MHD Supply Chain Solutions November 2023

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SHIPEROO: THE DREAM TEAM IS BACK Driven by Tech, Led by People – the new force in fulfilment + returns

DIVERSITY AS A SUPERPOWER How Sendable blends worker inclusivity with top 3PL service

SUSTAINABILITY AND SAFETY Körber Supply Chain on how sustainability boosts worker welfare

Körber’s Masterclass Series is back Join us as we equip you with the latest insights, strategies, and tools to help you stay competitive and conquer supply chain complexity. Check out our final Masterclass below:

Register now

Class 3 Enabling a Paperless, Digitised and Modern Warehouse Date: 29 November 2023 Time: 11 am-12 pm AEDT

Register by scanning QR code above or visit



Supply Chain Solutions CONTACT MHD Supply Chain Solutions is published by Prime Creative Media 379 Docklands Drive, Docklands VIC 3008 Telephone: (+61) 03 9690 8766 Website:

THE TEAM CEO: John Murphy Chief Operating Officer: Christine Clancy Managing Editor: Syed Shah Editor: Edward Cranswick Journalist: Joseph Misuraca Business Development Manager: William Jenkin Design Production Manager: Michelle Weston Art Director: Blake Storey Graphic Designers: Louis Romero, Kerry Pert Client Success Manager: Janine Clements


SUBSCRIBE Australian Subscription Rates (inc GST) 1yr (6 issues) for $78.00 2yrs (12 issues) for $120.00 – Saving 20% 3yrs (18 issues) for $157.50 – Saving 30% To subscribe and to view other overseas rates visit: or Email:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT MHD Supply Chain Solutions magazine is recognised by the Australian Supply Chain Institute, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia, the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia and the Singapore Logistics and Supply Chain Management Society.

ARTICLES All articles submitted for publication become the property of the publisher. The Editor reserves the right to adjust any article to conform with the magazine format. COPYRIGHT MHD magazine is owned by Prime Creative Media. All material in MHD is copyright and no part may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means (graphic, electronic or mechanical including information and retrieval systems) without written permission of the publisher. The Editor welcomes contributions but reserves the right to accept or reject any material. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information Prime Creative Media will not accept responsibility for errors or omissions or for any consequences arising from reliance on information published. The opinions expressed in MHD are not necessarily the opinions of, or endorsed by the publisher unless otherwise stated.



s we step into November, it’s evident that the world of supply chain and logistics continues to evolve at a rapid pace. In this month’s edition, we bring you stories that highlight the industry’s resilience, adaptability, and commitment to positive change. Our Cover Story delves into the fascinating world of Shiperoo, where dynamic founders Nishan Wijemanne and Rizan Mawzoon are revolutionising the 3PL and fulfillment landscape. Their journey, born out of passion and innovation, showcases the transformative power of disruptive technology. On another inspiring note, we introduce you to Sendable, a unique social enterprise redefining 3PL services while creating meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Their dedication to empowering diverse talents exemplifies the positive impact the supply chain can have on people’s lives. In line with the growing emphasis on sustainability and safety, we explore Körber’s commitment to these critical aspects. Anthony Beavis, Managing Director at Körber Supply Chain, sheds light on how sustainability efforts not only benefit the environment but also enhance employee welfare and safety. In this ever-evolving world and economy, supply chain solutions are at the heart of progress. We invite you to delve into these stories and more, as we continue to witness the industry’s transformation and its profound impact on our lives. Happy reading! See you next month.

Edward Cranswick Editor




450+ service support staff. 300+ mobile service vans. 19 locations. Parts and service when and where you need them. In a country as large as ours – you need a service network as big as ours. That’s why when you choose to partner with Toyota Material Handling, you’re not only choosing forklifts famous for their legendary reliability, you’re also getting the ongoing support of Australia’s most dedicated service and parts network, and that just part of the Toyota Forklift Advantage.

1800 425 438





24 Shiperoo reshaping order fulfilment

REGULAR COLUMNS 28 Property Focus on capital market services 30 Logical Outlook focusing on supply chain convergence




47 Körber spotlights safety and sustainability 50 Argon & Co navigating supply chain disruptions 52 project44 updates its platform 58 RMIT providing new grad cert in automation 60 Enabling 3PL with diverse employees 62 Exploring supply chain and sustainability

MATERIALS HANDLING 42 C ombilift celebrates 25 years at headquarters NOVEMBER 2023

55 T MHA empowering brewery with


SHIPEROO: THE DREAM TEAM IS BACK Driven by Tech, Led by People – the new force in fulfilment + returns


battery forklifts

WAREHOUSING 44 C onquest on managing dust in warehouses

DIVERSITY AS A SUPERPOWER How Sendable blends worker inclusivity with top 3PL service


SUSTAINABILITY AND SAFETY Körber Supply Chain on how sustainability boosts worker welfare

AND REGULARS 06 Industry News 32 Industry Comment


64 SCLAA’s chair on sustainble shipping


66 RWTA reveals Frank Vale Award winner

Driven by Tech, Led by People – the

68 ASCI on modern slavery, courses

new force in fulfilment + returns


and presentations 70 Product Showcase MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 5




ematic has awarded one of Melbourne’s leading suppliers of storage equipment for warehouses, Colby Derrimut, as Colby Distributor of the Year for 2022. With 30 years of industry experience, Colby Derrimut is a leader in providing end-to-end services in the design, supply, and installation of industrial storage and pallet racking to businesses across Melbourne and Victoria, such as Foodbank, Bega, and Haymes Paint. Colby Derrimut also trades under the name Storwell Storage Solutions. Colby Derrimut was named Colby Distributor of the Year for 2022 in recognition of its many successes in the industry last year and its consistent dedication to customers. “Our ongoing commitment to the Colby brand is reflected in our decision to trade under the ‘Colby Derrimut’ name, and it is incredibly rewarding

to have our industry leading position recognised by Dematic,” says David LeNepveu, Principal at Storwell Storage Solutions. “In addition to the impressive range of Australian-built Colby storage and handling equipment that we stock, we deliver the advantage of offering highquality service. “We’ve provided outstanding service to hundreds of businesses of all sizes across Victoria to get the most out of their storage, whether it’s a standard storage requirement or tailor-made solution, or even if it’s an urgent storage need with a tight installation deadline.” Colby Storage Solutions combines the flexibility of an Australian network of independent distributors with the resources of global materials handling leader Dematic. Dematic maintains its commitment to manufacturing Colby storage equipment locally to the

Colby Derrimut was named Colby Distributor of the Year for 2022. highest possible standards of quality and safety. “Congratulations to Colby Derrimut for having its business success recognised through being named Colby Distributor of the Year for 2022,” says Lee Koutsos, Director of Real-Time Logistics & Colby Storage Solutions ANZ at Dematic. “This is a huge achievement given the last three years have been backdropped by continued challenging pressure and growth in the supply chain industry.”



onveyor Logistics, a frontrunner in materials handling and warehouse automation in Australia, is excited to announce its strategic move to a new site in Melbourne’s outer north. Its new, cutting-edge headquarters is located at 15 Nexus Road, Epping. It notes this transition marks a pivotal Conveyor Logistics’ new cuttingedge headquarters is located at 15 Nexus Road, Epping.


moment for the company, signifying its dedication to the industry. The newly designed headquarters embodies Conveyor Logistics’ vision for the future, boasting contemporary facilities and advanced infrastructure, all aimed at optimising operations. “Our move of headquarters signifies a significant milestone for Conveyor Logistics,” says CEO Chris Andrit. “This facility aligns with our strategic goals, empowering us to redefine industry standards, enhance productivity, and better serve our valued clients.” “The new location not only sets the stage for our company’s growth but also underscores our commitment to delivering excellence in supply chain solutions,” adds Managing

Director Rohan Vocale. “It enables us to deliver an even better experience to our clients.” In a bid to showcase its pioneering automation solutions, Conveyor Logistics will integrate a Live Demo Centre within the new facility. This centre will feature live demonstrations of Geek+ and Conveyor Logistics automation solutions, allowing interested parties to book in a time and see cutting-edge automation solutions live. For more information about Conveyor Logistics and its new headquarters, please visit or contact Conveyor Logistics at marketing@

Justin Carnaby Head of Logistics, AS Colour

Order Fulfilment Down to a Tee AS Colour achieves 344% throughput per worker with GTP “game-changer”

When AS Colour started out, the trend was for tight tees and baggy pants. But while clothing fashion trends come and go, the trend that doesn’t change is that customers want their orders delivered on time and accurately. Dematic’s Multishuttle Goods-to-Person (GTP) fulfilment system enables AS Colour to process orders with higher productivity, faster and with increased accuracy, down to the sequence of items in the package. As a result, AS Colour has seen a big increase in sales as customers see how fast and accurately their orders reach them. Learn more at

Scan to watch the video! 02 9486 5555




ai Robotics (“Hai”), manufacturer and provider of Autonomous Case-handling Robot (ACR) Systems, has announced the launch of the world’s first telescopic Grapple Hook ACR. The HaiPick A42T-E2 and the HaiPick System 3 address customer concerns around increasing storage density and performance at a smaller warehouse footprint. “Businesses nowadays are struggling to not only optimise their warehouse space, but also strike a balance between automation and leaving room for growth,” says Peter Guan, General Manager at Hai Robotics EMEA. “We are thrilled with the launch of the HaiPick A42T-E2. This project encapsulates our commitment to providing intelligent, flexible and efficient solutions for the modern warehousing industry, while keeping in mind the growing and dynamic needs of this market on

a global scale.” Hai notes the telescopic Grapple Hook ACR can be integrated within HaiPick System 3, creating a nexus that facilitates higher performance while delivering enhanced storage density. The HaiPick A42T-E2 – equipped with ChainPick technology – features a grappling hook with a picking speed of 2.7 seconds, quickly pulling totes one after another. Such ChainPick technology is key to enabling up to five-deep tote storage capacity, allowing shorter picking and placing time to further streamline the goods-to-person workflow. “HaiPick System 3 is a highperformance and agile solution that scales alongside businesses to better achieve instantaneous customer satisfaction,” adds Peter. “Combined with the telescopic Grapple Hook ACR, warehouses will be able to achieve a level of performance

efficiency and ROI at new heights in both B2B and B2C operations, such as within 3PL and apparel industries.” Horizontal space in between totes can be slashed by 60 per cent, ensuring no space gap at the back and hence optimising existing warehouse storage space. Businesses are also offered tailored solutions to scale up or down, allowing them to maintain a competitive edge without compromising on financial agility, while still achieving cost-efficiency. The HaiPick A42T-E2 and the HaiPick System 3 address customer concerns around increasing storage density.



olliers’ agents Gordon Code, James Stott and Daniel Telling negotiated a $31.5 million deal for a Melbourne outer east site with a national private owner-occupier who specialises in hardware products. The agents cooperated with Cameron’s James Roux and Angus Clark on behalf of Glasscocks 25 to negotiate the sale of a rare institutional-grade freestanding office and warehouse facility in Dandenong South, which was met with significant interest. “The purchaser was interested in the site due to the growing occupancy costs in New South Wales, which incentivised the group to focus on expanding their Victorian footprint instead of in the neighbouring state,” says Gordon Code, Colliers’ Joint Head of the Victorian Industrial Business.


“Instead of growing in New South Wales, they decided to double their base in metro Melbourne, expanding their local manufacturing, purchasing the 23,476 sqm property with a total building area of 13,154 sqm.” The modern high clearance warehouse and corporate office facility incorporates a mix of docks and on-grade doors, a 12-metre canopy for all-weather loading, and sits among various wellknown brands already located in the tightly held precinct within Dandenong South’s core Industrial and Logistics hub at 25 Glasscocks Road. “Prime grade assets, such as 25 Glasscocks Road, are the most soughtafter by tenants as the building is up to a greater environmental performance,” adds James Stott, Colliers National Director.

The modern high clearance warehouse and corporate office incorporates a mix of features.

“Adherence to organisational ESG propositions, such as energy efficiency carbon footprint, have shifted occupational demands, and companies are seeking newer and updated assets.” Recent data from Colliers reported the average south eastern prime grade net face rent was $100 per sqm in Q1 2021. In Q2 2023, this average has moved to $130 per sqm, representing a 30 per cent increase in just 18 months.









aintaining clean and dust-free environments within large commercial and industrial spaces is critical. And not just for facility presentation. A dust-free environment plays a crucial role in helping you comply with work health and safety standards and keeping your team safe and well. Risks posed by airborne dust within these types of workplaces are alarming. Staff can inhale these airborne particles, which can lead to respiratory illnesses or aggravate existing conditions.

natural materials like rock, sand, and clay, these materials are manipulated or disturbed, and they release fine particles into the air, creating dust. While careful handling, proper protective equipment (PPE) and appropriate ventilation are crucial to minimise exposure and mitigate the associated health risks, wet cleaning goes far beyond dry sweeping to help manage industrial and silica dust in the workplace.

THE HIDDEN HAZARDS OF DUST IN THE WORKPLACE Industrial dust can originate from a range of sources. It’s generated as a by-product of material handling and manufacturing processes, which can include cutting, grinding, drilling, sanding, crushing, or handling materials like metals, minerals, grains, and chemicals. As these materials are manipulated, they break down into smaller particles that become suspended in the air, forming industrial dust. The even more hazardous silica dust Silica dust, also known as crystalline silica, is a type of airborne particulate matter composed of microscopic crystalline particles of silicon dioxide. It’s a common mineral found in many natural materials. Silica dust becomes a significant concern when it’s generated and becomes airborne during industrial processes and construction activities. When inhaled, these tiny particles can pose serious health risks to anyone exposed to the contaminated air. Crystalline silica is found widely in building products because of its many beneficial properties—strength, durability, and heat resistance. While these products contribute to the stability and longevity of structures, they can also generate hazardous silicadust. During activities like cutting,

Dust control is essential for maintaining indoor air quality and preventing the accumulation of pollutants that can compromise the health and well-being of workers and visitors. An unhealthy workplace can lead to staff absenteeism and reduced efficiency. And we all know how hard it is to find temporary staff in today’s environment. Airborne dust particles can cause respiratory irritation, asthma, and long-term illnesses such as silicosis, pneumoconiosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), all of which affect the lungs. Dust control is also necessary for upholding environmental and community responsibilities. Controlling dust emissions will minimise the impact on air quality in nearby areas. Dust accumulation on machinery and equipment can impair their performance, leading to breakdowns, costly repairs and excessive downtime. Forklift tires can slip on dusty surfaces, creating a hazardous environment. Food production must tackle dust to prevent contamination, meet hygiene standards, pass audits, and uphold supply contracts. Dust presence can also pose a fire hazard if the dust is the combustible type and can ignite under certain conditions. And beyond these health, safety and productivity concerns,

grinding, drilling or crushing materials like bricks, blocks, pavers, tiles, mortar, concrete, cement-based products, and

effective dust control helps improve the overall presentation of the premises.

10 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023


HOW DRY SWEEPING INCREASES HEALTH RISKS FOR WORKERS The ever-vigilant Environment Protection Authority (EPA) are increasing their focus on ensuring adherence to regulations in dust elimination and control. Complaints are thoroughly investigated, and if companies are found to be failing to control silica dust, therefore putting the health and safety of workers at risk, they can be sanctioned with heavy fines and issued with enforceable warnings leading to site closure if unresolved. The safest way to clean up dusty sites that may contain silica dust is by dampening the dust to prevent it from becoming airborne by using a wet sweeping process, rather than dry sweeping. Standard sweeping can stir up invisible clouds of dust, causing hazardous conditions for workers. Type M and Type H filters incorporated in vacuums used for sweepers have been a common way to manage dust. But the finer the filter, the quicker it becomes blocked by dust particles, which makes it inefficient. The blocked filter then stirs up more dust during operation, endangering operators and anyone else in the vicinity, effectively transforming sweepers into dust distributors.

BREATHE EASIER: TACKLING DUST HAZARDS WITH WET SWEEPING By maintaining a clean and dustcontrolled workplace with wet sweeping, you’ll not only promote operational continuity, minimise maintenance expenses, and adhere to regulatory standards, you’ll also protect the health and safety of your staff and visitors to your premises. Your commitment to cleanliness in your workplace translates to a commitment to the well-being of your team. For more information visit www.


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ombilift tells MHD about its multidirectional forklift and why it’s a cost-effective, safe, manoeuvrable and adaptable solution. Wood products in the timber industry come in different shapes, sizes, and weights, making them tricky to handle. From lumber frames to long pieces, these bulky loads often need special treatment. Regular forklifts struggle with this variety, sometimes requiring extra forklifts or operators lifting loads unsafely to avoid obstacles. “As the market’s most compact seven-tonne capacity counterbalance truck, the Combi-CB70E forklift offers exceptional space-saving potential, excelling at managing bulky loads,” says Chris Littlewood, Combilift Australia’s Country Manager. The unique 4-way movement of the CB70E, makes these trucks agile, providing versatility in its movement capabilities. “This manoeuvrability feature gives our forklifts the ability to transport long loads such as lumber trusses, with the added benefit of ease of movement from indoors to outside settings,” notes Chris. “This adaptability allows for seamless transportation, from hardware materials to construction goods, enhancing overall workflow in this sector.” Logistics firms transporting heavy loads often face loss of inventory due to products being damaged throughout the transportation process, proving as a real pain point for warehouse management. “The materials must be protected, as well as the goods taken quickly and precisely from A to B, so limiting loss of inventory through product damage is key in this process,” says Chris. For companies struggling with small workspaces, Chris highlights the importance of the CB70E’s multidirectional technology. 12 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

The introduction of the CombiCB70E exemplifies Combilift’s dedication to innovation.

