Leading the Way: Linfox delivers for our future

Through the COVID crisis, Linfox has lived up to its reputation as a safe, reliable and trusted partner that keeps national supply chains moving.

Linfox is proud to provide households and businesses with essential goods at a time of great disruption. With governments defining freight as an essential service, it was critical that Linfox’s warehousing, road and rail networks continued to function safely and efficiently amid tightening border restrictions.

Woolworths and Linfox continue their strong partnership to ensure supermarkets are well stocked. Linfox set up a pop-up warehouse in Somerton to accommodate excess fast-moving ambient products. The facility and outbound transport were up and running in eight days, complete with a new team. The first Woolworths delivery leaves the new Somerton warehouse above.

With their warehouses full, Woolworths needed a storage solution for salvage returned from stores. The Linfox Retail team secured a vacant warehouse in Melbourne’s west and in less than four days, it began receiving salvage. At its peak, the ‘Salvage Centre of Excellence’ was running 18 hours a day, seven days a week. Salvage items such as meat and milk crates, shrink wrap, cardboard, produce trays and general waste are received, sorted then collected for reuse or recycling.

“We have close partnerships with federal and state governments, emergency services and industry,” said CEO Linfox Logistics Australia and New Zealand, Mark Mazurek. “Now more than ever, it’s those crucial relationships that help us keep communities connected with essential items like food, pharmaceuticals and fuel.” Linfox typically spends months planning for volume uplifts. As COVID-19 demand places enormous pressure on its networks, particularly in the grocery sector, Linfox is working diligently to ease the burden on customers and their consumers.

As the retail, consumer and healthcare sectors surged, sharp declines were felt in other parts of the business. This affected fuel and industrial operations, and impacted BevChain keg deliveries as hotels and hospitality venues were closed. “When challenging circumstances take our country by surprise, like recent bushfires or past flooding events, Linfox’s track record proves governments and communities can rely on our supply chain network and expertise,” said Mark. Linfox is also committed to leading with its long-held values of Loyalty, Integrity, Fairness and Trust as it deals with these unprecedented circumstances. "This challenge highlighted the strong Linfox culture and our way of working – together, stronger, and showed inspiring examples of our values in action,” reflected Mark.

“Linfox people stepped up like never before, often while facing difficult personal circumstances. “They maintained our leading safety record while moving extraordinary volumes, readily adopted COVID-19 safety measures, redeployed to other business areas where possible, worked effectively from home where required, helped to recruit, onboard and train new staff to meet demand and ensured we had the tools and technology to keep working unhindered.”

General Manager Customer Development, Sergio Galanti in the Woolworths salvage facility: “This is a proud and rapid response to our customer’s supply chain pressures, helping them continue to move essential goods.”

Linfox has supported Woolworths through COVID-19 and peak season as they optimise their distribution centre network. In 2019 Linfox converted a Hoppers Crossing, Victoria facility to commission the Woolworths Contingency DC in just eight weeks. This hub has served as a crucial facility to manage high demand for the Woolworths store network.

New and repurposed sites meet customer demand

Linfox and its customers have worked closely through one of the most challenging periods in retail history. In response, the business opened several pop-up distribution centres and boosted customer support across existing sites to help keep communities stocked with essential items.

Linfox also partnered with Woolworths to:

  • Open a cold storage warehouse for Woolworths' fast-moving chiller goods in Melbourne. Linfox supported the warehouse set up and the Linfox Woolworths Transport Team implemented outbound transport. This work saw a whole new warehouse and transport team recruited.

  • Help manage a small warehouse set up to store fast moving ambient product at a Linfox site in Sydney, including recruitment of staff. Linfox Woolworths Transport Team co-ordinated outbound transport, while the Linfox Consumer and Healthcare Group assisted with warehouse management.

  • Set up cross dock capability at the Linfox Willawong, Brisbane site to support Woolworths’ Brisbane DCs.

CEO Linfox Logistics ANZ, Mark Mazurek joined COO Coles, Matt Swindells at the Coles Truganina RDC to tell Today Show viewers how Linfox is keeping Australia moving in response to surging demand. Mark explained Linfox would normally transport 2.2 million cartons in a seven-day Christmas period to Coles supermarkets alone, but this has increased to around 3 million amid the COVID crisis. Note: Some images were taken prior to or around the commencement of COVID -19 social distancing requirements.

Linfox does its bit for DIY, supporting Bunnings as home improvement projects surge during the COVID crisis.

As people stay home and shop online, e-commerce demand has increased dramatically. Linfox Intermodal is supporting Australia Post/StarTrack to manage record parcel volumes and ease congestion. Linfox is providing additional interstate StarTrack capability to cover reduced air freight capacity. Linfox also set up short term storage solutions to manage Australia Post’s additional parcel demand in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, and is completing numerous daily metropolitan customer collections and transport into regional areas.

BevChain delivers free kegs of XXXX beer to reopening pubs and clubs in outback Queensland on behalf of customer, Lion. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk farewells the 3,000-litre shipment from Lion in May.

Joel Daddo and Bert Paduano from the Linfox Kellogg’s team are helping to feed Australians returning from overseas. They have seen a 400 per cent increase in demand for single serve cereal sachets now required by hotels to feed those in 14-day isolation.

The media filmed Linfox forklift driver, Joe Camilleri at the Coles Truganina RDC to try and settle panic buying: “There is more than enough toilet paper for Australia. There is no need to panic.

Keeping essential goods moving: Linfox unloads a delivery for Coles in New South Wales.

Linfox provided charitable local and interstate transport of Fight MND ‘Big Freeze’ beanies to Bunnings and Coles DCs for distribution to stores. Fight MND raises awareness and funds to research Motor Neurone Disease. With AFL matches and the Big Freeze event at the MCG cancelled due to the COVID crisis, Fight MND partnered with Coles and Bunnings to ensure their beanies were available.

BevChain supported beer deliveries direct to store for Dan Murphy’s as volumes peaked.

Amid COVID crisis challenges, BevChain in WA met their original 23 March go live date for Coles Liquor. In their first week the team not only faced state border closures, but increased demand caused by consumer panic buying, with demand far exceeding planned volumes.

The team worked together during Alert Level 4 to ensure essential groceries were available to New Zealanders.

Despatchers, loaders, drivers, administration team members and managers from the Day Shift Transport Team at the Auckland DC.