Winds of change for Mellick at Hi-Trans

New Hi-Trans CEO outlines ambitions for company after appointment

Winds of change for Mellick at Hi-Trans
Tony Mellick


Tony Mellick OAM turns over a new leaf this month, swapping the reins of Kings Transport for a new tenure at Hi-Trans Express.

Setting up base in Adelaide, he departs Melbourne-based Kings after more than five years, including nearly three-and-a-half as CEO.

Upon completion of a three-year strategic plan, which included a rebrand and the launch of an electric vehicle fleet, Mellick says it was time for a new challenge.

"Freshness is good for companies. At Kings I achieved its rebranding and strategic direction.

"Would I be energised to do it for another five years?

"Kings is a great company and I leave it in great shape.

"Hi-Trans were looking to transition from a family-led business to their next stage of growth, which included the recruitment of an external CEO.

"I was approached, had three meetings with the owners and the board, and their passion for where they wanted the business to go was infectious." 


Mellick says the move to Hi-Trans is a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained, turning his attention to a separate sector of the industry.

The company is an intra- and interstate business connecting to the last mile, Mellick explains, up against likes of Border Express, NQX and Toll Express – the latter at which he spent some 17 years.

"The focus is completely different," he says.

"Kings was focused on the last mile.

"Inter- and intra-state freight is the backbone of Australia.

"Hi-Trans has a great geographic footprint, a company-owned linehaul model which ensures compliance via direct management, and a great I.T. platform including real-time item-level tracking.

"In summary, Hi-Trans is well placed to be the challenger brand to tier-one providers." 

Mellick says his focus as CEO will be on honing in on a niche, which he calls the ‘discovery phase’.

"Discovery is about understanding strengths and how we use these strengths to become the enabler to our current and future customers’ strategies," he says.

"This ensures the services we provide are adding value and providing solutions – not just a transaction. 

"The key is all companies need a freight provider: our goal is to make a customer want Hi-Trans and not need Hi-Trans – that is the difference between a solution and a transaction." 

Look back on Mellick's appoitment at Kings, here

Like at Kings, which drove a partnership with EV manufacturer SEA Electric, he also sees value in becoming a "green player".

The transport and logistics stalwart also arrives in Adelaide with an additional honor: an Order of Australia medal bestowed on him during Queens Birthday celebrations – albeit for his service to cricket and rugby union.

"Someone told me that they just hand these out to anyone. I say I’m proof of that," he laughs.


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