“This feature in our trucks means the operator can alter the direction of travel, allowing wood to be safely moved in narrow aisles, and around obstacles with confidence, and ultimately, safely.” For workers wanting to cut down on operational costs, the Combi CB70E offers cost-effective solutions in various operating environments. “By seamlessly merging the trucks movement capabilities with its compact yet robust construction, this truck reduces the need for additional equipment. This consolidation of functions streamlines workflows thereby minimises overall out-going costs,” explains Chris. In a sector where uneven terrain is present, Chris highlights the CB70E’s capabilities in creating a safer working environment for forklift operators. “The patented swivel seat of the CB70E effortlessly rotates 15° in either direction based on your chosen travel path, enhancing the driver’s field of vision, alleviating strain during reverse travel, overall increasing the safety of a forklift driver.” The introduction of the Combi-CB70E exemplifies Combilift’s dedication to

innovation, Chris highlighting it’s not just a one-size-fits-all approach. “Each of our models are fully customisable, tailored precisely to cater to the unique preferences of our customers. This is where we truly stand out, setting us apart from your typical forklift provider.” Chris concludes, “Nearly all of our work involves customisation. We craft trucks that align with the exact needs of our customers. Our focus lies in creating a product that perfectly aligns with our customer’s specifications and requirements. CB70E key features and benefits: • Shortest 7-tonne counterbalance on the market; • 7-tonne capacity; • ergonomic cabin; • multi-directional operation; • powered by AC technology; • suspension cabin; • centrally positioned operator; • rollout batteries; and • rotating seat. Contact Combilift today to discover more about the Combi-CB70E and its potential for elevating your workplace capabilities.






The ESR-owned warehouses – previously occupied by Allied Sea Freight – are located within the tightly held Angliss Estate in Laverton North.


olliers’ Nick Saunders managed the off-market deal of warehouses in Melbourne’s west on behalf of ESR Australia, achieving a strong annual rental of more than $1.3 million. Australian event company Harry the Hirer has committed to a total of 10,113 sqm of warehouse space on a five-year lease in Laverton North. Colliers notes the deal comprises two individual properties of 3974 sqm and 6139 sqm, respectively, leased in one line, sitting on a low coverage site with a total land area of 26,000 sqm. “The warehouses’ features, including drive-around access,

14 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

a mix of on-grade and recessed loading docks and a 12.4-metre-high internal warehouse clearance, were particularly attractive to a business in the transport and logistics sector,” says Colliers’ National Director Nick Saunders. “The transport and logistics sector in Melbourne’s west continue to drive up rents on buildings that suit this industry type, as limited properties offer low site coverage.” The ESR-owned warehouses – previously occupied by Allied Sea Freight – are located within the tightly held Angliss Estate in Laverton North, with excellent access to the Western Ring Road and Princes

Freeway, approximately 15 km west of Melbourne’s CBD. “Melbourne’s west continues to perform exceptionally well, despite current economic conditions and rising interest rates, driven by the low vacancy rate, currently sitting at 0.74 per cent, combined with strong demand from tenants seeking larger spaces for business growth,” explains Nick. “We’ve seen multiple examples of escalating rents within the space due to the scarcity of industrial assets offering suitable transport attributes, and with few opportunities available to the market, we’re the high competition to remain.”

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The code is part of the delivery of the government’s ports reform agenda.


he Victorian government says it is working with the freight industry to deliver a roadmap to navigate future freight supply chain disruptions with a new set of guiding principles. Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne joined industry stakeholders at a Ports Industry Roundtable to announce the Voluntary Code of Practice (VCoP), which will help manage periods of unforeseen disruption to the container supply chain safely and effectively. “We’ve collaborated with industry stakeholders to respond to disruptions in recent years, including the formation of the Container Storage Working Group established in 2022,” says Melissa. “The Voluntary Code of Practice is a further measure to prepare industry for a coordinated response in advance of future disruption events and deliver a roadmap for the future.”

16 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

The Container Storage Working Group includes shipping industry representatives, stevedores and operators. The code is part of the delivery of the government’s ports reform agenda following the release of Navigating our Ports Futures: The Commercial Ports Strategy. It will promote collaboration and development of coordinated responses across the supply chain in case of future disruption events. Hosted by the Port of Melbourne, the industry roundtable also enabled the government to provide updates on the Port Rail Shuttle Network and the Victorian Commercial Ports Strategy. The Port of Melbourne is establishing a Landside Logistics Working Group to enhance collaboration among key stakeholders involved in the container supply chain

and logistics operations at the Port. The group will discuss port related operational matters and provide a forum for exploration of sustainability initiatives in landside logistics operations. In August 2023, the government released the Empty Container Park trial as a further way to help the freight and logistics industry cut costs and improve supply chain efficiencies. The strategy sets a 30-year vision to build a ports sector that is responsive to market, balances industry and community needs, is productive, resilient, safe, and operates with clear responsibilities. It will provide guidance to counter the impact of disruptions on freight movements and costs within the Port of Melbourne freight supply chain.




he phrase, “Be our best,” isn’t just a guiding principle at Coates, but embodies the core of their Power and HVAC division, driving every strategy and initiative. Kurt Edwards is at the centre of this ongoing effort. Beginning his career as an apprentice refrigeration mechanic in the late ‘90s, his role has evolved into a key one for the industry, one which showcases Coates’ dedication to progressive approaches and customer satisfaction. Now in his second year at Coates, Kurt has played a crucial role in helping the company carve a unique niche, helping it focus on delivering turnkey solutions that address power, compressed air, and climate control needs, ensuring seamless operations across various sectors. When asked about his daily responsibilities, Kurt speaks candidly about the unpredictable nature of his workdays. “We try to build as much routine as we can, but duty and customers call, and days can often take unexpected turns,” he said.

Despite the fluctuating economic landscape, Kurt and his team remain focused on advancing temperature control equipment, a project that promises to bring significant benefits to the sector. “Dedication to quality and customer satisfaction guides the team in developing solutions that are reliable, scalable, and responsive. We look to integrate with site activities and work with the customer to reach great outcomes in, what are often, very dynamic environments”. Reflecting on his leadership style, Kurt says he tries to lead by example. “I won’t ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t or haven’t done myself,” he said. This philosophy has fostered a team that embodies a mix of expertise and dedication, moving Coates to a notable position in the industry. The Power and HVAC team at Coates, selected by Kurt, reflects the company’s commitment to excellence and forwardthinking. “We’ve built a team around

complementary skills,” Kurt says, emphasising the strategic approach to assembling a group that enhances each other’s strengths. This collaboration is evident in the synergistic working relationships within the team, showcasing the ‘One Team’ spirit. Setting Coates Power and HVAC apart from its competitors is the scale and footprint of the broader business. “It is genuinely set up for success,” he said. Kurt notes that Coates encourages personal development and fosters a culture where progression is a reality, as seen in the career trajectories of many senior staff at the company. In an industry known for continuous advancements, Kurt Edwards leads the Power and HVAC division at Coates with a defined vision. The focus is on promoting teamwork, fostering personal and professional growth, and delivering excellent customer solutions. Power and HVAC compliments Coates end to end solutions offering which includes Industrial Solutions, Engineering Solutions and Training. Kurt Edwards has played a crucial role in helping Coates carve a unique niche.

18 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023



The Geelong site has the capacity to process up to 6000 packages daily.


mazon Australia has announced the opening of its new logistics site in regional Victoria with it serving as a distribution point for Amazon packages. The Geelong facility will enable the fast and seamless delivery of customer orders in-and-around the Geelong area while creating operational jobs and flexible work opportunities for local residents. “We’re thrilled to be contributing to the Geelong local economy through the creation of jobs and flexible earning opportunities with our new logistics site and look forward to being an active member of the community,” says Amazon Australia Logistics Country Leader Tim Coventry. “We’re also excited about what this means for local customers who will

have an enhanced delivery experience, with delivery in as fast as one day with Amazon Prime. Especially, at a time when people are known to leave their shopping until the last minute. Building infrastructure closer to where our customers live enables us to deliver to them more efficiently.” Opening in time for the festive season, the new Geelong hub will speed up deliveries to Geelong customers, enabling delivery in as fast as one day on Prime eligible items. The site has the capacity to process up to 6000 packages daily and is part of the company’s investment in its Victorian operations network to enable a fast and reliable delivery experience. “The opening of the Geelong site is very exciting for us; I jumped at the opportunity to help launch it,” says

Site Lead Nigel Tauro. “It’s a great community and team to be part of, and we are looking forward to delighting local customers through our delivery promises.” Amazon logistics sites power the ‘last mile’ of the order process and help to improve the delivery experience for Amazon customers in the surrounding areas. Packages are shipped to the Geelong site from Amazon fulfilment centres and are then picked up by Amazon Flex delivery partners to be delivered directly to customers. The Geelong site is Amazon’s twelfth logistics site in Australia and joins its two Melbourne sites to support the Victorian region. MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 19




afety in warehouses and distribution centres hinges on both equipment and protocol. As lithium-ion forklifts become more prevalent, it’s essential to understand if they elevate or mitigate risks.

THE WEIGHTY ISSUE OF BATTERY CHANGES “I’m passionate about safety,” says Linde’s Allan Spackman. “Traditional battery changes pose a real threat. They weigh a tonne – quite literally in some cases. Using machinery to replace them amplifies the potential for injuries, notably back injuries. With lithium-ion forklifts and the option for frequent plug-ins, we can significantly cut down these hazards. I’m all for eliminating risks where possible.”

batteries. The idea of riding a highpowered motorcycle with minimal protection is akin to a forklift running on a massive vat of toxic sulfuric acid. If either were to be introduced today, it’s possible they wouldn’t meet contemporary expectations around safety.” “By contrast, lithium technology, adhering to modern safety standards, is fundamentally different. Despite some rare incidents that have been blown up in the media, most of us use lithium battery devices daily without a hitch. On the contrary, lead acid battery explosions are far more frequent. “In terms of safety, lithium is the preferred option.”



Allan introduces an interesting analogy to elucidate the differences in safety between lead acid and lithium-ion batteries: “Consider lead acid batteries as motorcycles and lithium-ion as cars. Motorcycles have existed for over a century, and so have lead acid

“Lithium-ion, being denser in energy, comes with multiple safety layers,” says Linde’s Greg Wood. “Initially, individual cells are tested for safe shutdown when punctured. As they are grouped into modules, each is monitored for overcurrent and

temperature discrepancies. The allimportant Battery Management System is designed to disconnect the battery if things go awry. Further ensuring safety, these modules, encased in a protective tray, are meticulously tested before installation in trucks.” Allan underscores the importance of the BMS: “Its ability to shut down the battery is paramount. I’ve seen instances where fires have been ignited by lead acid battery shorts. With lithium, deactivating cables when not in use or charging negates such risks.”

COMPARING TO OTHER FUELS “Despite its relative novelty, lithiumion technology is solidified in warehouses worldwide,” Greg says. “Years of application have cemented its reliability. Combined with enhanced safety features, it distinctly outstrips lead acid in safety credentials.” As industries evolve, evaluating new technologies through the lens of safety is crucial. Lithium-ion forklifts, backed by rigorous safety protocols and realworld application, present a forward step in securing warehouse operations. The all-important Battery Management System is designed to disconnect the battery if things go awry.

20 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023



The facility is 14,000 sqm and can process 40,000 parcels per day.


ustralia Post officially opened its latest parcel facility in Avalon Victoria to boost its capacity to support e-commerce growth across the region ahead of the busy peak Christmas period. The facility is 14,000 sqm and can process 40,000 parcels per day, with capacity to expand to 60,000 parcels per day in the future. With more than 150 team members, the facility has been built to support parcel and mail processing, pick-up and delivery, as well as transport and linehaul operations. Strategically located next to the airport and close to key business customers within the new industrial park, the Avalon Parcel Facility has been purpose built to support the growing population of the Greater Geelong region, one of the two fastest growing areas in regional Australia. Australia Post CEO and Managing Director Paul Graham says the new facility highlights Australia Post’s

22 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

efforts to meet continued parcel growth as more Australians continue to shop online, particularly in the lead up to Christmas. “This modern facility is another key milestone for Australia Post and an important investment in our future as growth in e-commerce continues,” he adds. “Being close to Avalon Airport and having access to key transport links will ensure we can deliver efficiently through our network, which is great news for our customers, particularly as we approach the busiest time of year for online shopping.” Energy efficiency was an important consideration, with a Building Management S*stem (BMS) installed that allows smart remote control of mechanical and electrical services to reduce power consumption. “This sets the stage for an era of progress and growth,” says

DavidFox, Executive Chairman Avalon Airport. “By accommodating further developments, we strengthen the airport’s role as a key contributor to the economy in Geelong, Melbourne, and broader Victoria.” Retailer, Cotton On, which is located within the Avalon industrial area, recently signed a new two-year agreement with Australia Post to deliver e-commerce orders to its customers, nationally. The Avalon Parcel Facility includes a newly developed tier-two large parcel sorter, parking for up to 14 semitrailers and 92 indoor van bays. Australia Post will also undertake mail processing, including letters and small parcels, for the City of Greater Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and outlying areas, with an average of 30,000 letters and 7000 small parcels delivered within this catchment each week.




he National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) announces the Victorian Mentee Sponsorship Program as part of its national Mentoring Program in 2024. Funded by the Victorian Office for Women, this program is focused on supporting and developing the careers of women working in the State’s manufacturing and energy sectors and is part of the Women in Manufacturing and Women in Energy Strategies. “Over the last 10 years NAWO’s Mentoring Program has mentored more than 750 women and inspired them to pursue successful careers in operations,” says NAWO CEO Louise Weine. “As NAWO’s reach and corporate membership grows, it’s very exciting to have this significant support from the Victorian Office for Women to provide sponsored places in 2024 for women in manufacturing and energy.” The Office for Women, part of the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, continues to support the work of NAWO as part of the Victorian Government’s strategies to increase women’s participation in the manufacturing and energy sectors. Since its introduction in 2010, NAWO’s flagship Mentoring Program has been increasing participants year on year. In 2024, the program will enhance and broaden its offering and delivery, reach and mentor more women in operations nationally, and better measure the program’s impact. In addition, and for the first time, NAWO will be offering sponsored places for its Victorian cohort, specifically for women working in manufacturing and energy seeking mentorships. This program includes both group and individual mentoring in the following streams: • Four mentor circles from both industries – 25 women mentees matched with five experienced

For the first time, NAWO will offer sponsored places for its Victorian cohort.

operations leaders • O ne mentor circle for energy industry experience – women not currently working in energy but who are keen to • F ive one to one mentoring opportunities for women in energy or manufacturing matched with five experienced operations leaders The Victorian Mentee Sponsorship Program is available to all women working in Victorian manufacturing and energy, not just from NAWO’s 85 + member companies. NAWO has previously worked with the Victorian Office for Women including on the Inclusion Habits for Operations Leaders pilot program in 2022 and this year’s Women in Energy & Manufacturing Case Studies Series. In September 2022, the Victorian Government released the Inquiry into Economic Equity for Victorian Women, together with the government’s response.

To support Inquiry Recommendation 19 – develop new industry strategies to attract, recruit and retain women in majority-men industries – the Victorian Government announced it would deliver strategies for the energy and manufacturing sectors. The strategies will focus on supporting, upskilling and mentoring women, while removing barriers in these historically maledominated workforces. NAWO’s Mentoring Program supports this strategy and will now be able to specifically focus on women in energy and manufacturing, with the ability to offer sponsored mentee places for women working in these sectors in Victoria. Further, NAWO will be able to provide sponsored places for women not currently working in these sectors, but who are interested to gain direct mentoring experience from energy and manufacturing operations leaders. MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 23


SHIPEROO: BORN FROM VISIONARIES WHO REFUSE TO PLAY BY THE OLD RULES Two of the logistics industry’s leading young lights are shaking up the 3PL and fulfilment game with a dynamic new tech-savvy fulfilment operation: Shiperoo. MHD caught up with the pair to learn more.


ehind every revolutionary company is a story of passion, vision, and the sheer will to change the game. Shiperoo’s tale begins with its brilliant co-founders, Nishan Wijemanne and Rizan Mawzoon. This dynamic duo has been in the trenches of the supply chain world for over 15 years. Their previous venture, Cohesio Group, transformed Australia’s supply chain landscape, which they largely attest to their passion for disruption and their

Nishan Wijemanne, Co-Founder, Shiperoo.

