Prime Mover Magazine

BevChain commits $34M to fleet renewal as new boss backs automation

Linfox's liquor supply arm, BevChain, has announced it will renew its fleet to support key contracts by adding a cutting edge electric vehicle suite next year.

The announcement comes following the leading logistics company's recent confirmation that it will spend in excess of $34 million in FY20 on its 1000 strong heavy transport equipment-handling units.

With nearly 100 Quon 6x2 rigids purchased recently from UD Trucks marking what is understood to be one of the biggest sales ever made in Australia for the Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer, the delivery continues what Linfox is calling an investment in long-term capability to create customer advantage as it looks at building an innovative, sustainable business. 

Continued growth over the last decade locally has seen BevChain, which delivers over 2.5 billion serving units annually across 25,000 delivery points and 22 distribution centres, become a major supplier for blue chip beverage retailers and producers in the billion-dollar beverage industry.

At present, the business is working with an automation provider to re-engineer the manufacturing site of Lion, a major account, to a purpose-built automation facility.

BevChain President Misha Shliapnikoff, who was appointed to the role last August, said unlocking real customer value requires sophisticated, best practice supply chains that transform the way business is done.

“We often hear about automation being implemented into new, purpose-built greenfield facilities commonly located in outer suburbs, but with the Lion

brewery co-located metres away, we took advantage of the existing site’s favourable position,” he said.

The current site was best suited for repurpose and modernisation, Linfox said in a statement, to create a leading-edge, sustainable  automation solution. 

“We are working closely with Lion and strategic automation suppliers to implement a new automated pallet storage and picking solution, set to dramatically increase capacity and realise substantial productivity gains,” said Shliapnikoff.

“It’s this type of dedicated ‘future proof’ focus that has gained the extended trust of our customer to make a longterm contract commitment.”

To minimise operational disruption, BevChain has assisted Lion's relocation to interim sites, to expedite construction of the automation equipment.

Shliapnikoff, who comes to the role with two decades of supply chain experience in North America and Asia has previously held senior roles at Goodman Fielder and Lion.

(Image: BevChain President Misha Shliapnikoff).

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