A major Brisbane wholesaler says it has been able to provide a significant increase in capacity across a number of its current service offerings, since launching its new facility.
J.H. Leavy & Co. invested in a new $19.5million dollar purpose designed warehouse, which was opened in August, 2020. CEO Ben Bartlett believes that, due to the new facility, the business is able to deliver more on critical parts of the fresh produce supply chain.
"As we continue to execute our diversification strategy across wholesale and domestic and international 3PL service provision we certainly anticipate being able to increase the current service offerings to suit our key partners thereby ensuring greater efficiencies are delivered throughout the supply chain," he said. "It has become abundantly clear given the current challenging environment that supply chain security, integrity and efficiency has become paramount."
The new site is over 6,300sqm in size; there is 5700sqm of warehouse space and 600sqm of office space. The site is fully secured, monitored by CCTV 24 hours a day and operates an ammonia glycol environmentally friendly and super-efficient refrigeration system with 12 separate temperature zones.
"The site boasts ten ripening/conditioning/fast cooling rooms and six biosecurity treatment rooms," Mr Bartlett said. "We now have over 2,000 temperature-controlled pallet racking capacity and over 2,000sqm of warehouse capacity allowing for highly efficient warehouse and cross docking service provision. We have six domestic docks and three international docks which all feature innovative telescopic dock levellers which enable unrivalled cold chain and biosecurity integrity. We are now a fully integrated international and domestic fresh produce warehouse providing the ability to provide multiple services to customers for all of their crop."
J.H. Leavy & Co. is one of the originals, trading in the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea since 1907. Mr Bartlett says that Jim Leavy, the company's founder, was the first Chairman of the Brisbane Markets and a passionate contributor to the development of the fresh produce industry in Brisbane.
"In 2016, J.H. Leavy & Co. was acquired by Darling Group, a family company headed by Andrew Darling," he said. "Darling Group has retained the company's original values and name while adding a new level of capability to the business that opened up more opportunities for staff, suppliers, and customers. Since then, J.H. Leavy & Co. has gone from strength to strength doubling our capacity and capability.
Although construction commenced in October 2019 and was completed in August 2020 the expansion in to the new facility was part of the broader vertical integration strategy being executed by the wider Darling Group to ensure greater efficiency and value is captured in the supply chain."
Mr Bartlett added that the current environment has certainly been challenging specifically in relation to the effects that COVID-19 has had on the industry and the community.
"We’ve been in the privileged position to be involved in an industry that is considered an essential business and we certainly take that seriously in ensuring we play our part in the supply chain and from a health and safety perspective," he said. "The challenges have strengthened our ability and we’re now better placed to adapt and manage the uncertainty and instability that comes with an environment that is constantly changing. It has been great to see health and wellbeing taking a front seat during these times and being able to be part of the trends emerging around a greater fresh produce focus and supply chain security."
Click here for a video tour of the new warehouse.