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people – who they referred to as their “dream team”. As a trailblazing, techfirst supply chain integrator, Cohesio Group pioneered the use of cuttingedge robotics of its kind in the region. Their work was so ground-breaking that German tech giant Körber took notice, leading to the acquisition of Cohesio Group in late 2019. But for Nishan and Rizan, one success story was merely the prelude. Their insatiable entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with their deep industry insights, led them straight to the

creation of a disruptive force in the traditional third-party logistics (3PL) industry. Leveraging cutting-edge AI-enabled software, robotic automation, and a star-studded advisory board of market leaders, the duo is set to revolutionise the way retailers manage their fulfilment operations, as well as solve an enormous industry challenge: the daunting realm of retail returns. Remember that shocking $428 billion worth of retail merchandise returned in the US reported by NRF during the thick of the 2020 pandemic? It’s not just a US issue; it also poses a multi-billion dollar challenge in both Australia and New Zealand. Australian retailers, despite their strides in the e-commerce landscape, still grapple with a glaring gap in their strategy: an efficient, cost-effective returns management system. Enter Shiperoo. With their wealth of experience, the founders saw beyond the challenge. They recognised the dire need for a solution that doesn’t just handle returns but truly understands the intricacies of each retailer: their product profile, operations, and their growth goals. So, what’s Shiperoo’s offering that makes it stand out? A genius fusion of the two most sought-after needs of Australian retailers: a technologydriven fulfilment partner and an unparalleled returns management system, both with an end-to-end


Leveraging cutting-edge AI-enabled software, robotic automation, and a star-studded advisory board, Shiperoo is set to revolutionise the way retailers manage their fulfilment operations.

visibility of the distribution journey. In a world where many are content with the status quo, Shiperoo, steered by Nishan and Rizan, is a testament to what’s possible with vision, expertise, and a relentless drive to innovate. For them, it’s not just about solving a problem—it’s about crafting the future of retail logistics. MHD sat down with Nish and Riz, the dynamic duo driving the revolution in 3PL and Returns Management with their brainchild, Shiperoo. With over 15 years of experience in the supply chain technology sphere, these industry veterans shared their journey, dreams, and the powerful tech-driven solution they’ve unleashed upon the logistics world. MHD: Tell is in a nutshell how the idea of Shiperoo came about? Nish: We had our eyes set on disrupting the traditional third-party logistics (3PL) industry for quite some time. This interest was sheerly due to our experience in supply chain technology and having witnessed far too many operations in the 3PL space over the past 15-plus years. We also

gained first-hand knowledge about how retailers prefer to be serviced by their 3PL partners, and many dreamt of a true fulfilment partner that could deliver true value and growth potential along with efficiency, speed and visibility. The turning point for us was when we realised that the 3PL industry at large lacked the creative approaches, modern-tech enablement, and visibility that retailers should have had the right to expect from their 3PL partners. This was just part one of the problem! Part two of the problem - Returns Management can only be described as a nightmare for most retailers as well as pureplay eCommerce players. There is simply not enough being done to help retailers avoid the sheer intricacies and deep rooted costs of managing returns. The prospect of us using our knowledge and capabilities to solve both problems was far too exciting to sleep on. We had the drive and determination to go beyond what the industry refers to as 3PL, and become the home of a tech-first, people-led fulfilment and returns partner. We realised we were about to fulfil many

dreams, literally! This led us to form our dream team including our advisory board members who are worthy of Australia’s retail red carpet. John King, CEO of Myer, Glen Keast, COO of Cotton On Group, and Paul Greenberg, Online-Retail Entrepreneur and founder of NORA, all of whom have offered crucial advice, support and an unwavering belief in Shiperoo’s ethos. Watch this space as Shiperoo unveils its line-up of their dream team over the coming months, along with the big reveal of another pair of Shiperooers who boast an extraordinary resume in retail success. You can call them Shiperoo’s masked singers for now! We are very excited about Shiperoo’s powerful proposition as we are set to invest over $AUD 30 million in cutting-edge, AI-enabled software and robotic automation across a national and trans-Tasman footprint. Some of our foundation customers have already jumped on board as Shiperoo’s early adopters in our pre-launch stage. MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 25

MHD COVER STORY MHD: What is the technology combo that underpins Shiperoo? Riz: As the e-commerce industry continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, delivering products swiftly and efficiently is paramount. Retailers, whether multichannel or pure-play, need a robust and cost-effective endto-end fulfillment solution to meet customer demands. Traditional 3PL providers have struggled to keep up with the rapidly evolving landscape, often falling short in terms of speed, cost, and flexibility. Shiperoo recognises these pain points and has developed an innovative solution that combines technology, automation, and industry expertise for a seamless multichannel fulfilment experience. At the heart of Shiperoo’s offering is our state-of-the-art AI-enabled software, driven by advanced algorithms and machine learning to optimise every step of the fulfilment process. This powerful technology not only streamlines inventory management and order processing but also provides real-time data analysis for smarter decision-making. Shiperoo’s differentiator is our innovative robotic automation and cutting-edge software. It automates key fulfilment tasks like picking and packing, reducing errors, and significantly enhancing the speed and accuracy of order processing. We have created an advanced automation system to process and dispatch orders in record time, delighting customers and minimising delays. How does Shiperoo tackle the impact of returns for eCommerce and Retail? Riz: The retail landscape has experienced a monumental shift in recent years, driven by e-commerce’s rapid growth and the convenience it offers consumers. However, this convenience comes at a cost, and that cost is the surge in product returns. According to recent statistics, return rates for e-commerce purchases can be as high as 40 per cent, compared to just 8 to 15 perc cent for in-store purchases. With the global e-commerce market projected to continue its expansion, it’s clear that returns are becoming a major challenge for retailers worldwide. Shiperoo leverages its team’s 26 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

Rizan Mawzoon, Co-Founder, Shiperoo.

expertise in distribution-centre operations and technology to optimise returns processing seamlessly. This is a game-changer for retailers seeking to mitigate the impact of their returns. We understand the intricacies of distribution centre’s operations all too well, having spent decades in workflow optimisation and the application of tech. So, we can seamlessly integrate returns processing into our existing workflows, reducing disruptions and bottlenecks. We have made lucrative investments into technology to drive our returns management service.

Shiperoo’s tech stack is a vital combination of our very own intuitive returns-management software, advanced sorting systems, vision systems and automation. Retailers and pure-plays will be empowered with end-to-end visibility and forward planning ability from the supplier through to returns and beyond. We call this a returns-management experience beyond your wildest dreams! Our returns process is designed to be an end-to-end solution. At the consumer’s end, we will solve their logistical nightmare of sending back returned items while for the retailer,

MHD COVER STORY we will categorise returned items, perform rapid quality assessment and decision-making regarding restocking, refurbishing, or recycling. For our customers, we will also provide accurate tracking and realtime visibility on returned products as well as perform enhanced inventory management to reduce the likelihood of overstock or understock situations. The end result is a “white-glove” returns-management experience. Our fulfilment partners (our customers) can say goodbye to the operational burdens of managing returns as well as recover value from returned items, minimising the overall impact of returns on their bottom line. MHD: What dreams will be fulfilled at Shiperoo? Nish: Our previous entrepreneurial pursuits and successes would mean nothing without the great team that we carefully crafted. Creating a dream team has always been at the heart of our business values, and this time is

no different to the last. The dream team is already here and it’s growing! Shiperoo is where dreams are fulfilled, and we take this seriously! We are fulfilling the dreams of our customers by offering them a partnership that they could only dream of! This means, we are also playing an active role in fulfilling the dreams of their respective customers, be it consumers or stores, awaiting the shipment of their beloved purchases or store replenishments. A wait of three to five days in this market is simply unacceptable; Shiperoo’s model allows next-day, ready-to-ship processes. We’re fulfilling the professional dreams of our own team by providing them the best place to work, empowering them with technology to make their workflows productive and enriching them with new knowledge and skills to grow their careers. As founders, we dream of playing by new rules, solving the demands of next-day delivery and the pressure

placed on retailers to fulfil at top speed yet grow at the same time. During one of our recent European educational tours we took the opportunity to learn first-hand from global leaders exactly how they were dealing with the grappling costs of returns. We sipped on single malts and dreamt of being the leaders in endto-end returns management solution providers in Australia, and making a true impact on circular economy. We also dreamt of being the ones to be a true, tech-first fulfilment partner. At Shiperoo we are a Fulfilment Partner rather than a 3PL, we are breaking the stigma of traditional 3PL – and becoming a true extension of our customers’ broader strategic plan.We are here to create partnerships that will grow and scale, and we dream of making a true impact on Australian logistics and retail landscape - once again! Shiperoo is where dreams are fulfilled – powered by tech and led by people. ■

Nishan and Rizan are playing by new rules to solve the demands of next-day delivery and helping retailers fulfil at top speed.

MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 27

CAPITALISING ON INDUSTRIAL CAPITAL MARKETS Colliers’ Sean Thomson, and Daniel Telling, dive deep into the innovative and adaptive strategies driving their Industrial Capital Markets services, detailing how the company seamlessly marries national scope with acute local insight.


n the bustling world of Industrial Capital Markets in Australia, the name Colliers has become synonymous with innovative solutions and strategic foresight. Colliers’ Sean Thomson, National Director Industrial Capital Markets Australia, and Daniel Telling, Manager Industrial Capital Markets Victoria, see the company as a market leader, particularly in evolving domains like multi-storey logistics in Australia. “There’s a unique DNA within Colliers that distinguishes our approach in the market,” Sean says, emphasising the particular blend of “national and international reach with insightful local market intelligence.” Notably, the company, while embracing a global perspective, doesn’t lose sight of the nuances and specifics of the local markets, thereby ensuring a precise and tailored strategy in their transactions and divestments of large-scale industrial real estate nationwide. “Our approach is all-encompassing,” says Sean. “When clients appoint our Capital Markets team, they’re not simply engaging in a single service offering. They are essentially tapping into the collective expertise of the entire Colliers business – from Capital Markets specialists to leasing agents, research, debt advisory, and beyond.” This extensive collaborative approach ensures that the services provided are not pigeonholed into divestment alone, but weave through a myriad of domains, reflecting a truly holistic business strategy. In Sydney’s multi-storey logistics space, this approach has been pivotal, demonstrating an evolution in the industrial market towards innovative 28 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

In the past 24 months, Colliers has notably engaged in transactions involving over 80 per cent of the multi-storey industrial sites that have emerged on the market.

developments. In the past 24 months, Colliers has notably engaged in transactions involving over 80 per cent of the multi-storey industrial sites that have emerged on the market. Sean highlights a landmark transaction: “We recently managed the sale of the first stabilised multistorey logistics asset within Australia, which was transacted for $137.2 million on behalf of Hale Capital Partners and LaSalle.” Such transactions not only underpin the company’s active role in shaping market trends but also underscore their pivotal role in navigating these intricate transactions. Daniel brings to the fore a robust facet of Colliers’ Industrial Capital Markets operations: focusing on large-scale transactions on behalf of its valued clients, many of which are transformational in nature. “We interface consistently with a diverse spectrum of the most active institutional, corporate, and private investors within the Australian industrial market,” Daniel states, further explaining how this constant interaction allows Colliers to adapt

and manage a variety of client needs, including the complexities of both divestments, acquisitions, and relocations. A striking instance he cites involves one of the world’s largest heavy vehicle manufacturers, where Colliers managed a large-scale divestment worth approximately $96 million in Dandenong South and subsequently orchestrated a significant relocation through their local leasing team, showcasing their full-spectrum service capability. “Colliers represents a collaboration between data and experience,” Sean adds, speaking of their clientcentric approach. This isn’t merely a vendor agency relationship; it’s a partnership journey, where the Colliers team provides trusted advice to help clients make informed decisions. The partnership extends to a wide-ranging clientele that includes heavy-hitters like Centuria, Charter Hall, Dexus, GPT, Cadence, and many more, each representing varied and nuanced needs within the industry. With a steady eye on ensuring clarity amidst complexity, Daniel highlights,

BROUGHT TO YOU BY “We harness Collier’s owned data in conjunction with platforms like SA1 and Tableau, not merely as data representation tools but as mechanisms to present intricate data in a simplified, interactive, and client-friendly manner.” This data-driven approach complements the company’s clientpartnership orientation, thereby amalgamating statistical insight with personal client relations to offer nuanced and strategic solutions. Within the vast and complex universe of Industrial Capital Markets, Sean and Daniel illuminate a pathway where Colliers not only navigates the intricacies with adept skill and strategic foresight but also with an unwavering commitment to client success. These are not just transactions; they’re about collaborating to achieve the best outcomes for clients. The leadership’s reflection highlights a dexterous capacity to intertwine datadriven methods, client-partnership approaches, and market-leading capital markets operations. Indeed, Colliers demonstrates through practical examples how they’ve not only responded to market shifts but have actively propelled those shifts, engineering favourable outcomes for their wide-ranging clientele. The Australian industrial capital market space is not without its shifts and challenges, and with the nuance and expertise that Sean Thomson, Daniel Telling and the wider Capital Markets team bring to the table, Colliers is not merely adapting but also guiding some of these transformations. Daniel elaborates on some of the contemporary dynamics at play. “Corporate sale and leaseback activity has notably risen in recent years,” he says. “Population growth and significant e-commerce growth in Australia has spurred investors to target key infill last-mile logistics locations in close proximity to densely populated residential catchment areas, positioning themselves for strong rental and capital value growth.” This development has paved the way for major corporates to capitalise on the robustness of the industrial capital markets, primarily by divesting non-core real estate assets and liberating capital for reinvestment within their business operations. “Many groups possess substantial

Daniel Telling, Manager Industrial Capital Markets, Colliers.

real estate assets which often don’t yield them the adequate returns they seek,” Sean adds. “The divestment of this real estate to liberate capital, which is then reinvested back within their core business operations, has become a viable strategy for many.” Thus, the trend of liberating capital by divesting non-core assets is not merely a reactive strategy but an active approach to leverage the buoyancy of the industrial capital markets in Australia. However, the pathway is not without hurdles. As Sean highlights: “A prominent challenge within the capital markets at present is that many purchasers face capital constraints and liquidity issues, coupled with some volatility within the debt market.” Colliers has proven adept at navigating through these challenges by providing a suite of services that will enable them to guide clients through these dynamic markets. Daniel adds to this, focusing on the elevated costs of capital and construction as a pivotal challenge: “Utilising data to simplify complex investment and development scenarios in this dynamic capital markets environment is paramount.” Thus, data has not merely emerged as a tool for operational decision-making but also as a mechanism to demystify and manage complexities. Looking forward, Colliers not only acknowledges the evolving marketplace but also places themselves as pioneers in driving change. “We’re at the forefront of the changing market, being first movers, which has assisted our major clients during these volatile times,” says Sean, also noting a distinct focus on “data centre transactions driven by the growth of AI and multistory logistics developments,” which have seen a significant uptick citywide, having begun their trajectory in

Sean Thomson, National Director Industrial Capital Markets, Colliers.

South Sydney. This forward-looking approach anticipates not only the continuation but also the strengthening of capital flows into the industrial sector. Daniel adds, “We foresee that strong capital flows will continue into the Industrial Capital Markets, securing it as a safehaven asset class.” He emphasises the pivotal role of innovation and technology leadership to support new entrants into the market, ensuring their stability and strategic growth within the industrial sector. In an environment waiting to stabilise post-pandemic, Sean projects, “Once we see true stabilisation, major super funds, being the most well-capitalised groups within the Australian market, will incline towards the industrial asset class.” The underpinning logic here resides in the sector’s demonstrated “growth in rents, tight supply, and strong fundamentals.” Sean Thomson and Daniel Telling’s approach illustrates the power of Colliers expertise in the Australian Industrial Capital Markets. Navigating through emerging trends, confronting, and mitigating challenges, and anticipating future developments, Colliers is bolstering its position not merely as a participant but as a transformative entity within the space. They navigate, with adept precision, the dual role of responding to market shifts and catalysing those shifts, ensuring their clientele is not merely keeping pace with the market but is also positioned for strategic growth. ■ Reach out today to see how Colliers Industrial Capital Markets team can maximise the potential of property for you.

MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 29

Peter Jones, Prological Founder and Director.

HARNESSING CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGIES Prological’s Founder and Director, Peter Jones, explains to MHD what supply chain convergence is and how businesses will only survive if they’re willing to adopt new technologies and re-envision their warehouses.


echnological advancements – particularly over the past four decades – have turbocharged supply chain convergence, and businesses can either take advantage of the generational changes occurring or fall behind by maintaining last generation practices. Supply chain industry stalwart and Prological Founder and Director, Peter Jones, has witnessed many of these seismic shifts throughout his almost thirty-year-long career. He has useful advice for businesses that are reluctant to modify their operations, and for the wise, how they can stay ahead of the

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curve without overinvesting.

FOUR WAYS TO OPTIMISE OPERATIONS Automating processes are becoming normative as companies grapple with labour shortages and find new ways to cope with increasing demands. Facilitating supply chain convergence is integral to businesses’ survival. Besides automation, they need to embrace Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and implement sustainability-related initiatives to meet ESG targets. Core technology developments such as six-star design elements

can be incorporated into warehouse design, as well as power generation and storage. Additionally, part of next generation warehouse design is increased clearance height and charging stations powered by energy generated by warehouses for electric vehicles. “All of this is achieved with warehouse employees kept in mind,” explains Peter. “Automating and designing a facility needs to be people-centric so the conditions are suitable to workers.” “Cost of the infrastructure is not only offset by the electricity consumed by the building, but it’s

also offset by the diesel that would otherwise be consumed by the vehicles. Moving your delivery fleet to electric has a far greater carbon offset than your building will ever have.” This is not yet for every business, but it has been achievable for many for some time now.

B2B EMULATING B2C Optimising these new technologies can be challenging when occupying a warehouse with legacy infrastructure. Businesses looking to move into a brownfield or greenfield site should consider how they’re going to integrate the elements of height to optimise automation capacity, sustainability, WMSs and ESG height. Occupier-owners and tenants are limited by the height available in the facility they own or rent. “The higher you go, the less land footprint is required,” says Peter. “You have a cost offset; the higher cost in your building, however, can be as high as a two-to-one benefit on the cost of land savings. For every two dollars you save on the land, you may have to spend around one of those extra dollars on the building.” Capital can be saved when businesses – particularly those in Sydney – utilise the clearance height (vertical space) instead of the square metre footprint (horizontal space) as rental and investment prices continue to climb there and in Australia’s other major capital cities. The picking process has gone through considerable changes since Peter started working in supply chain as it’s moved from manual to automated processes. “We’re seeing businesses adopting automation and storage and businesses that aren’t. Those with this equipment have much lower operating costs than those who don’t.” Service levels including the timeline from order placement through to dispatch is compressed when automation is involved. This is important in a B2C context where the end-user is expecting their orders to arrive at a certain time on a certain day. In the past five to seven years, Peter says the B2B industry has been trying to emulate the B2C

model in terms of customer service performance, whether it’s on a systems basis or receiving order confirmation and updates throughout the fulfilment cycle.

FACILITATING CONVERGENCE Traditional warehouses are no longer suitable for workers, and they don’t enable people to perform at their best. By embracing next generation warehouse design and converging emerging technological solutions, businesses are more likely to attract and retain high quality and over time, experienced employees. “Their workforce will be happier, and more productive and stable,” explains Peter. “Disruptions like pandemics and recessions can prompt businesses to better prepare for uncertainty, be more flexible, have the ability to make the right decisions, and de-risk operations so they can have better control of their circumstances.” “Today, anything is possible. From the engineering, research and development perspective, it only requires an opportunity that’s significant enough to justify producing a solution. The general rule today is if it can be conceived, it can be executed. The questions are: is it economically viable, and does it make sense? If it doesn’t make sense today though, it might make sense in three years’ time.” As technology has evolved –

especially between the 1980s and now – businesses have been able to move into specialised WMSs and integrate them into both upstream and downstream processes such as Order Management Systems (OMS), Transport Management Systems (TMS), and Freight Management Systems (FMS). Technology convergence isn’t only larger and more complicated than what it once was, it also carries more risks, but can make one business stand out from some of its competitors that mightn’t be as quick or capable o adopt these solutions. “The supply chain gap in some sectors will widen significantly over the next 10 years,” Peter says. “Those who don’t adapt may struggle to exist. Slow and late adopters will develop operational costs that are much higher than those who have implemented the next generation infrastructure while achieving convergence in their systems and operations. “There can be material reductions in labour in warehouses, with recent case studies showing up to 70 to 80 per cent transitioning from people-based walking/picking to highly automated designs. Not everyone will achieve this result, but most will gain significantly. This is why, in the end, it will all comes down to the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots over the coming decade.” ■

The picking process has gone through considerable changes since Peter started working in supply chain as it’s moved from manual to automated processes.

MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 31




he previous decade was characterised by cheap money leading to a growthfirst mindset, the next decade will likely be seen through a different lens, explains Argon & Co‘s Paul Eastwood.

FIVE ESSENTIAL STEPS TO ENHANCE SUPPLY CHAIN EFFICIENCY As we enter a macro environment of more normalised monetary policy, most developed economies also find themselves with historic levels of employment and participation. Therefore, access to both capital and talent has become more difficult and more expensive. Added to this are supply chain pressures, with an increasing focus on resiliency as the terms onshoring, near-shoring and China+1 become ever more popular. Consequently, companies need to be more creative to find ways to increase capacity to meet demand, while maintaining profit margins. Failure to do so will find businesses falling behind their competition, with external investment likely favouring simple business models with clear opportunity for returns. We believe there are five practical steps leadership teams can take to help them identify that strategic changes required to maximise return on investment over the medium to long term.

significantly add value. • Your business model – just-incase not efficient and just-in-time carries too much risk. There is a need to move to a new operating model, which adopts smarter practices is required to achieve the simplicity required.

PRIORITISE CONNECTIVITY Ensure compatibility first and foremost – an amazing solution that is incompatible with your suppliers and/or the wider market will not work. Placing connectivity upfront as part of the architecture of your systems or processes will then provide adaptability. Overall, ensuring your processes and technology allow you to connect with and adapt to the rest of the world with the least friction.



Cost pressures are not unique to your situation, but a challenge facing your competitors, suppliers and clients. Consequently, M&A activity could enhance your supply chain at an attractive cost as long as you have the scale and operating model to unlock the efficiencies. Reducing the number of transactions and steps from the raw materials to the end product inevitably lowers the total direct and indirect costs. By simplifying your business model, you will also make your business more attractive to external investment, helping you to access funds as required.

When businesses are in growth mode, cost levers have less focus and systems and products can often be bolted onto existing systems to enable growth at speed, resulting in a clunky, expensive and inefficient operating model. Here are two examples worth considering: • SKU rationalisation – this needs to genuinely simplify the endto-end supply chain and not just be a small part of it to

Focus on the areas where you can increase value as well as decrease costs. For example, by digitising your supply chain planning using automation tools like Advanced Planning systems, business logic and AI, you can improve the effectiveness of your supply chain while reducing costs from human capital. Process mining tools can also

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Paul Eastwood, Managing Partner ANZ Argon & Co. help you identify bottlenecks, nonconformances and root-cause issues more efficiently. Overall, make sure you are not simply cutting costs but identifying areas where you can reduce costs and add value at the same time.



To succeed over the next decade, you will need to operate on an automation-first basis, i.e., the first question at each stage of a process or task should be, ‘Can this be automated?’. Not only will this increase efficiency by transferring repeatable processes to machines, but it will also reduce labour shortage issues. This can help reduce or remove the human capital risk and cost – particularly beneficial when facing a tight labour market. The final step is to codify this automation as your own work. A great example here is what Ocado has managed to achieve in this space over the past decade. By codifying your way of working, you are creating IP, which can provide additional income streams or opportunities down the line. ■ Paul Eastwood, Managing Partner ANZ Argon & Co

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xtolla tells MHD the smartest industry leaders are engaging supply chain consultants and here’s why you should too. Picture this: Efficient, agile, and resilient supply chain operations. Reduced costs. And effortlessly meeting customer expectations. Sounds too good to be true? Here’s how to make it happen: Bring in a specialised supply chain consultant. Gone are the days of sales pitches and presentations. Today’s supply chain consultants are laser-focused on fast-tracking a supply chain from struggling to success. Leading the charge is Extolla, a specialised supply chain solutions provider where ‘endto-end’ is not just talked about, but actually delivered. “Many companies initially question the need for a consultant, but when they see the bottom-line improvements across their supply chain and happier customers, the value is obvious,” says Extolla CEO Peter Kendall. Extolla works on a “C-I-O” formula

– Consult, Implement, Operate – going beyond an advisory role to make supply chain changes happen, including training staff in new systems for long-term operational success. “Whatever we recommend, we implement ourselves rather than leave you with a deck of presentation slides. This “skin in the game” approach means our clients have a supply chain producing fantastic outcomes with no wasted resources or time,” says Peter. According to Extolla, here are five critical reasons businesses are using a supply chain consultant right now – and why you cannot afford to miss out:

1. INDUSTRY EXPERTISE With ESG reporting looming in 2024, increasing economic pressures and supply chain challenges, supply chain expertise has never been more in demand. Supply chain consultants are global supply chain experts with hands-on industry and project experience. In Extolla’s case, their

team have previously been both customers and suppliers, giving the business a unique insight to solve your most complex supply chain issues quickly.

2. COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE An efficient supply chain with high customer satisfaction is a significant competitive advantage. Extolla’s actionable outcomes improve profitability across all areas of your supply chain so you stand out in the market.

3. VALUE Supply chain consultants save time, money, and resources by advising the right agnostic solutions from the start, helping businesses avoid costly mistakes. This technology agnostic approach is key to long term solution viability. Extolla clients pay for clear deliverables supported by a team with real commercial and operational supply chain experience to ensure on-budget and on-time results.

4. SPEED TO MARKET A supply chain consultant gets things moving when internal resources have no time to research supply chain solutions and manage implementation. Extolla’s experts handle every physical and digital element of your supply chain transformation, taking the pressure and guesswork away.


Today’s supply chain consultants are laser-focused on fast-tracking a supply chain from struggling to success.

34 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

What does a great supply chain look like? And what technology or systems does your business need to get there? A supply chain consultant has the answers. Market relativity data, network modelling, software, robotics, specialist IP – Extolla consultants put you front and centre of the latest systems, processes, insights, and technology, with a deep understanding of suitability for your business. ■




MEGATRANS returning 18-19 September 2024 BOOK YOUR STAND TODAY Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre MEGATRANS is Australia’s largest integrated conference and exhibition dedicated to the logistics industry. MEGATRANS will showcase the latest in artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, automated racking, telematics and route optimisation, warehouse automation, intelligent fleet systems, blockchain, Internet ofThings, big data and advanced analytics.





ith the world facing environmental challenges, a shift from traditional linear supply chains to circular ones is becoming not just a trend but a necessity. Brendan O’Keeffe, Founder & CEO of Circular Supply Chain Advisory, explains circular supply chain, why it matters, and how the CSC Advisory team can help. “Today, the primary crisis we’re facing in supply chain sectors is the blatant overconsumption of resources,” says Brendan O’Keeffe, Founder & CEO of Circular Supply Chain (CSC) Advisory. “If we don’t transition to circular supply chain processes soon, we may very well run out of essential resources, mirroring scenarios like animal extinction.” Given the accelerating rate of resource consumption and the looming threat of resource extinction, circular supply chains have never been more relevant. But what is a circular supply chain? “For those unfamiliar with the concept of a circular supply chain, it is a stark contrast to the traditional linear model which revolves around the ‘take, make, use, and dispose’ approach,” says Brendan. “The circular model, on the other hand, moves beyond just disposal. It re-engages with the material or product, drawing it back into a reverse logistics loop. This enables businesses to extract value from these materials and utilise them in either similar or varied supply chain applications.” At the heart of this model is the coordination between forward and reverse supply chains, which reaps economic value creation and promotes sustainability on economic, social, and environmental fronts. “In essence,” Brendan says, “it’s about applying the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s principles of a circular economy. This encourages the repeated use of resources rather than just discarding them post-consumption. 36 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

“Consider plastic waste – which most consider a bane. There are initiatives where recovered plastic is used as a primary fuel source, substituting coal in high-combustion furnace environments. The potential of a circular approach is immense when you think through how it applies across various contexts.” But while the awareness of circularity in supply chains is growing, Brendan points out that adoption remains slow. “The forerunners in this movement are typically large corporations committed to a net-zero carbon footprint. For most businesses, the real challenge is determining where to initiate this transition and how to gain quick value. This is precisely where the expertise of CSC Advisory comes into play. Brendan’s experience stretches acrossmore than 25 years of experience and myriad supply chains. When it comes to sustainability and circular supply

While the awareness of circularity in supply chains is growing, adoption remains slow.

chains, Brendan is on a mission to maximise value for businesses and create a better world at the same time. “Our goal at CSC Advisory is clear: Sustainability is our business. We assist businesses on multiple fronts: from understanding challenges, defining focus areas, creating roadmaps, to implementation and reporting. Our consulting and executive search expertise empowers organisations to drive positive change, mitigate risks, and integrate sustainable business strategies.” Incorporating deep market knowledge, unparalleled expertise, and vast experience, CSC Advisory stands as a trusted partner for organisations eager to intertwine business value with sustainability frameworks. In a world teetering on the brink of resource depletion, the time to act is now. “The shift to a circular model isn’t just about sustainability; it’s about smart business.” ■


COST TO ENVIRONMENT OF MAKE GOOD AND REFURBISHING LEASE CLAUSES From the outset of building design, recycling and reuse should be incorporated into the plan.


MX Transform flags that through industrial make good activities, Australia generates 30,000 tonnes of commercial furniture waste, with 95 per cent of that ending up in landfill. The company’s Sophie Marshall – Sustainability Lead, and Stef Frawley – Director Portfolio Management, explain to MHD the current challenges in this space and what landlords can do to help. Central to all business operations, ESG is no passing trend, and is becoming increasingly important to the lease structure of industrial properties, especially when it comes to make good clauses. Make good clauses require tenants to return a leased space to its original condition at the end of the lease term, including the removal of any fit outs. While this is beneficial to the landlord and incoming tenants, it can pose significant costs to

the environment with the process generating substantial waste and a very short lifecycle for often good quality fit outs. “Consideration of lifecycles across industrial assets presents a great opportunity for industry collaboration to divert reusable assets from landfill and make a meaningful reduction to landfill statistics,” says Sophie Marshall, TMX Transform’s Sustainability Lead. From the outset of building design, recycling and reuse should be incorporated into the plan, to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill. In Victoria alone, there are more than 135 charities and businesses available to help in the recycling process. “During lease negotiations, it is important for all parties to consider softening make good clauses surrounding the removal of office

fit outs,” says Stefanie Frawley, TMX Transform’s Director Portfolio Management. “This is something we help our clients with during the lease negotiation process, ensuring a more sustainable option is available for both the landlord and the occupier. We have been able to negotiate reductions as high as 70 per cent on the overall contract by being part of the process.” To mitigate the severity of the impact on the environment, landlords should consider lessening the terms of the make good. Rather than strictly stipulating the removal of additional fit outs, landlords could provide sustainable alternatives for tenants to explore, such as recycling companies, energy-efficient upgrades, and responsible disposal practices, when negotiating and executing industrial property leases. ■ By Sophie Marshall and Stefanie Frawley. MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 37



andatory ESG reporting is coming from 2024 – Extolla’s ESG expert Andy Sun reveals ways to get ahead. Everyone knows what ESG stands for. But from 2024, companies will also need to know how it impacts every aspect of supply chain, as climaterelated disclosures become mandatory for financial reporting in line with international standards. Whilst the exact requirements are still to come for Australian corporations, there is no doubt that ESG has shifted from an afterthought to a board-level priority where ESG knowledge across supply chains is quickly becoming critical. At Extolla, we are leveraging our global supply chain expertise to help Australian businesses get up to speed with international counterparts, where ESG reporting is the norm. Here are key steps to take now for Environmental, Social, and Governance reporting success:

SET UP ESG PROCESSES Prepare for the transparency and auditing of ESG reporting by establishing internal systems and processes to track and analyse ESG performance. Consider as a minimum: • E stablishing a board-led governance structure • S etting up a due diligence process across complete value chains • I ntegrating ESG into corporate risk management systems ESG reporting requirements may vary based on industry, geographic region, and stakeholder expectations. Keep current with reporting frameworks and the information required for specific supply chains. Map Supply Chains and Gather Data Chart supply chains for insights into supplier tiers, subcontractors, and raw 38 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

material sources and collect supplier operations data to pinpoint ESG risks, weaknesses, and improvement prospects. Data for each supply chain should include: • E nvironmental: Examine the impact of sourcing, production, transportation, and disposal. Track and report metrics, including energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and management, water usage, and biodiversity impact. • S ocial and labour: Social data in supply chain should include information about worker health and safety, working conditions, human rights, diversity and inclusion, and resilience in times of crisis. Gather relevant audits, certifications, and assessments. • G overnance data: Governance covers compliance, risk management, ethics, anti-corruption measures, and supplier engagement. Document policies, codes of conduct, and standards, and track their implementation and effectiveness. Revise or create precise ESG policies and goals for tracking progress.

SET PERFORMANCE INDICATORS AND TARGETS Revise or create precise ESG policies and goals for tracking progress and demonstrating commitment to sustainable practices, such as reduction targets for greenhouse gases, waste, or non-compliance. Collecting performance data against these indicators aids in reporting and industry benchmarking. Bring in ESG Experts Get ESG reporting ready by bringing in expert guidance now. At Extolla, we will help you to understand the what, why, when, and how of ESG reporting. ESG is more than just a set of obligations – it is a roadmap to a sustainable and responsible future and a huge opportunity to stand out in competitive markets. Use it to your advantage. Extolla Senior Director Dr Andy Sun is a global expert in sustainability in supply chain management. A United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) Project Ambassador for China and Hong Kong, Andy leads Extolla clients in adopting ESG practices. ■




wisslog’s Sean Ledbury and Charles John discuss how to overcome challenges in the frozen food industry, and how to achieve energy savings and better ROI. This was first presented at the 2023 Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association of Australia (RWTA) Conference. The frozen food and cold supply chain industry is facing increasing challenges, with many companies in Australia and New Zealand struggling to keep up with rising energy costs, labour shortages, and other issues At the 2023 Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association of Australia (RWTA) Conference, Swisslog Head of Sales and Consulting, Sean Ledbury, and Swisslog Senior Sales Consultant, Charles John presented on how to overcome these challenges, and maximise the operational footprint of a cold chain with warehouse automation. Swisslog has implemented more than 2,000 warehouse automation projects in more than 50 countries, and has a proven pedigree in refrigerated warehouse automation solutions. RWTA Executive Officer, Marianne Kintzel, says, “maximising the integrity of the cold chain in the refrigerated warehouse and transport sector is mandatory to ensure confidence in food quality, every day, for every Australian.” “Swisslog presented at the 81st RWTA Conference and Exhibition at the Gold Coast and spoke about how automation can support these requirements with state-of-theart equipment. Automation is a major part of the future of the cold chain,” she said.

LABOUR SHORTAGES “One of the biggest challenges companies are facing now is labour

shortages,” says Ledbury. “Low temperatures make refrigerated warehouses harsh environments, where it is recommended that humans should spend minimal time to avoid hypothermia and other health and safety risks. Using automation to do tasks in freezer areas removes workers from these harsh environments, freeing them up to work in other, more suitable areas,” he said. Other challenges facing the cold chain industry include changing customer demands, new compliance regulations, and energy consumption. Food production is facing increased challenges too, with water scarcity, soil degradation, deforestation, and reduction in farmers all playing a part in making the supply chain more complex.

ENERGY SAVINGS Charles John adds that an automated high-bay chilled warehouse can reduce the energy load by as much as 20 per cent compared with conventional more labour-intensive alternatives. “Not only does it reduce the power bill, but it typically allows for four times more storage within the same building footprint, so you are maximising your use of the available space,” he says. “This is becoming increasingly important, as industrial land continues to become more expensive in major cities across Australia and New Zealand. Adding capacity without having to purchase a new site can make for a superior ROI.”

