Kuehne + Nagel: Platform for growth

Global logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel Group recently expanded its Derrimut facility in Melbourne, which is set to support booming e-commerce with optimised speed and accuracy

Kuehne + Nagel: Platform for growth
Bjoern Johansson with Samsonite Australia’s Iain Nankervic at the launch of site


One of the world’s leading logistics companies, Kuehne + Nagel Group, has made a significant investment into the expansion of its existing Derrimut warehouse in western Melbourne as a result of a strong online retailing economy.

The upgrade has seen an 8,000 square metre extension to the 20,000 square metre Boundary Road distribution centre, completed last November by national developer and Victorian 2018 master builder of the year, Vaughan Constructions.

Kuehne + Nagel officially opened its doors in Derrimut in March 2007. The area was selected at the time due to its proximity to key arterial roads such as the Western Ring Road and the West Gate Freeway.

Close to Melbourne’s central business district, Port of Melbourne and the airport, its location is perfectly positioned in the centre of the logistics hub of Victoria, according to Kuehne + Nagel Australia.

With the continued growth of customers and their evolving requirements, the company started planning the expansion of the Derrimut warehouse in 2017, with the build starting the following year.

Six months into the construction, the keys to the expanded facility were handed over to Kuehne + Nagel on October 15.

A key customer of the group – Samsonite, a world leader in travel bags, luggage and accessories – was the first to move into the new facility.

The official opening happened on Tuesday January 22, with the cutting of the ribbon by Samsonite Australia chief financial operator Iain Nankervic and Kuehne + Nagel Australia managing director Bjoern Johansson.


Smooth supply chain

The extension is set to allow Kuehne + Nagel to continue to cater for its existing customers’ growth as well as any future customers with their requirements, Johansson says.

The new facility caters for a 50 per cent increase of vehicle movements each month, ensuring customers can have their goods delivered when they require them.

Prior to the extension, there were eight container docks located at the Derrimut site – there are now 12.

"Kuehne + Nagel understand how important it is to keep cargo moving in order to ensure customers’ goods are delivered on time," the company says.

"With the facility being located just off the Western Ring Road, it is convenient for trucks to keep within their delivery times.

"At Kuehne + Nagel, we are an extension of our clients’ businesses so we understand the importance of ensuring a smooth supply chain.

"With 15 clients on site and despatching up to 200 pallets a day, we work with trucking companies to ensure that goods are ready for pick up and are delivered on time."


Greener options

Constantly on the lookout to reduce the carbon footprint, the facility has new LED lights with motion sensors, which turn off every second aisle if no motion is detected, and then completely turn off if no motion is detected after 20 minutes.

There are also solar panels installed on the roof that help power select areas of the facility.

Rainwater tanks have been installed to ensure the site is environmentally friendly and contributing towards water usage reduction in the facility.

The group has invested in turret trucks, which maximise productivity within the day-to-day operations of the facility.

"These assist with making the operation more efficient and maximise space as they can operate in narrow aisles," Kuehne + Nagel says.

The group also uses pick by voice headsets with finger mounted scanners, which assist with the drive to improve productivity and accuracy of picking.

The group’s customers supply the Australian market with various products across wide ranging industries, including healthcare, industrial, aerospace logistics, fast moving consumer goods and retail goods.

"The products are varied across the site and Kuehne + Nagel has operational managers with specific industry knowledge in charge of the different products to ensure that every customer has their requirements known and met."

According to Vaughan Constructions director Mark Byrne, the new facility will aid Kuehne + Nagel in delivering goods with optimised speed and accuracy as competition in the integrated and contract (3PL) logistics sector intensified within the booming online retailing economy.

"The entry into the market by the world’s biggest online players has brought Australia into a new phase of online shopping as consumer expectations rise, driving the need for all players to offer the sort of premium service that has delivered success for the top firms," Byrne says.

"And, of course, that has impacted our business across the country from Melbourne to Sydney to Darwin and elsewhere, with logistics firms gearing up for the challenge by updating and expanding their operations."

Read about Kuehne + Nagel's recent Australian Trusted Trader accreditation, here

He says Vaughan’s recent building portfolio completions include a string of e-commerce related industrial facilities for leading logistics providers such as Linfox, GMK, K&S Freighters, and Northline, with the recent completion of works on a 6,000 square metre extension of a GMK Logistics facility in Gregory Hills NSW and Linfox’s $10 million, 3,000 square metre North Star intermodal facility at East Arm wharf in Darwin.

Byrne says Kuehne + Nagel’s digitalised platform, which allows customers to track shipments in real time, is one part of a holistic service providing online retailers with a competitive edge.

"Acting as an arm within the retailer’s own business, they can offer next day delivery to the consumer’s doorstep whilst reducing, and in some cases eliminating, rental and sales labour costs," he says.

According to an IBISWorld report, the transport, postal and warehousing sector is now worth $188 billion annually, employing well over half a million workers, with forecasts of continued growth.

Kuehne + Nagel is a global freight forwarder and can offer many logistics solutions to its customers. Through the contract logistics solution, its customers are given a competitive edge within their industry.

"This supports customers who don’t have the capacity to utilise a full warehouse but receive the full service from the team in order to meet the warehouse logistics that customers require," Kuehne + Nagel says.

"Overall, the warehouse extension will be able to cater for customers’ future requirements with their supply chain management needs."

Kuehne + Nagel Australia managing director Bjoern Johansson says the warehouse expansion is an example of how the company works with its partners to develop solutions in the changing environment.

"We are looking forward to continue supporting our customers and their logistic requirements in Australia, and across the world," Johansson adds.


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