency and accountability, this zone will highlight innovations in tracking and monitoring systems. These technologies are crucial for maintaining product integrity and enhancing supply chain visibility.

3. Fleets of the Future: This area will present next-generation fleet management solutions, including electric vehicles, telematics, and fleet management software. These advancements are key to reducing emissions and improving operational efficiency.

4. Zero Carbon Warehouses: A major theme at MEGATRANS 2024 is

sustainability. The Zero Carbon Warehouses zone will feature sustainable building practices and technologies that minimise carbon footprints, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change.


MEGATRANS 2024 will spotlight sustainability through the inaugural Sustainable Warehouse Competition. Organised by MHD Supply Chain, this competition aims to identify and celebrate warehouses that excel in sustainable practices. Leading nominees include Cold Xpress, Stockland, CEVA Logistics, and GPT Group’s Apex Business Park. Participants will be judged on criteria such as energy efficiency, waste management, and innovative green technologies. This competition

highlights the commitment to environmental responsibility within the logistics industry and encourages businesses to adopt more sustainable practices.


Held in conjunction with MEGATRANS, the Mercury Awards is a prestigious event that highlights outstanding contributions to the logistics and supply chain sectors. This ceremony provides an excellent opportunity for networking and celebrating industry innovations and achievements.


MEGATRANS 2024 will host a range of top-tier exhibitors, including:

• Karcher and Conquest: Leaders in cleaning technology, essential for maintaining high standards in logistics operations.

• Microlise and Allotrac: Providers of telematics and fleet management solutions that enhance efficiency and safety.

• CEVA Logistics: A global logistics company offering comprehensive supply chain solutions.

• Mobile Exon: Innovators in mobile technology for logistics.

• Combilift and Adaptalift: Specialists in materials handling equipment, crucial for efficient warehouse operations.


MEGATRANS 2024 will feature a lineup of high-powered speakers who are leaders in their respective fields:

1. Dr. Eamon McGinn: Partner at Deloitte Access Economics and lead

in Supply Chain, who will share insights on the economic aspects of supply chain management.

2. Mr. Richard Phillips: Director at Jones Land LaSalle – Industrial, known for his expertise in industrial logistics and real estate.

3. Erica Berchtold: CEO of Mosaic Brands and former CEO of The Iconic, who will discuss her experiences and strategies in e-commerce and retail logistics.

Speaking opportunities for leaders in logistics are still open. Those interested in presenting at the conference should reach out to the MEGATRANS events team for more details.


MEGATRANS 2024 is the unmissable event for supply chain professionals, businesses with direct-to-consumer

deliveries, last-mile operators, e-commerce companies, and retail logistics managers in Australia. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with cutting-edge technology, explore sustainable practices, and network with industry leaders.

To ensure you don’t miss out on this comprehensive and forward-looking event, register now and secure your place among the innovators shaping the future of logistics.

For more information and to register, visit the MEGATRANS website at

Don’t miss this unparalleled opportunity to showcase your innovations and connect with industry leaders. Join us in Melbourne this September to be part of the transformation in logistics and supply chain management. ■

CEVA unveiled its Kemps Creek warehouse, a new 34,000 sqm facility with notable features. Images: CEVA Logistics.
Cold Xpress has also opted for modern CO2 based refrigeration units.



The Australasian Supply Chain Institute is hosting its Supply Chain Sustainability Series in Brisbane on Wednesday September 11.

Join the Australasian Supply Chain Institute (ASCI) for its Supply Chain Sustainability Series event, taking place at voco Brisbane on Wednesday, September 11.

This is your opportunity to connect with industry leaders and explore the latest trends in supply chain sustainability.

The one-day Procurement Conference, themed “Procurement as Enabler of Sustainability,” aims to highlight the pivotal role of procurement in driving sustainable practices within organisations.

Through keynote presentations, a

panel discussion, and an international keynote, the conference will explore how procurement strategies can be aligned with supply chain sustainability goals, emphasising the importance of responsible sourcing, supplier diversity, and ethical supply chain management.

Expected outcomes include equipping attendees with actionable insights to integrate sustainability into procurement processes, fostering collaboration, and driving positive environmental and social impact across supply chains.