COLD CHAIN COMPLIANCE Compliance is essential in the cold chain due to the harsh nature of chilled and deep freeze environments, and the strict requirements different food and beverage products need to adhere to. Automation can help meet these compliance regulations in a number of areas, including:

Swisslog Head of Sales and Consulting, Sean Ledbury. • Providing automatic doors with airlocks to efficiently separate the storage area from the shipping area • Making sure the cold chain is respected from production to shipping • Providing an automatic connection with the production area and the shipping buffer in deep freeze temperatures • Creating a cleaner, safer environment, by not needing to use ice • Better goods management process and error-free traceability through advanced software

INTELLIGENT SOFTWARE “Software such as Swisslog’s SynQ can optimise warehouse operations and deliver a range of benefits. It can control order planning, order picking, consolidation, shipping, storage, receiving and putaway, and the benefits extend beyond these tasks, too,” says Ledbury. SynQ is a software powered by Swisslog that stands for synchronised intelligence. It synchronises people, process, and machines for efficient operations. In addition to being a WMS, it can perform the task of a WCS (Warehouse Control System), or MFS (Material Flow System), and can seamlessly interact with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and e-shop systems. “In a cold environment, SynQ can control the placement of products, to make sure the right temperature is always maintained for optimum product integrity,” adds Ledbury.■ MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 39




n today’s fast-paced business landscape, maximising productivity and streamlining operations is crucial for success. The key lies in equipping front-line workers, such as retail staff, warehouse employees and delivery drivers, with the right tools to enhance their performance. In Zebra’s 2027 Global Warehousing Vision Study, nearly nine in 10 decision makers agree that technology advancement will make the warehouse environment more attractive to workers. Enterprise tablets that are purposebuilt for specific front-line workers and applications will always end up being the better investment, even if the upfront cost is higher than other devices. Considering that quality is a costsaving factor, investing in the right tools for workers will lead to significant gains in efficiency, productivity, and financial performance. In particular, Zebra recognises the increasing adoption of Android within the enterprise space over the next few years, hence its decision to introduce a new player to the market: the ET60/ ET65 rugged tablets. Zebra’s ET60/ET65 tablets are the enterprise-grade big screen devices your workers are looking for. As Zebra’s first IP66 rated tablets, the devices have undergone extensive real-world testing and are designed to withstand harsh environments, redefining ruggedness. They are drop-tested to concrete, resistant to the elements, and capable of withstanding extreme temperatures as the first freezer-rated tablet on the market. These tablets are corrosionproof and tested for vibration, thermal shock, and solar radiation. With their robustness, the ET60/ 40 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

ET65 tablets excel in diverse settings, including warehouses, manufacturing plants, ports, field services, and public safety operations. A battery-less variant of the enterprise tablet also provides seamless and reliable operation specifically designed for vehicle forklift usage. The display and optional scanner exit window are shatter- and scratchresistant, and easily cleaned Corning® Gorilla® Glass, ensuring durability. The devices can be used in bright sunlight, with the screen yielding a super bright 1000-nit display for excellent visibility. Moreover, their design ensures a long lifespan of at least four years from its launch date, providing an excellent return on investment. That’s something shareholders and business leaders will understand when they see productivity and efficiency improvements directly resulting from enterprise tablet utilisation. Zebra has also developed a groundbreaking tablet specifically designed for freezer environments, marking a significant milestone as the first freezer-rated tablet on the market. They also offer a battery free variant of the enterprise tablet, providing seamless and reliable operation specifically designed for vehicle forklift usage. Rugged enterprise-grade devices like the ET60/ET65 can offer unparalleled flexibility. Utilising the patent-pending vehicle dock, they can be transformed into vehicle mount computers suitable for forklifts and material-handling vehicles. Notably, they are freezer-ready, and the display and optional keyboard are equipped with heating capabilities when docked in a forklift—a unique feature not found in other tablets. When

additional data entry is required, the friction hinge keyboard accessory can be easily attached, transforming the ET60/ ET65 series into efficient laptops. Enterprise-grade devices need to have reliable battery power for extended shifts, high-capacity standards and extended battery options. These ET60/ET65 tablets boast an array of features that make them the most powerful in their class. They support the fastest networks and future technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, while offering a comprehensive range of wireless connections, including Wi-Fi 6E and 5G. As the batteries are removable, tablets never go out of service for charging. Moreover, a battery-free option is available for vehicle mounting, eliminating the need for battery management. Advanced security features, timely OS patches, and security updates through Zebra’s LifeGuard™ for Android™ ensure robust device protection. Barcode capture is also effortless, thanks to the integrated camera or the optional SE55 1D/2D Advanced Range scan engine, capable of reading barcodes in various conditions. All Zebra devices also come with Mobility DNA, which drives workforce productivity and device value to new levels. The industry’s most complete and proven software tool, Mobility DNA makes your tablets easier to use and maintain — devices can stage themselves right out of the box, no hands-on required; integrating barcode data into your apps without writing code; managing Bluetooth accessories; restricting apps to keep workers focused on the job; capturing all barcodes required with one press of the scan button — and much more. ■




niversity of Technology Sydney (UTS) explains to MHD how businesses can better prepare for the next supply chain-related crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare vulnerabilities in global supply chains, underscoring the urgency for Australian businesses and the government to enhance their readiness for future crises such as natural disasters or geopolitical unrest. Researchers from the UTS Business School have developed a comprehensive set of tools and strategies to improve the strength and agility of supply chains in the face of such challenges. Strategic supply chain management expert, UTS Associate Professor Sanjoy Paul, says a robust supply chain isn’t just about efficiency, it’s also about resilience, and it is important to be proactive rather than waiting for the next crisis to hit. “Modern supply chains are incredibly intricate,” explains Associate Professor Paul. “They can span multiple countries and involve numerous suppliers, manufacturers, logistics providers and distributors. A single point of failure can have cascading effects. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed significant flaws in Australia’s ability to manage crisis situations. Preparation can ensure that empty shelves, hoarding, and disruptions to the supply of essential items such as food and medicine are minimised. A robust supply chain isn’t just about efficiency, it’s also about resilience.

“Panic buying is a particular challenge, and the consequences can be far-reaching for vulnerable individuals such as the elderly. Managing panic buying requires a multi-faceted approach encompassing effective communication, clear guidelines, collaboration and adaptability.” UTS Professor of Management Renu Agarwal says any disruption to supply chains, from supplier failures to distribution issues, affects the end customer. “Businesses must make their entire supply chain not only stable and reliable but resilient, adaptive, disruptionproof… enough to shift on a dime when complex situations arise,” she adds. “Businesses tend to forget learnings from previous situations as they are focused on short-term gains. This is why government should play a critical role in promoting preparedness and collaboration among all stakeholders, and policymakers need to build sovereign capability in critical industries beyond defence.” The research findings are published in a new book: Supply Chain Risk and Disruption Management, which outlines a range of tools, techniques and approaches to managing risk across medical, pharmaceutical and other critical supply chains. Associate Professor Paul outlines four key strategies to minimise disruption: 1. Collaboration and coordination “Businesses are encouraged to

collaborate instead of competing during national emergencies. Major retailers and manufacturers should work together to distribute and replenish supplies efficiently to alleviate consumer anxiety.” 2. O nshoring critical manufacturing “Bringing key manufacturing back to Australia can enhance control and minimise disruptions. This approach ensures that even if global supply chains falter, essential products can still be produced locally.” 3. Transparency and communication “Businesses should provide clear information about their stock levels through effective digital communication channels, to help reduce fear and panic buying. Government intervention can facilitate transparent communication between businesses and consumers during crises.” 4. Preparation and scenario planning “Businesses and individuals alike should prepare for potential crises by developing mitigation strategies and alternative plans. Understanding alternative suppliers and having contingency plans in place can enable swift responses during disruptions.” The research team developed simulation models to test a range of strategies aimed at combatting disruptions such as panic buying, and found these tools were effective in mitigating risk and ensuring better demand fulfillment, reducing the impact of a crisis on consumers.

RESEARCH PAPERS: Overview of Supply Chain Risk and Disruption Management Tools, Techniques, and Approaches, Towfique Rahman, Sanjoy Kumar Paul, Renu Agarwal, and Ruhul Sarker. A viable supply chain model for managing panic-buying related challenges: lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, Towfique Rahman, Sanjoy Kumar Paul, Renu Agarwal, Nagesh Shukla and Firouzeh Taghikhah. ■ MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 41


LIFTING INNOVATION IN MATERIALS HANDLING FOR 25 YEARS Forklift manufacturer Combilift recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary at the company headquarters in Monaghan, Ireland. MHD sat down with co-founder and CEO Martin McVicar to talk about the business’s dedication to improving safety and efficiencies in the Australian warehouse and logistics market.


artin McVicar can distinctly remember his first Combilift business trip to Australia. In order to meet a prospect customer, he travelled from Cincinnati in the United States to Brisbane via Chicago, Los Angeles and Auckland. He can remember shaving in an airport bathroom in Auckland so he would look presentable to demonstrate Combilift’s C4000 truck – the world’s first engine-powered multidirectional forklift – to a steel tubing and pipe specialist later that morning. Combilift received an order from the tube manufacturer as a result. “I have many stories from over the years, but this one encapsulates an important aspect about the Australian materials handling market, and that is its receptiveness to innovative products,” explains Martin.

42 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

Martin McVicar, Combilift Co-Founder and CEO.

“And that’s because Australian businesses are highly focussed on improving efficiency. When it came to that demonstration to the tubing company, they could see straight away how it would help them handle tubing of about six metres a lot more efficiently and safely. To them, it was a no-brainer.”

AN INSPIRING AUSTRALIAN MARKET Fast forward to today and Australia is Combilift’s fifth largest market – with the US in first position, followed by the UK, Germany and France. One of the reasons Martin says Combilift products are popular in Australia is that each forklift is designed to address a specific market need, and is individually customised to every order. “For example, the Combilift pedestrian

range is the result of an original order from Australia from Bunnings – we custom-built the Combilift Walkie Reach for them,” he adds. “Today, there are five trucks in that range. In fact, many of our trucks have been inspired to suit Australian customers and every truck we build has been made to order. Our focus has always been on solving customer needs.” One of the trucks launched to celebrate Combilift’s 25 year anniversary – the Combi-CB70E – also took on feedback from Australian plasterboard company, CSR. The counter balance, multi-directional forklift is designed to manage long loads but is both compact and electric. It has a patented swivel seat that enables the driver to turn left or right to reduce strain when reversing.

MHD MATERIALS HANDLING FIVE PRODUCTS LAUNCHED IN ANNIVERSARY YEAR Besides the Combi-CB70E, Combilift launched four other products to celebrate its 25 year anniversary. “We’re investing an average of seven per cent of our revenue continuously in research and development (R&D), and pride ourselves on innovation, and the launch of these five products underlines that ongoing commitment,” says Martin. “They also are indicative of the specialised solutions that we can provide.” Among the other machines launched is an autonomous guided vehicle (Combi-AGT), as well as a telematics solution that can integrate with existing fleet management solutions (Combi-Connect) to provide important data on truck maintenance. The new Combi-LC blade is a remote control operated machine that has been specifically designed for the tandem operation of moving wind turbine blades and towers. Combilift collaborated with Siemens Gamesa to address the load-handling challenges associated with these large blades used in wind energy. The Combi-LC blade has a carrying capacity of 75 tonnes and can move blades up to 150 metres high. Another truck launched was the Combi-CUBE, an electric counterbalance forklift that has a 360 degrees steering system. This means it doesn’t have to stop and adjust to loads, making it the most manuoeverable truck of its kind on the market.

In 2023, Combilift celebrates its 25-year anniversary at its Monaghan headquarters in Ireland.

A GREENER FUTURE WITH COMBILIFT As shown in the recent product launches, the majority of Combilift products are now electric. This is just one way the company is committed to a greener future. “Over 70 per cent of the vehicles we’re currently making are electric and I’d say about 98 per cent of our R&D has gone into electric powered equipment,” explains Martin. “That’s been our focus for the five years, as well as how to measure the efficiency of those trucks. As a company, we’re inherently focussed on sustainable solutions. And by that I mean, we’re focussed on making vehicles that are more environmentally friendly to use, as well as vehicles that enable our customers to make their warehouse Besides the Combi-CB70E, Combilift launched four other products to celebrate its 25-year anniversary.

utilisation more environmentally friendly.” Martin reiterates Combilift’s three pillars, which are: improving safety, maximising storage and increasing efficiency. The company has long had a warehouse design service that they provide to customers free of charge – showing customers exactly how they can unlock every inch of storage space with a warehouse layout. However, circling back to the electric drive of the company, Martin also mentions that Combilift forklifts use lead-acid batteries instead of lithium. This is because they are far more recylcable, wheras lithium waste is an industry challenge that has yet to be solved. In fact, according to the CSIRO, only 10 per cent of Australia’s lithium-ion battery waste was recycled in 2021, compared with 99 per cent of lead acid battery waste1. To summarise, Martin believes that the future is green, in more ways than one with Combilift. “We’re going to continue to grow our business organically with a key focus on R&D and building products that adhere to our three pillars: improving safety, maxmising storage and increasing efficiency. We look forward to another 25 years of providing the Australian market with sustainable solutions that address their specific materials handling needs.” ■ Reference: 1. energy/energy-in-the-circular-economy/battery-recycling

MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 43


BATTLING THE UNSEEN State regulatory bodies are recommending wet sweepers as a means of managing airborne and lingering dust in industrial facilities. Chester Larsen explains the solutions Conquest offer to support you in conducting regulatory-compliant floor cleaning.


n an industrial landscape marked by palpable and sometimes imperceptible dangers, one hazard often slips through unnoticed yet exercises a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of the workforce: dust. “The challenge in a lot of facilities is the accumulation of industrial dust on surrounding equipment, walls and floors” says Chester Larsen, National Sales Manager at Conquest Equipment. “It’s not always recognised for its ability to cause harm to staff or the working group at a facility.”

The menace of silica dust in particular, which is commonly sourced from materials like engineered stone, bricks, concrete, and sandstone, is amplified by its lingering presence in the air and its ability to traverse beyond its point of creation. While many facilities focus meticulously on the source and generation point of the dust, an often-overlooked aspect is where it eventually settles. “A lot is concentrated on the source of the dust, that is, where it’s generated, but not always where it’s

landing,” Chester says. “And that’s part of the problem. It doesn’t just impact the area where it’s created; it impacts the surrounding areas, too.” The insidious nature of silica dust lies not just in its omnipresence but in its near-invisibility. Silica particles are so minute that they effortlessly linger airborne, quietly infiltrating every nook and cranny of an industrial setting. To combat airborne dust, the use of water mist is becoming increasingly common in industrial and construction settings, as recommended by State regulatory bodies. The utilisation of mist becomes a plausible technique to quite literally dampen the threat, by weighting the dust particles and coaxing them to settle, thus reducing the time they spend airborne. And with the dust issue front-ofmind for regulatory bodies, many have issued recommendations and guidelines that wet sweeping – rather than dry-sweeping – is the appropriate method of cleaning for industrial settings. Conquest is across these recommendations and has the wetsweeping solutions to meet regulatory requirements.


The Conquest CC1200 Combination Sweeper Scrubber. 44 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

Navigating these landscapes isn’t just about managing current realities but also about remaining agile amidst an evolving regulatory terrain. “It’s important to stay close to the state-based workplace safety regulators,” Chester says. “They are evolving as we collectively better understand the risks of silica dust, and they want to work with manufacturers, businesses, and construction companies to improve dust control practices.”

MHD WAREHOUSING This evolution and collaborative approach between regulatory bodies and industries hint at a future where safety isn’t just policy but intrinsically woven into the operational tapestry of industrial facilities.

DAMPENING THE DUST THREAT Delving deeper into the realms of industrial safety, Chester details not merely the challenges silica dust poses but the pragmatic, tangible solutions that have been developed to manage the risks effectively. The meticulous application of water, particularly through misting methods, is highlighted as a key strategy: “Using water is one of the most effective ways to neutralise airborne dust altogether,” he says. “When you have a standard broom or the brooms on a sweeping machine, if they aren’t having water applied prior to them contacting the ground, you will push some dust up into the air. To guard against this you need to ensure that water is applied either directly to the bristles of the broom or to the cleaning zone directly in front of the broom.” Additionally, when the wet dust is collected and disposed of at the end of the clean, it won’t become airborne again when it’s emptied – another challenge when dumping dry dust into waste hoppers.

CONQUESTING DUST Amidst these practices emerges technology designed not only to combat the particulate threat but also to align seamlessly with the day-to-day realities of industrial environments. Conquest has a number of solutions – including the Conquest CC1200

Conquest XR Floor Scrubber.

Chester Larsen, National Sales Manager at Conquest. Sweeper Scrubber, and the heavy-duty XR scrubber – that are up to the job. “The CC1200 is available in diesel and LPG powered machines,” says Chester. “The XR is battery electric. In the latter case, the XR is also better for the operator in enclosed spaces as it does not contribute any additional emissions to the working environment.” With a distinct recognition of the need for both efficacy and environmental consciousness, these machines are crafted not merely as solutions but as harbingers of a safer, more sustainable industrial future. In shaping a future where machinery and methodology align to protect and preserve, Conquest emerges as a potent force, melding technology, strategy, and a deep-rooted commitment to safety and sustainability. As we tread into the concluding segment, we shall explore the forward-looking perspectives and anticipations for future developments in this vital sphere. With his finger firmly on the pulse of industrial cleaning trends, Chester

unwraps not just the imminent necessity of managing industrial dust but also the holistic, future-oriented strategies employed in developing cleaning machinery that serves dual purposes: safeguarding human and environmental health while ensuring operational efficiency and costeffectiveness. “The CC1200 is a single machine that accomplishes both sweeping and scrubbing functions in a single pass, implying one machine to maintain and one operator to run,” he says. “This model translates into a 50 per cent labour saving and reduces operational costs,” he adds, underlining the confluence of economic and functional viability in Conquest’s offerings. Navigating through the labyrinth of operational, maintenance, and energy costs, the tangible benefits of utilising a singular, combination machine like the CC1200 become evident. It not only inherently trims power costs, particularly against the backdrop of escalating fuel prices, but also in its electric counterparts – as seen in the GMG – affords a notable reduction in maintenance costs. “Battery electric machines, which contrast with combustion engines, notably present reduced maintenance costs,” Chester says. “Fewer moving parts, minimised requirement for consumables like oils, and overall less complex mechanical systems make electric units more economical and reliable in dust-prone environments.” Such equipment not only paves the way for a cleaner industrial milieu but is also deftly aligned with burgeoning community expectations and regulatory standards concerning dust emissions control. Chester draws attention to this crucial intersection between environmental consciousness and community standards, noting the growing seriousness with which “councils and local communities” approach dust emissions control. “The industry is shifting towards integrating water into dust control processes. Conquest – with its innovative technology and unwavering commitment to health, safety, and environmental sustainability – is proud to work with clients and industry to provide solutions that meet community expectations as well as evolving regulatory standards.” ■ MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 45

Lead the logistics

automation transformation Find out how you can gain highly specialised skills currently in demand by industry to grow your career with RMIT’s Graduate Certificate of Supply Chain Automation.

Find out more

Applications for January 2024 now open.

[CP_2023_197]- MHD Supply Chain Automation _P3.indd 1

CRICOS: 00122A | RTO: 3046

9/10/2023 16:46


THE INTERSECTION OF SUSTAINABILITY AND SAFETY Anthony Beavis, Managing Director at Körber Supply Chain explains how a commitment to sustainability in the supply chain improves employee welfare and safety.


ustainability factors and safe practices have become more important to investors, businesses, and society at large. Public perception is shifting the way business operates, with more incentive for companies to not only meet regulations but integrate a work culture of sustainability and safety into everyday practices. Körber’s recent Supply Chain Benchmarking Report revealed sustainability is top of mind for supply chain professionals, with 89 per cent of respondents seeing decreasing their impact on the planet as a strategic or high priority. Right next to sustainability in the

findings, safety and labour engagement was a top priority for businesses. In Australia, stricter safety regulations as well as the introduction of advanced technology has placed a renewed focus on workplace health and safety. By focusing on improving sustainability and safety, an opportunity exists to improve both top priorities simultaneously because of their interlapping nature. With new technology and automation paving the way for more efficient processes, which can in turn create greener, healthier, and safer facilities. Automation and intelligent design don’t only help to build a “greener” supply chain, however – the right

technology improves the wellbeing and safety of staff and operators, too. Ensuring workers have a safe and healthy work environment must be the first priority for any organisation. Companies need to proactively identify and mitigate health and safety risks in their operations, supply chains, and products, including providing adequate training, protective equipment, and promoting a safety culture that encourages employees to report potential hazards without fear. Current regulations are not only a legal and ethical responsibility for businesses, but serve to improve employee well-being, providing frameworks for responsible operations



Körber helped Officeworks to implement a suite of solutions at their Truganina DC that matched the best of sustainability and safety.


023 16:46

MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 47

MHD SUPPLY CHAIN which prioritise the planet and people. Automating labour-intensive tasks such as load movements through the warehouse, removal of goods from racks and the management of product locations provides a more inviting environment for workers. While staff are safer and more engaged, such changes improve the efficiency of the facility, therefore reducing emissions and waste for the same amount – or more – of volume going out the door.

SOLUTIONS FOR IMPROVING SUSTAINABILITY AND SAFETY Identifying specific bottlenecks in warehouse operations through warehouse design, efficient energy solutions, and the deployment of automation can lead to not only cost and time savings, but also a safer and more sustainable working environment. Actions such as replacing lighting with LEDs, utilising solar panels, automating labour-intensive tasks, and consistently condition monitoring equipment all contribute to an improved warehouse environment for people and the planet. If warehouse staff feel safe and valued, it has a flow-on effect to improve efficiencies and the overall sustainability of the facility. Supply chain solutions helping companies reach sustainability targets include: • Warehouse Management Systems – An intelligent, flexible WMS helps in a myriad of ways, reducing unnecessary tasks, workflows, and movement in the warehouse. • Autonomous Mobile Robots – Paper pick lists can be a huge source of supply chain waste. The data collected by these robots can be used to identify areas of inefficiency and implement improvements. • Warehouse Automation and Material Handling Equipment – Automation removes labourintensive works and utilises the verticality of a warehouse, enabling more throughput across a smaller footprint. • Supply Chain Network Design – Optimising transport options and routes by determining the best location for a particular warehouse. • Transportation Management 48 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

When examining paths forward to meet new sustainability expectations, it’s important to create solutions which weave in safety improvements at the same time.

Systems – More efficient truck routes lead to lower emissions. • V oice enabled solutions – Reduces paper waste and unnecessary shipping. Receiving instructions and confirming information through a headset means fewer errors in picking and fewer customer returns. At Körber, we practise what we preach, and are working to have climate-neutral production at more than 100 locations worldwide by as early as 2025. An initial package of sustainability measures was already decided and initiated in 2021, including the switch to climate-neutral energy, the expansion of photovoltaic systems, and the improvement of energy efficiency at production sites. Körber’s suite of technology is continually supporting our customers on their own sustainability journeys, too. A broad technological expertise in voice, mobility, software, and automation solutions is helping major retailers set sustainability and safety benchmarks for industry. For instance, working with Körber at its Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC)

in Derrimut, Victoria and recently built CFC in Western Australia, Officeworks installed LED lighting, a building energy management system and a solar photovoltaics system which will power its automation solution. Solar panels on the roof of the facility reduce emissions and help power the new technology, including voice, Warehouse Management System and Autonomous Mobile Robots – the first ever solarpowered AMR solution in Australia. AMRs are helping to reduce repetitive and strenuous work in the warehouse, significantly reducing the requirement for staff to walk long distances around the DC. When examining paths forward to meet new sustainability expectations, it’s important to create solutions which weave in safety improvements at the same time. Supply chain professionals constantly face economic challenges, but embracing technology to make people safer and processes more efficient pays off in the long run. ■ To learn more, visit


NEW ARRIVAL: LITHIUM 0.2T A SERIES STORAGE ASSIST VEHICLE We are happy to announce the launch of our new 0.2t A series lithium storage assist vehicle. This is a compact and flexible vehicle that is perfect for picking small goods in warehouses, hardware stores, supermarkets etc. The unit has a 100kg hydraulic powered picking table, and also 115kg capacity lower storage tray. The 24v/125ah lithium has fast and opportunity charging which greatly improves working efficiency. Safe & Reliable Even at great heights, the operator feels confident thanks to the all-around safety protection, such as automatic closing doors, right and left hand sensing, front and rear flashing lights, tilt switch sensor etc. All these will help ensure operators are in the correct position as they operate the equipment, resulting in fewer injury risks and less potential downtime.

With over 200 units in stock and a new spare parts division our dealer network can support all your needs.

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Call 1300 399 687 to be put through to your nearest local dealer.

Easy Maintenance The AC motor significantly reduces the maintenance costs and downtime. Maintenance free lithium batteries reduce downtime and provide greater life span than traditional wet cell or gel batteries.

Manufacturing forklifts since 1956


NAVIGATING SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGES WITH TACTICAL PLANNING Argon & Co is facilitating the supply chain revolution by assisting its customers with becoming more resilient, efficient, and agile. Chris Foord, Associate Partner, speaks to MHD about how this is achieved via enhancing tactical planning capability.


rgon & Co as a global management consulting firm who specialise in operations and transformation is helping its clients navigate inventory, service, and adaptation issues in a post-COVID environment and encouraging them to become more resilient, efficient, and agile in responding to unexpected disruptions by doing tactical planning. Some of the ways companies can improve their operations is by embracing cross-functionality and implementing Sales & Operation Planning (S&OP) to maximise opportunities while mitigating risks as they balance sales revenue, margin levels, capacity constraints, and working capital. A robust and flexible planning operating model along with leveraging Advanced Planning Systems can transform S&OP capability.

FUTUREPROOFING WITH S&OP Many businesses have faced numerous challenges coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic as they’ve dealt with high inventory levels, poor service on key items, struggled to react to external changes in the market, and operated as teams in silos rather than in a crossfunctional capacity. “Supply chain planning historically looked at things in retrospect, measure performance and adjust their plans based on what’s happened,” explains Chris Foord, Associate Partner at Argon & Co. “All the traditional ways of planning went out the window during the 50 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

pandemic. For many organisations’ inventory became the answer during that time and acted as a buffer, but for others it has created pain right until this day.” Post-COVID, there’s plenty of commentary about supply chain moving away from just-in-time to just-in-case. This has changed the way businesses consider suppliers, capacity and inventory. There’s now a need for resilience, efficiency and agility. While S&OP has existed for a while, it hasn’t been at the forefront of business. Chris says that as companies mature, de-risk their supply chains, and prepare themselves for more unexpected disruptions, they’re focusing more on these practices. “By embracing S&OP and a crossfunctional set of processes that flex with the constant uncertainties and challenges, businesses can future-proof themselves,” he says. S&OP requires a company to look at the next three- to thirty six-month period, focusing on what’s changing and being more right than wrong. It also bridges operational execution and strategy by turning a strategy into a plan with operations that can be easily executed. Argon & Co is seeing organisations develop what-if scenario capabilities, enabling speed of response, quality decision making, and service level protection and productivity. They can test different inputs to determine the best output to see what could hypothetically happen. Chris notes that it’s all about stress

Chris Foord, Associate Partner at Argon & Co. testing the plan and answering all the potential questions that you have in real time.

EMBRACING CROSSFUNCTIONALITY Embracing cross-functionality is important because a genuinely crossfunctional set of processes and methodologies can help companies respond to uncertainties and spontaneous challenges. Without cross-functional input, a plan can’t exist. Only an individual or functional view of what can be expected or what may happen is possible. “With cross-functional input you gather broader insight and have to balance expectations, wants and needs across the entire business,” explains Chris. “The best way to reach consensus in this situation is to negotiate and manage trade-offs.” For example, an organisation can establish what’s important within other functions by ensuring its sales team knows a particular shipping lane has a capacity constraint so that they are able to prioritise and manage customer


A business’s APS should enable its S&OP process.

demands and expectations. Additionally, if a new product line is to be launched successfully in six months’ time, it is imperative that the procurement team know what new ingredients or parts are needed so it can plan accordingly. Many companies have the foundations of cross-functional ways of working. S&OP formalises the process and lifts cross-functional understanding and alignment behind the plan. S&OP is all about maximising opportunities, mitigating risks, balancing sales revenue, margin, capacity and working capital. These metrics provide both a lag and lead input to a robust S&OP cycle. Best practice sees S&OP as not only a supply chain process, but as the business planning process. A normal S&OP cycle will cover Product Portfolio Review (SKU range), Demand Review (Sales forecast and promotional activity), Supply Review (Procurement, Manufacturing, Logistics, Inventory), Reconciliation Review (gaps/reconciliation to financial plans, assumptions), Executive Review (leadership sponsored action to direct the business PLAN). These steps are generally owned across the organisation: Product & Demand with Sales & Marketing, Supply is Operations, Reconciliation is Finance, and Executive is the Leadership Team. “An aligned plan, stress tested with what-if scenario planning provides the ideal business outcome,” says Chris. “Reality shows us that things will change along the way, but mature organisations have a playbook to sense

and respond rapidly across the end-toend supply chain.”

TRANSFORMING OPERATIONS WITH ADVANCED PLANNING SYSTEMS A S&OP process that is mature and agile enough requires a focus on building a robust yet flexible planning operating model, providing companies with the ability to leverage great processes and enhanced digital capabilities. A clear people, process, and technology roadmap incorporates the following elements, says Chris: • “Start with a future state process design – define what you want and need to be able to do. Don’t constrain your thinking based on what you currently do or what your existing solutions are capable of. Think ‘future’”; • “Search for the right balance between human and digital resources – focus your people on true value add activity, solving problems and managing real exceptions. Let the machines do the rest”; • “Digitise your supply chain to enable agile orchestration of the full value chain in a more dynamic way – move away from functional to end-to-end optimisation”; and • “Plan a phased roadmap, layering digital capability as your process and people capability matures – it’s hard to make one giant leap forward.” “Advanced Planning Systems provide the backbone of planning processes,” notes Chris. “The APS market is mature now

with options for small to large organisations. It’s at the heart of digital transformations to improve operations management – they enable better forecasting using AI/ ML or real-time sense and respond capability to react to issues as they arise rather than waiting for the next planning cycle.” A business’s APS should enable its S&OP process, removing the manual process steps of creating reports and S&OP presentation packs by systemising the process flow, generating reports and end-toend dashboards. Coupled with real-time what-if scenario planning, businesses cancheck or adjust in the moment to align on the best plan. “ANZ companies have tended to be behind the curve investing in APS solutions, however, with the market expanded and matured, there’s benefit to starting the journey,” adds Chris. “The benefits we usually see are 20 per cent reduction in working capital, three per cent reduction in COGS, six per cent reduction in logistics costs, 10 to 20 per cent improvement in forecast accuracy, and improved customer service. “Self-generating demand, selfadjusting supply with control tower oversight and human augmented decision making is here. Jump in and embrace digital transformation of your S&OP process to unlock enhanced plans, resilience, efficiency, and agility.” ■ MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 51


SIMPLIFYING SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY project44 has updated its renowned Movement platform. Expanded capabilities include extended door-to-door visibility and machine learning-powered innovations that automate key processes, leading to cost savings and efficiency gains.


eading supply chain visibility platform project44 recently announced significant enhancements to its platform, Movement, that simplify multimodal visibility and help customers maximise carrier data quality. project44 now delivers greater business value by streamlining some of the most complex scenarios facing shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) today. “While many providers offer basic modal visibility, shippers adopting these solutions find themselves still grappling with costly blind spots as shipments transition between modes and carriers,” says Jett McCandless, Founder and CEO of project44. “Poor data quality from carriers only exacerbates the issue, resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in avoidable supply chain costs. project44’s cutting-edge, machine learning-powered solutions provide the sophisticated insights organisations need to transform their supply chain from a cost centre into a competitive advantage.” Shippers and LSPs struggle to gain visibility of shipments across modes and carriers, leading to reactive exception management and an inability to plan effectively. project44’s new capabilities address these challenges by connecting customers to every carrier and freight forwarder, delivering unmatched shipment visibility from door-to-door, connected to orders with line itemand SKU-level granularity. With this robust inventory in motion visibility, shippers can reduce manual efforts while optimising inventory levels, reducing costs from fees, and avoiding unnecessary expedites. Enhancements to project44’s 52 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

While many providers offer basic modal visibility, shippers adopting these solutions find themselves still grappling with costly blind spots as shipments transition between modes and carriers ... project44’s cuttingedge, machine learning-powered solutions provide the sophisticated insights organisations need to transform their supply chain from a cost centre into a competitive advantage.

comprehensive suite of visibility products include: • E xtended Visibility: Merges data from carriers and forwarders to deliver complete visibility from door to door, eliminating costly blind spots at interchanges so shippers can proactively manage inventory in transit and meet order due dates while minimising manual effort; • E nhanced China OTR Visibility: Expanded full truckload (FTL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) network coverage in the world’s largest road freight market by volume, including the only compliant solution in the market to enable cross-border data transfer, giving companies manufacturing or sourcing product in China complete visibility from factory to consumer door; and • S hared Visibility: Lets brand owners and LSPs automatically share their project44 visibility experience with customers and partners for better collaboration without manual activities like phone calls and emails. project44 customers who are leveraging these new capabilities are gaining tremendous business value while enabling more agile supply chain operations. “By definition, airfreight is time sensitive, but visibility has historically been difficult to achieve because shipments move and change hands rapidly,” says Curt Metzler at Alcon, a multinational vision care products provider. “Extended Air Visibility from project44 gives us the realtime tracking capabilities we need to provide a great customer experience every time.” “Intermodal transportation is a great way to control shipping costs and make progress on sustainability goals,


project44’s Movement platform has once again been enhanced – simplifying multimodal visibility and further helping customers maximise carrier data quality.

but if you’re not working directly with rail or short sea carriers, you typically can’t access status data,” says Ewout van Jarwaarde, CEO at Brenntag Essentials, global market leader in chemical distribution. “Extended Truckload Visibility from project44 allows us to create a single shipment and stay connected during the entire journey with real-time shipment status information.” Shippers and LSPs can also struggle to maximise the value of their visibility investment due to inaccurate carrier data. project44 has developed machine learning-powered solutions to address poor data quality, including technology that automatically resolves issues without manual intervention and dashboards that prescribe specific fixes when intervention is required. Together, these solutions are improving carrier data quality

at scale while cutting out hours of manual effort. “The ease of project44’s Truckload Visibility and Root Cause Analysis product makes all the difference,” says Darren Padro, Senior Operations Manager at CEVA Logistics. “Being able to view all my untracked shipments by carrier in one place with specific root cause errors and details on how to fix the errors has saved me countless hours of sifting through our own internal systems. This product is a game changer for us.” project44 is on a mission to make supply chains work. As the supply chain connective tissue, project44 operates the world’s most trusted end-to-end visibility platform that manages more than 1 billion unique shipments annually for over 1300 of the world’s leading brands, including top companies in manufacturing,

automotive, retail, life sciences, food and beverage, CPG, and oil, chemical and gas. Using project44, shippers and carriers across the globe drive greater predictability, resiliency, and sustainability. The undisputed leader in the market and innovator of Movement GPT, project44 was named the Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, #1 in FreightWaves FreightTech 2023, a ten-time leader in customer satisfaction on G2’s Supply Chain Visibility Grid, one of Supply Chain Brain’s 100 Great Supply Chain Partners of 2022, and the Customer’s Choice in Gartner Peer Insights Voice of the Customer report. project44 is headquartered in Chicago with a diverse team spanning 15 global offices including Amsterdam, Kraków, Paris, São Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo. ■ MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 53

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BREWING A SUCCESS STORY WITH TMHA Over the course of the last decade, Australian beverage manufacturer Remedy Drinks has steadily and successfully built its business, using the help of batteryelectric Toyota Material Handling forklifts to distribute its products.

Remedy Drinks has long enjoyed a successful partnership with TMHA – and Toyota forklifts have allowed the business to keep up with a huge increase in demand for its products.


ince its genesis in 2012, Remedy Drinks has become synonymous with the tasty tea-based drink, kombucha, and has grown from a small operation in Melbourne’s south-east suburbs to now occupy a large dual warehouse and production facility in Dandenong South. Remedy Drinks has long enjoyed a successful partnership with Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) that stretches all the way back to its first forklift, a second-hand Toyota unit.

Fast forward to today and Remedy’s fleet of TMHA equipment includes eight reach and four counterbalance Toyota forklifts, all underpinned by battery-electric powertrains which produce zero operating emissions. Remedy Drinks warehouse manager Ryan Stark says that in his time with the business, his Toyota forklifts have allowed the business to keep up with a huge increase in demand for its products. “The warehouse and logistics team’s primary role is to ensure our

product is delivered to our customers, and knowing that our equipment on-site can do that is our numberone priority,” Ryan says. “It’s great to know that putting our pallets into racking, putting them on trucks and picking orders, our equipment can do that and does it reliably.” Along with strong reliability, Ryan says the Toyota forklifts are also user-friendly, with intuitive operation and a comprehensive suite of safety features. MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 55

MHD MATERIALS HANDLING “From an operational perspective, they are an easy vehicle to operate,” he says. “They have all the bells and whistles that I think are required on a forklift, particularly from a safety perspective.” Of particular benefit to the Remedy Drinks logistics team is TMHA’s I_ Site telematics and fleet management system, which can help fleets greatly improve efficiencies relating to equipment utilisation, downtime, breakdowns and incidents requiring OH&S attention. Ryan says the addition of I_Site has allowed him to streamline processes in the Remedy Drinks warehouse. “In particular the I-Site software for us is huge, that we’re able to have live data in terms of collisions,” he says. “You’re doing away with manual checklists and books on the forklifts, that’s all done through the I-Site software – which is a huge thing.” Proximity-linked speed limiting technology is also fitted to the forklift equipment, helping to maximise safety for not only the forklift operators but also surrounding pedestrians. “Some of our production forklifts have speed limiters on them, so once they go from the warehouse to the production area, obviously there’s more pedestrian traffic in production and there’s a little more interaction between forklifts and pedestrians – that speed is limited once the forklifts go into the production area,” Ryan says. “All that automation, keeping it all digital and software-based is a huge thing for us.” Ryan’s team has been looked after by TMHA area sales manager Grant Owen, who has overseen the Remedy Drinks account from the time when they only had a single second-hand unit. Over that time he has facilitated the company’s first new purchase – a pair of Toyota RRE140 reach forklifts – and been there for the company’s expansion into larger facilities and growth including contracts with major retailers including Coles and Woolworths. Remedy Drinks has no plans to slow down its exponential growth, 56 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

In particular the I-Site software for us is huge, that we’re able to have live data in terms of collisions ... You’re doing away with manual checklists and books on the forklifts, that’s all done through the I-Site software – which is a huge thing.