Join ASCI for the upcoming Sales & Operations Planning 2-Day Course to

enhance your operational planning skills, which will take place on 23-24 July 2024.

This workshop is designed for practitioners who want to understand the Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP)/Integrated Business Planning (IBP) methodology, and how it relates to operational planning and control processes, as well as higher-level planning processes.

During this course, you will learn how to guide your company to lower inventories and shorter lead times with higher customer service levels through a better S&OP process.

You will also learn how to use a cross-functional S&OP/IBP process to improve customer service, inventory, and profits, overall company communication on plans, product portfolio management improvement, product and business rationalisation, and inventory reduction.

Classes are conducted daily, from 9am to 5pm Sydney Time, totalling 16 training hours via Zoom.

ASCI members can register for $1950, while nonmembers can register for $2350.

Learn Supply Chain Sustainability and Circularity from the Supply Chain Diva, Denice Staaf. Denice has more than two decades of hands-on experience in sustainability in manufacturing organisations working in organisations globally.

Workshop Dates and Duration

July 22 till July 30 2024

Classes are conducted twice weekly (Tuesday and Thursday) from 10am to 1pm Sydney Time, totalling 15 training hours. Participants will join the training via ZOOM. Participants will earn 15 CPD points for certification maintenance.

Program Outline

Module 1: Creating Circularity

• Introduction to Circularity

• Life Cycle Thinking (LCT)

• Introduction to the process mapping approach

• Developing Process Maps

• Establishing job-specific KPIs

• Implementation of a maturity matrix

Module 2: Bringing Circularity to Organisations

• Creating a cross-functional team

• Target ranking to find the highest priorities

• Embedding sustainability into the organisation’s strategic objectives

• Quantifying the value created

• Competition as an order qualifier

• Circularity as your order winner ■

Denice Staaf will run the biweekly workshops. Image: Australasian Supply Chain Institute.



Tushar Vohra joins Falcon Autotech’s Australian division as the Regional Sales and Technical Manager for ANZ. His engineering acumen and innovative drive are set to enrich the team.

Tushar’s deep knowledge in warehouse automation will elevate Falcon Autotech’s presence in Australia, marking a key step in the company’s global expansion strategy. His appointment reflects the company’s trust in his capabilities to lead and innovate in the logistics industry down under. Tushar’s move is a strategic endeavour by Falcon Autotech to harness his expertise and foster technological growth within the Australian and New Zealand markets.


Skywire was recently acquired by Renovotec Ltd, a leading player in mobile technology solutions based in the UK. James Shepherd the CEO of Skywire Australia and New Zealand will now take on the role of CEO of Renovotec in the region. This acquisition marks a new era of growth and innovation for the Skywire team, as it joins forces with a globally recognised industry leader. Since its inception in 1999, Skywire has been a key provider of enterprise mobility solutions across various sectors, including Warehouse & Distribution, Transport & Logistics, Retail, Field Sales & Services, and others.


Dimi’s appointment to the Industry Engagement team highlights the importance of quality data management in digital transformation initiatives, as well as GS1’s focus on the digitisation, harmonisation and traceability of end-to-end supply chain operations for the freight, rail and construction industries. Prior to this appointment, Dimi spent six years at GS1 Australia in Business Development and Relationship Management. Her focus was on introducing more efficient and automated processes for managing data by using the National Product Catalogue. With her rich data management experience, Dimi is well placed to engage with industry to assist in enabling its journey of adopting GS1 standards.


Silk Contract Logistics is delighted to announce the appointment of Sasha Vasiljkovic to the position of Chief Customer Officer (CCO) effective as of May 23, 2024. Sasha joins Silk after years working in the logistics industry where he held senior roles with the Mayne Group, Toll Group, Westgate Logistics and DHL. Most recently Sasha has been supporting the Silk business driving business development initiatives successfully. As an inclusive leader, Sasha brings a wealth of prior experience to the position through end-to-end customer experience, driving revenue growth and value proposition. With strengths in relationship management, sales and business development, Sasha will have responsibility for the National Accounts, Business Development and Marketing team.

Argon & Co is a global managament consultancy that specialises in operations strategy and transformation.

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