Remedy Drinks Warehouse Manager Ryan Stark. and Ryan knows that if the company requires an expanded fleet of equipment, TMHA’s wide range of products will be able to service their needs. “Knowing that we’ve got a relationship with a supplier that has a large variety of equipment, we know we can stay with TMHA as our supplier,” he says. “If we need to have new equipment on site, with the range that Toyota has we know we’re not going to be in a situation where if we need a specific piece of equipment it won’t be available. We can rest assured that TMHA will probably have it in some form. “It allows us to stay in one brand which obviously helps with our servicing and our relationship that we can get the equipment that we really need to run the warehouse.” Remedy Drinks was started by Sarah and Emmet Condon, whose home-brewed kombucha proved a healthy and popular alternative to sugary soft drinks, being 100 per cent natural and containing no sugar. Since its beginning, Remedy Drinks has expanded its product line to include Sodaly natural soft drinks, Kick natural energy drinks, miniature energy shots, and apple cider vinegar based beverages. ■



Scan the QR code to find out more.

From mining companies looking to upgrade their portable generators, to waste treatment centres looking to hire a fleet of forklifts, MHD Marketplace will be the one-stopshop for equipment to support supply chains across Australia.


SUPPLY CHAIN AUTOMATION EDUCATION The embrace of Industry 4.0 in supply chain logistics means exciting innovation in the industry – yet also summons new challenges in adaptability and skilled workforce development. RMIT’s new Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Automation is bridging the gap.

RMIT has launched its new Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Automation.


s the ramifications of Industry 4.0 are increasingly felt in supply chain operations, automation becomes not just an innovative advantage but a requisite for survival and efficiency. The new Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Automation (GC SCA) launched by RMIT is a beacon of light amidst this shift, offering a holistic educational avenue to navigate through the intricacies of technology, logistics, and supply chain management.

“The sector is dealing with significant labour shortages and shortages around the availability of space of property and real estate,” says Paul Childerhouse, RMIT’s Head of Supply Chain and Logistics. “This conundrum, in tandem with the burgeoning financial viability of technology and the enhancement of 58 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

information technology within supply chain operations, underpins a palpable need for workforce evolution.” Paul envisions a future wherein robots and technological solutions not only alleviate existing pressure points but also refine forecasting accuracy and resource utilisation by leveraging data analytics and comprehensive connectivity throughout the supply chain. “The ultimate goal we’re aiming at is to help companies improve their performance and be able to survive in this competitive market coming after globalisation,” says Shahrooz Shahparvari, Lecturer in Supply Chain and Logistics at RMIT, and an architect of the GC SCA. “Due to globalisation, companies strive to curb their rising costs or maintain their revenue margins,”

Shahrooz says. “In this leveling market, companies often can’t sell similar products with more than a 10 to 12 per cent revenue margin. To remain competitive, they must reduce their costs by leveraging integrated technologies that work in tandem. Many of these technologies aren’t new. For instance, AGV robots and automated systems have been in use for 20 to 30 years. The challenge lies in automating various operations within the supply chain and ensuring these systems communicate effectively under a unified ecosystem. This helps in achieving holistic performance optimisation across operations. While technology isn’t a new player in this field, its swift evolution and the integration of AI and machine learning underscore a vital need for a workforce that can seamlessly merge

MHD SUPPLY CHAIN technological understanding with practical applications. Yet, Australia finds itself in a peculiar position on the global stage, where the integration and sophistication of supply chain technology are concerned. With an industry leaning towards a traditional “wait and see” approach – as Shahrooz puts it – there’s always a contest between minimising implementation risk and ensuring compatibility with new technological generations. Nevertheless, companies like Coles have begun to integrate advanced technologies into their operations, signalling a slow but tangible shift towards a future that embraces technological advancements. In light of this, the introduction of RMIT’s GC SCA stands out as a pivot towards addressing the skills and knowledge gap prevalent within the industry. The origin of this course is deeply rooted in the frustrations of industry practitioners, who, according to Paul, voiced a palpable need for skill enhancement amidst a rapidly transforming logistical landscape. “A lot of it came from their frustration in terms of recruitment,” Paul says. “That kind of drove us to then think, ‘Okay, as an educator – there’s a gap here that we need to provide for.”

WHAT IS THE GC SCA? The GC SCA is tailor-made for professionals, necessitating a minimum one-year part-time commitment and crafted to cater to individuals who have already embarked on their journey within the logistics sector. “All entrants need to have some professional experience,” Pauls says. “It’s not open to freshfaced graduates,” Paul emphasises, underlying the course’s commitment to fostering advanced skill development amidst those with foundational industry knowledge. The certificate is comprised of four courses, starting with digitisation. “This course explores how we dissect a supply chain, map its technological needs, and align those with specific requirements – evaluating the best tools to use,” Paul says. “The subsequent course centres on understanding diverse contexts. It delves into the various warehouse needs, sectors, and the robotic

technologies currently in use or being adapted. This course is more handson, assisting learners in grasping the different scenarios in their workplaces. “The third course emphasises rigorous analytics. We’re not discussing advanced programming-type analytics, but rather the utilisation of a range of analytical tools to bridge what’s achievable with what’s essential. The final course revolves around people. Arguably the most challenging, it concerns the application and implementation, ensuring people are engaged throughout the process. It touches on project management and the art of persuading various stakeholders about the direction and advantages of the chosen path, as well as how to retrain or steer a business towards this new horizon.” A prominent cornerstone of the GC SCA is its intrinsic alignment with practical applicability and realworld scenarios. Shahrooz, focusing on delivering the first course of the certificate, lays emphasis on comprehending the business supply chain and being adept with different standards required to facilitate communication at an industrial level. He notes the importance of understanding the options available, the specific needs of a business, and strategic decisionmaking, weaving a curriculum that doesn’t just impart knowledge but empowers informed decision-making. “Interlaced with insights from industry partners and real-world case studies, the GC SCA doesn’t just theorise about supply chain logistics and automation but catapults its students into the real-world scenarios, encouraging them to engage, analyse, and apply their learning in a tangible context,” he says. The GC SCA is not simply an educational pathway but a bridge connecting the present with the future, ensuring that the journey through the terrains of supply chain automation is navigated with adept knowledge, strategic understanding, and a forward-looking perspective that continues to evolve in tandem with technological advancements.

INDUSTRY READY Key to the development and running of the GC SCA are the relationships

between RMIT and their industry partners: Linfox, TMX and Toll. “We genuinely see RMIT as the thought leader, being at the cutting edge of research and where it meets practice,” says Daniel Esdaile, Associate Director for Supply Chain Strategy at TMX. “At TMX we’ve had a long and fruitful relationship with RMIT. Many of the TMX team started off at RMIT – and we’re delighted to be able to team up to offer practical, hands-on training to help educate the next generation of supply chain automation practitioners.” A notable example of this is the emphasis on utilizing TMX’s Metaverse solution, a virtual environment where students can not only design a facility but also articulate the logic behind their design concepts, which Daniel indicates is “ongoing and will likely develop further over the next 6 to 12 months.” This innovative approach is not just a nod to the future of educational methodologies but is also a testament to the program’s commitment to ensuring students are adeptly skilled in utilising emerging technologies insupply chain management. But it’s not just about equipping those who take the program with tech know-how. It’s about inculcating the underlying skills and perspective to best judge when and how a technological intervention makes sense. “The technology will undoubtedly continue to evolve, so it’s crucial to teach the concepts determining which technology suits a particular process and why,” says Daniel. “Similarly, it’s essential to understand when not to use certain technologies; the optimal materials handling solution must balance cost, service and ultimately, the best return on investment. That’s the core understanding we aim to instil with this certificate. “Though we recognise that technology advances rapidly, the foundation should be understanding the problem at hand and identifying the technology to address it. Additionally, it’s beneficial to be aware of the innovations emerging in the market. From TMX’s standpoint, we are deeply involved in ongoing tenders, giving us insight into new innovations and processes. We will continue supporting RMIT by providing the most relevant content for their courses in a timely manner.” ■ MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 59


DIVERSITY AS A SUPERPOWER In an era marked by labour scarcity, a new company has devised a unique business model that employs people with disability in roles that empower them to make the most of their unique talents while guaranteeing top-flight 3PL services for its clients. MHD finds out more.


t’s long been the aspiration of companies – in the logistics industry as in others – to do well by doing good, as the adage goes. Easier said than done, of course. On one end, many companies who stand out for the products and services they provide are now scrambling to strengthen their broader corporate social responsibility credentials. And on the other end, there exist many organisations who are charities first and commercial ventures second. But is it possible to combine the two? Is it possible to combine genuinely good business with genuinely effective philanthropic enterprise that makes a tangible and long-lasting difference to people’s lives? Introducing Sendable, a first of its kind company and social enterprise that provides top-tier 3PL services while creating employment and career opportunities for people with disability in jobs that maximise their performance and potential – often outpacing the productivity of those without disability working the exact same jobs in an ordinary 3PL. “We have an inclusive workforce that values individuals of all abilities,” says Declan Fischart, CEO of Sendable. “What’s surprising to many people – although it wasn’t a surprise to us – is that many of our supported team members can have the ability to outperform traditional warehouse workers. Their enthusiasm for their roles is a driving factor in that.” Sendable offers its workers a wide range of tasks and roles to cater to varying abilities and aims to uplift their skills continuously. From sorting and e-commerce pick and pack tasks to handling bulky items to operating machinery, Sendable’s employees 60 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

showcase a range of competencies – including talents either unavailable to or not valued in ordinary companies. “Some of our team members have exceptional memory skills, enabling them to remember intricate product details that augment our processes,” Declan says. “Our main aim is to challenge existing perceptions about what individuals with disability can achieve. We’ve seen our employees handle tasks that many deemed impossible for them – breaking barriers and assumptions along the way.”

PARADIGM SHIFT According to Sendable’s Non-Executive Board Director, Archie Garcia, the company asked itself a straightforward question when framing its mission: ‘Why not?’ “Why not employ people with disability for the specific functions in which they can not only succeed as well – sometimes better – than workers without disability, but can continuously develop up the career ladder to have a successful and fulfilling career? And – in an era where labour scarcity is an ever-present concern – why not avail ourselves of a pool of very talented workers who have traditionally been overlooked?” The ‘Why not?’ question was posed to Sendable’s founders – Declan and his wife Chloe Fischart, Founder of Sendable – in an acute and personal form when their son was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. “We founded the company in 2019, shortly after our son’s diagnosis,” says Chloe. “Early on we faced a lot of negative feedback about his prospects in schooling and future employment. This prompted us to delve deeper

Sendable offers its workers a wide range of tasks and roles to cater to varying abilities and aims to uplift their skills continuously. into understanding the employment landscape for individuals with disabilities. We discovered numerous barriers, including companies unwilling to adapt to the needs of these individuals.” Declan has deep experience in logistics and supply chain, including work for Louis Dreyfus Commodities, where he oversaw cotton exports for Australia, as well as experience in e-commerce high growth businesses and other B2B e-commerce ventures. Chloe has strong technical expertise – with a resume including technology consulting for Deloitte and experience in an Australian based global fund management company. Having identified – while considering their son’s future prospects – some obvious shortcomings in the ways contemporary society and organisations relate to those with disability, the pair resolved to be the change they wanted to see in the world. With their combined expertise, Chloe and Declan saw third-party logistics as an obvious candidate for

MHD SUPPLY CHAIN creating a commercial venture that also served a social enterprise initiative empowering those with disability. Thus, Sendable was born.

Since its founding in 2019, Sendable has grown at a rapid clip, today boasting a 63,000 sqm footprint nationally.

THE HUMAN FACTOR Running an effective, top-tier, commercial enterprise that can match performance levels of leading 3PL players while simultaneously catering to a physically- and neuro-diverse pool of workers might seem a tall order. But with seasoned pros like Chloe, Declan, Archie, and the rest of the leadership team in place, the operational side is less of a challenge than some might suspect. “We know how to perform our roles efficiently,” Archie says. “Declan and Chloe have been doing this kind of thing for years. They know logistics like the backs of their hands. The key challenge for us initially was envisioning possibilities for a very diverse group of people.” Once potential team members join Sendable there’s a rigorous process to ensure they fit the culture. After identification, Sendable focuses on enablement, which extends beyond mere training. “Our aim is to cultivate long-term relationships rather than treating team members as disposable resources,” Archie says. “Declan and Chloe have fostered an environment where employees don’t simply have work, but also feel empowered to grow and become self-sufficient. “It’s the human factor that sets us apart.”

TURBOCHARGED GROWTH Sendable is a young company, having only started in 2019 with just 154 pallet spaces in Tingalpa, QLD. But four years later, it presents a footprint of 63,000 square metres nationally, with multiple distribution centres across various cities. “Our expansion is ongoing,” says Declan. “We’re exploring opportunities in Auckland and China. Our partners value us for the genuine value we provide as a 3PL, as well as the benefits we provide our employees and the broader community. This includes other 3PLs partnering with us. “Part of the reason we’ve taken off is that we’re not a charity. Charities do amazing and necessary work, but

we’re doing something different. We’re a top 3PL and we are developing capabilities that match and go beyond other major logistics providers. But our business model means we provide excellent value to clients at the same time we make a real difference in the lives of those with disability. That’s an attractive combination for our customers and partners.”

WHAT THE CLIENTS SAY MHD asked the Sendable team whether there’s any difficulty in persuading those who might traditionally favour a standard 3PL to give Sendable a go. Not at all, says Chloe. “Recently, we met with a client who mentioned that we offer a unique proposition in the 3PL market – and most times, we don’t compete but complement,” she says. “Every company nowadays has some sort of ESG component they’re working on. We can be that social component in their ESG strategy, helping them advance their goals. Our clients’ reception has been overwhelmingly positive. They’re eager to collaborate with us not only because we provide a top-shelf logistics service but because we make a meaningful difference in their communities.” For those seeking to incorporate better ESG practices into their companies, Sendable provides obvious benefits on the social responsibility front. “To emphasise the social impact, we produce Social Impact Reports for our clients,” Chloe says. “This allows them to see how many employment opportunities have been generated through our services. It offers

transparency, showing the direct benefits of their partnership with us.” Or as Declan puts it: “Our performance and the numbers we produce are comparable to other industry leaders. We offer excellent service quality and – often – superior flexibility in our capabilities. So, our clients gain immense social value without any additional costs. “The way we’ve structured our business allows us to scale according to our customers’ needs. Whether it’s expanding our distribution network in China or taking on other big projects, we believe in our capability to deliver. Our team is skilled, and we don’t see any upper limit to what we can handle. Our goal is to grow sustainably on a global scale.”

PEOPLE FIRST Closing out our interview, Chloe shares a story that gets to the heart of the difference the company is making on the ground for people with disability. “One employee joined us in June last year, and his lifelong ambition had always been to drive a forklift. Within months, he not only achieved that but went on further to be certified to operate a reach truck and also become an inventory controller for one of our key clients. “There’s no upper limit to growth for our team members at Sendable. Seeing our people meet and exceed their own goals and continue growing ever upwards in their career trajectory is inspiring and has positive ramifications not only in their lives, but for their colleagues – including me, Archie, and Declan, our customers, and the community at large.” ■ MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 61


NAVIGATING SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAINS Exploring the intricate terrain of sustainable supply chain management, Brendan O’Keeffe delineates the convergence of profitability, consumer expectations, and technological advancements. In a world increasingly attuned to ethical and environmental imperatives, Brendan lays out a path that matches innovative strategies, regulatory compliance, and consumer expectations.


he current global market landscape is not merely a field of competitive trade and commerce but represents a confluence where ethics, sustainability, and profit intertwine. Brendan O’Keeffe, the founder and CEO of Circular Supply Chain Advisory, brings into perspective this complex tapestry, highlighting how businesses navigate through the convergence of sustainability and profitability against the backdrop of rapidly shifting consumer expectations and regulatory environments. “Bridging sustainability and profitability is not just crucial but essential from a future economic perspective, aligning with the peopleplanet-profit agenda,” Brendan says. A staunch advocate for intertwining sustainability with business strategy, Brendan emphasises that businesses are progressively finding equilibrium, leveraging innovative approaches and partnerships that echo across their value chains. The scope, herein, extends beyond mere cost savings, spiralling into avenues where reinvestment into sustainable ventures amplifies innovation and, subsequently, ensures sustained profitability. In the same breath, the conversation around sustainability is inextricably tied to consumer expectations, which Brendan notes have evolved to become a significant driving force, steering businesses towards sustainable practices. “The evolution of consumer

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expectations towards business responsiveness to sustainability has been notably significant, compelling businesses to elevate their efforts,” Brendan says. This shifting paradigm notably influences brand reputation, with organisations making a conscious shift from traditional linear supply chains towards embracing more cyclical, sustainable models. The focus magnifies not merely on environmental footprints but extends to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, aligning businesses with emerging market opportunities and commercial advantages. Traversing through the realm of regulatory compliance and changes presents its own set of challenges, magnified by the complexity of diverse standards across global regions. Brendan elucidates the maze businesses navigate through: “Confronted with an intricate regulatory and compliance landscape, punctuated with various standards across different global regions, organisations move through a labyrinthine framework of regulatory acronyms like ISSB, GRI, and SASB.” With a trajectory set towards an increase in mandatory reporting, particularly amongst Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the onus on organisations to adhere to compliance – while simultaneously innovating – is palpable. Yet, as Brendan highlights, the development of digital tools and applications seeks to provide businesses with a structured framework for reporting, while also assisting with the

Brendan O’Keeffe, Founder and CEO of Circular Supply Chain Advisory. integration of sustainability metrics with existing technologies. The topic of technological advancements brings to light another fascinating facet of sustainability within supply chains. “Emerging technologies, such as AI, machine learning, and IoT, are creating new platforms that assist organisations with reporting and data modelling,” notes Brendan. The envisaging of a global-scale project, such as NEOM in Saudi Arabia, illuminates a pathway towards a sustainable, net-zero city, intricately woven with the finest of emerging technologies. Brendan sheds light on a future where smart city applications and solar energy are not merely concepts but are integrated into the foundational fabric of urban landscapes, reducing carbon footprints while maximising sustainability. Navigating through the nuanced landscape of sustainable sourcing and ethical practices, Brendan underscores the imperative of ensuring traceability within supply chains. He elucidates:

MHD SUPPLY CHAIN “Under sustainable sourcing, the traceability of the supply chain becomes imperative. Organisations in Australia are very aware of the Modern Slavery Act of 2018, which is cornerstone to many of the elements of sourcing.” Brendan says that the conversation advances into circular supply chain adoption, accentuating long-term resource utilisation, and ensuring materials transcend beyond their immediate purpose into future applications, all carefully woven into the procurement process. The ethos of a circular economy, though a relatively novel concept, particularly in recent years has begun to show immense potential in reshaping the paradigms of resource utilisation and profitability within supply chains. “Circular economy is starting with simpler opportunities where you can take material and resources and repurpose them,” Brendan says. He spotlights the perpetuation of value across the supply chain, creating additional revenue streams, and fostering collaborations with suppliers in diverse sectors. The entrenchment of circular economy principles is not merely confined to direct networks but permeates broadly, impacting a wider network and injecting resource trading elements into areas

perhaps unenvisaged in their initial conceptualisation or intended use. When it comes to measuring and reporting sustainability impact, Brendan draws attention to the legislative demands and varying global reference standards. “There’s an underlying expectation and effectively a legislative demand on reporting,” he says. “The reporting indexes can be used against the various reference standards globally.” The organisations, in their pursuit of robust sustainability reporting, need to delineate clear strategies across short, medium, and long-term horizons, intertwining their objectives with universal metrics like the UN Sustainable Development Goals targeted for 2030. Aligning with these metrics does not merely streamline sustainability impact reporting but concurrently provides a structured methodology for organisations to scrutinise their sustainability impacts more effectively and transparently. Yet, amidst this, organisations are also confronted with deciphering and articulating risks, particularly under frameworks like the climate-related financial disclosures, where mandatory reporting requires them to identify, estimate, and articulate risks within

their supply chains. Brendan elaborates: “Under the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), you have the climate-related financial disclosures, expectations for organisations to determine where their risks sit within their supply chain, and to not just identify the risk but to estimate the risk and reward dollars.” In essence, the narrative of sustainability within supply chains, as encapsulated by Brendan, emanates as a journey where ethical sourcing, circular economy principles, and transparency in sustainability reporting become pivotal milestones. Organisations, while navigating through the complexities of regulatory compliance and aligning with consumer expectations, traverse a path that not only underscores their commitment towards sustainability but also opens avenues for innovation, profitability, and broadened horizons for resource utilisation. It is here, within this confluence of ethics, innovation, and sustainability, that businesses not only carve their niche within the market but also contribute towards a future where commerce, resources, and ethical considerations harmoniously coalesce, forging a path towards a sustainable future. ■

Circular economy, though a relatively novel concept, harbours immense potential in reshaping the paradigms of resource utilisation and profitability within supply chains.

MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 63


SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES FOR SHIPPING Sue Tomic, Chair of the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia, tells MHD about how intermodals can provide a solution to companies looking to reduce their carbon emissions.


orporations are increasingly faced with pressing regulatory, public, and internal responsibilities to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The below chart shows how the “average persons” emissions would be distributed across the different sectors (average footprint) measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year. Transportation is the third largest contributor to the carbon emissions of the average Australian. And with Australia’s domestic freight

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task projected to grow an estimated 26 per cent between 2019-2020 and 2049-50, adopting more sustainable tactics will be critical for shippers to shrink their carbon footprints. While alternative solutions like electric and autonomous vehicles offer promising environmental advantages, wide-scale implementation is still largely out of reach due to infrastructure and technology limitations. However, a more sustainable alternative is already available:

intermodal. Specifically, leveraging rail transportation as an additional mode of transportation has environmental and cost-saving benefits. According to one government Transport industry study, rail accounted for 3.96 per cent of GHG versus Road GHG emissions accounting for 88.33 per cent GHG in Australia in 2021. Rail is approximately three to four times more fuel-efficient than truckload, making it an economical way to transport long distances and


Sue Tomic, Chair of the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA).

in bulk. Including rail as part of a multimodal transport strategy is a more sustainable alternative to longhaul trucking alone. But despite the significantly lower emissions output of rail, many shippers still do not prioritise rail usage for its environmental benefits. This means that many companies are missing out on a capital-efficient and widely available opportunity to significantly reduce their carbon footprints. Corporations, especially enterpriselevel companies, are being urged from all angles to take actionable steps to reduce carbon emissions, which directly contribute to rising temperatures. Investors and shareholders, consumers and governments are putting pressure on businesses to acknowledge their impact and commit to lowering and offsetting carbon emissions. Measuring carbon emissions per year is the most common sustainability metric. Companies are aware of how their actions, especially in relation to freight transportation and shipping, impact the environment. And many mid- to large-size companies have set goals to improve. The key metrics being implemented are: 1. Carbon emissions per year 2. Fuel consumption 3. Carbon emission per load While many companies have external and internal motivations to

meet sustainability targets, emissions do not rank higher out of the listed factors affecting their decision to use intermodal versus truckload transport alone. People working inside shipper logistics say cost and on-time delivery are the most important factors when choosing intermodal or truckload. Shipment visibility and emissions come in last. Shifting current sentiments would require an improvement in intermodal level of service and cost, or shipper perception of intermodal service and cost. More education surrounding the environmental benefits of rail is the first step in changing shippers’ perspectives Rail is beneficial and commonly used for transporting commodities long distances. But the prevalence of short haul road transport in urban areas can also be alleviated. Metro intermodal terminals moving freight via rail for part of the delivery journey provides numerous benefits to shippers and consumers alike. Reduction in road congestion being a critical one. Though intermodal transportation is a common part of many companies’ shipping strategies, many do not intentionally leverage it to support their sustainability goals and commitments. Diverting even a portion of the shipments from truck transport to rail can help large companies reduce their carbon footprints and achieve cost savings.

A truly effective multimodal solution needs to be backed by a suite of solutions and services grounded in innovative marketplace technology, industry needs to transform into entrenched practices around pricing and booking freight across a variety of modes, including rail. Only in this way will shippers be given the reliability, flexibility, and transparency to the movement of goods to make decisions in line with their sustainability strategy. This would accelerate and reshape logistics for shippers and service providers of all sizes. Technology solutions need to partner with shippers to understand transportation goals and commitments regarding cost, service, and sustainability. In addition, visibility, and access to an expansive network of carriers, including relationships with the nation’s largest rail providers is required to identify the best rates and routes to move required volumes and, in doing so, help shippers grow closer to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions targets. ■ Sue Tomic is Chair of SCLAA and serves on various Industry, Government and University Advisory Boards/Committees. In addition, Sue is a Non-executive Director/Board advisor, specialising in strategic transformation across companies in the Freight, Port and Landside Logistics sector. MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 65


RWTA REVEALS AUSTRALIAN FRANK VALE WINNER 2023 Marianne Kintzel, Executive Officer of the RWTA, tells MHD about the new Australian Frank Vale Winner 2023, and why the Global NextGen Award is such a significant accolade.


he Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association of Australia Ltd (RWTA) announces the Australian Frank Vale Winner 2023, Stacey Cook of NewCold has won the GCCA NEXTGEN International Award in Scottsdale Arizona. In a recent triumph for the Australian cold chain industry, Stacey Cook of Newcold has clinched the 2023 GCCA NEXTGEN award in Arizona. This momentous recognition came during the 81st RWTA Conference and Exhibition where she had previously been honoured as the winner of the RWTA Frank Vale Award. The Global NextGen Award is not just any accolade. It stands as a testament to the exemplary young professionals who drive innovation in the global cold chain sector. This win cements Stacey’s position among those who aren’t just leaders of tomorrow but are making waves today. Upon being crowned the national winner of the coveted Frank Vale Award, Stacey earned her ticket to the international arena, representing Australia in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the GCCA’s Next Gen Award ceremony. Candidates have showcased excellence in their domain, insight into their organisation’s core values, and a potential to shine even brighter in the industry’s many facets “The international competition this year was of the highest standard, making clear the impressive talent that this industry has to offer,”

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Upon being crowned the national winner of the coveted Frank Vale Award, Stacey Cook earned her ticket to the international arena.

The Global NextGen Award is not just any accolade. It stands as a testament to the exemplary young professionals who drive innovation in the global cold chain sector.

says Marianne Kintzel, Executive Officer of the RWTA. She notes the selection process was rigorous, and each finalist underwent an evaluation by global industry stalwarts, focusing on their industry expertise, history of excellence, communication, and leadership prowess. They also presented their insights at the Convention’s general session. Initiated in 1993, the Australian Frank Vale Award identifies and applauds young professionals under 35, who, with a minimum of three years in the cold chain industry, display leadership potential and a commitment to uplifting the Australian Cold Chain Industry’s standards. ■





DEALING WITH MODERN SLAVERY The Australasian Supply Chain Institute sheds light on modern slavery in the industry and what can be done from both ethical and legal standpoints to deal with this hidden crisis. MODERN SLAVERY In the interconnected global marketplace, the goods and services we use and consume often have a complex journey through supply chains that span multiple jurisdictions. Behind these intricate networks, however, lies a disturbing reality: the human rights violation of modern slavery. This deeply unethical practice involves exploiting individuals through various forms of forced labour, human trafficking, and abusive working conditions, including extreme forms of child labour. The prevalence of modern slavery poses not only a moral crisis but also a significant threat to sustainable business practices. As such, investing time and materials into addressing modern slavery in supply chains is not just a choice; it’s an ethical and economic imperative (Nolan & Boersma, 2019).

THE HIDDEN CRISIS Modern slavery operates in the shadows, as an issue hidden in plain sight, making it difficult to detect and combat. According to the Global Slavery Index 2023, there are now more than 50 million people who are impacted by modern slavery, with more than 41,000 cases in Australia (Walk Free, 2023). Often vulnerable individuals seeking better opportunities fall victim to this grave injustice, and experience a spectrum of workplace abuses as they toil in factories, fields, mines, and even within our communities. You can check out some of these stories from IJM Australia. Modern Slavery expresses the most acute forms of coercion and abuse, including physical and emotional suffering.

ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY Organisations have an ethical responsibility to ensure their operations 68 | MHD NOVEMBER 2023

do not contribute to this violation of human rights, whether within their own facilities or throughout their value chain. Adopting an ethical stance against modern slavery reflects an organisation’s values and commitment to business and human rights guiding principles and sustainability targets. By actively working to eliminate modern slavery from supply chains,

According to the Global Slavery Index 2023, there are now more than 50 million people who are impacted by modern slavery.

organisations send a powerful message that they are dedicated to more than just profit margins as they take active steps to value human dignity, social responsibility, and thriving communities.

take proactive measures to combat modern slavery demonstrate integrity, cultivating goodwill among customers, investors, and stakeholders.


Governments and international bodies are enacting stricter regulations and laws to combat modern slavery and related human rights violations. Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen the proliferation of anti-slavery and due diligence in supply chain regulations, targets and commitments including the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) and most recently the NSW Modern Slavery Amendment Act (2021). These laws require organisations to disclose efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their supply chains and operations. While non-compliance may not always lead to legal penalties, the need to comply can mean that organisations risk losing their license to operate in tenders, investment, and grant applications. Organisations must not only follow these regulations but also go beyond compliance to truly address the issue and make a positive impact.

In today’s digital age, information spreads rapidly, and considering big data and artificial intelligence, it will become increasingly difficult for business practices to remain hidden. Reports of Modern Slavery in supply chains can quickly tarnish a company’s reputation, eroding consumer trust and loyalty, and leading to unexpected legal and financial risk. Socially conscious consumers are increasingly demanding transparency and accountability from the brands they support and a failure to address Modern Slavery can result in boycotts, negative media coverage, and legal repercussions. In 2019, AUSTRAC fined Westpac AUD $1.3B for failing to appropriately assess and monitor the ongoing money laundering and terrorism financing risks associated with the movement of money into and out of Australia, which included transactions made for the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC). Since then, Westpac has been partnering with International Justice Mission Australia to address the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children. This story shows that organisations which


SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability is more than environmental stewardship; it also encompasses social and ethical considerations. Moreover, the risk of modern slavery dovetails with

MHD ASCI environmental concerns, especially when it comes to the extraction of minerals that go into electric vehicles, the production of polysilicon in solar panels, and the disposal of toxic waste in factories where human rights violations exist. In short, modern slavery disrupts the very foundation of sustainable business practices, and those organisations who have transparent, ethical supply chains are better positioned to build longterm resilience. By identifying and rectifying vulnerabilities related to modern slavery, businesses reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions, legal liabilities, and reputational harm (Sustainability Matters, 2023).

COLLABORATION AND INNOVATION Combating modern slavery requires collaboration across industries, sectors, and borders. Collaboration is the key ingredient in effective risk management throughout a supply chain. No single

entity can solve this complex issue alone. Businesses, governments, civil society organisations, and consumers must work together to share best practices, pool resources, and drive systemic change. Technological innovations, such as blockchain and data analytics, can enhance supply chain transparency, making it easier to trace the origins of products and identify potential instances of modern slavery. However, to fully understand the context of exploitation and concrete ways to provide remedy, organisations need to equip their supply chain, commercial and site management teams to know how to identify the risk and develop systems for effective monitoring and reporting (Nolan and Boersma, 2019).

CONCLUSION Addressing modern slavery in supply chains is not just an option; it is a necessity. The moral imperative to alleviate human suffering is reason

enough to act. Yet, the economic incentives are equally compelling, as a tarnished reputation can have farreaching consequences. Positively, a commitment to responsible business practices can open the door to more commercial opportunities. To build sustainable, resilient, and ethical business practices, it’s imperative that organisations proactively combat modern slavery. By doing so, they contribute to a fairer, and more just world while securing their own long-term success in an era of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting. This communication is an initiative of the ASCI Ethics Committee to provide practical guidance to ensure the business can be conducted more responsibly while encouraging companies to incorporate environmental, social and governmental considerations into how they do business throughout their global supply chains. ■

APICS CPIM 8.0 INTENSIVE COURSE 2024 The Australasian Supply Chain Institute is holding a five-day-long intensive in-person and remote course in January 2024 for those who want to complete their CPIM study during the Festive Season period.


re you looking to complete your CPIM study during the

holiday break? Join our five-day intensive course in January 2024 and achieve your New Year’s

resolution. The classes will be conducted daily from 9:00am 5:00pm Sydney Time, providing 40 training hours. You can attend the training in person at Burrinja Cultural Centre (Wurundjeri Country, 351 Glenfern Road Upwey Victoria 3158) or remotely via Zoom.

DATE & TIME Undertake the CPIM 8.0 intensive course either in-person at Burrinja Cultural Centre in Upwey, Victoria or remotely via Zoom.

15-19 January 2024 9:00am-5:00pm (Sydney time) ■ To find more information, visit the ASCI website. MHD NOVEMBER 2023 | 69




HUBTEX’s FluX Electric Multidirectional Counterbalance Forklift Truck has had some significant and innovative updates. The latest generation has load capacities of up to three tonnes. It has a new central driver’s position, which provides a higher-up all-round visibility compared to its predecessor. Additionally, the patented 360° HX steering has been added to the compact three-wheel running gear for the first time, ensuring smooth changes in direction from longitudinal to transverse travel. It handles both pallet and long-load transport in a single vehicle. This hybrid used as a front and sideloader makes the new 3T FluX 30, suitable for a wide range of sectors, from the timber and metalworking industries, through to the building materials trade.

Poor ocean visibility puts a strain on global supply chains, logistics costs, and customer service. At the root of the issue is low-quality data that hinders personnel productivity, streamlined operations, and proactive exception management. Today, more than ever, shippers and 3PLs need global ocean visibility with the data quality, intelligence, ETAs, and proactive exception management that ensures efficient, costeffective, reliable, and sustainable global transportation. Project44’s Ocean Visibility solutions is here to help, with a suite of solutions that uses first-in-class data and analytics to improve personnel productivity, allow for proactive exception management, reduce logistics costs, improve customer service, and empower users for agile transport planning and procurement.

For more information visit

For more information visit



Global cube storage company AutoStore introduces its latest capability, the Grid and Vending Machine solution, designed to simplify warehousing automation. The ConveyorPort is a workstation in its simplest form, where Bins are dropped on a conveyor and transferred to an opening outside of the Grid. Smart covering and sensors ensure operator safety. The CarouselPort is designed to work with the operator, in harmony with Robots to ensure the next Bin is always ready. The workstation operates with three rotating arms, each holding one Bin tray. The Vending Machine solution includes various Robots and chargers, as well as a dummy display unit, and a grid structure with 60 Bins.

ifm Track and Trace Gate is the complete solution for your automated and transparent logistics in your incoming and outgoing goods processes. By directly transferring all goods flows to the IT level, you can organise the inter-locking of production, inventory, and suppliers more efficiently than ever before.

For more information visit

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For more information visit

Taking Intralogistics to the next level Argon & Co ANZ's new Intralogistics service offering will be powered by Fuzzy LogX, who fully integrated with Argon & Co in June 2023 after joining earlier this year. Fuzzy LogX has a market leading proposition in intralogistics, with expertise in warehouse automation and technology, and proven track record of delivering large client engagements. Like Argon & Co, their in-depth market knowledge delivers process improvements and lasting results for clients around the globe. Read more about our Intralogistics offering here:




Combilift provides handling solutions specifically tailored to solve the challenges faced by the Timber industry. Our ethos is helping customers increase storage without the need to expand the size of their facility. Understanding the available space and how it is being used is critical to running a more sustainable and profitable business. Our range of multidirectional forklifts, pedestrian reach trucks and container loaders will allow you to maximize the capacity, efficiency and enhance the safety of your facility.


To find out how Combilift can help you unlock every inch of your storage space. MHD OBC November Chris A4.indd 1



11/10/2023 16:13:39

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