Ken Norris, Managing Editor, IFPTA Journal
Nov. 20, 2012
Greater Western Sydney's newest major logistical warehouse and operations centre, the DB Schenker facility at Erskine Park, is open for business, poised to become an even greener and smarter local jobs creator. The new logistics centre employs 80 people and will cater to the demanding logistical needs of some of Australia's largest electronics, consumer, as well as healthcare and office supplies companies.
It is the fifth distribution hub in NSW for Schenker Australia Pty Limited, the local arm of DB Schenker, the world's second largest transportation and logistics provider. Overall, it is DB Schenker's 16th Australian facility.
"Erskine Park forms a vital link in our global chain and the opening marks an important step in our strategy of expanding our Contract Logistics footprint in Australia," said Dr Thomas Lieb, Chairman and CEO of Schenker AG. "In Australia, we deliver almost half a million items each year and many of them will pass through Greater Western Sydney."
Erskine Park has sustainability at the heart of its operations with substantial timber pallet, cardboard, paper and plastic recycling operations as well as a fleet of electric forklifts and trolleys.
New South Wales Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Barry O'Farrell toured the facility and said it was an impressive example of the sort of investment the state was seeking to get economic growth back on the move. "This is a great vote of confidence in the economy of Western Sydney. This facility will provide new job opportunities for Western Sydney and even better, employment close to where they live."
Ron Koehler, CEO Schenker Australia Pty Limited, said "Erskine Park operates 24 hours a day, from Sunday to Friday, and is one of Sydney's largest warehouse complexes." At 21,000 square metres, it's as big as the Sydney Cricket Ground's playing surface and will hold close to 20,000 pallet positions. It is as well cared for with four hours of merchanised sweeping and cleaning each day.
DB Schenker started moving into the new building in April and it was operating at almost full capacity within three months. "Moving into a green-field site means we've been able to place maximum emphasis on employee safety and best practice in processes," Koehler said. "Elevated dispatch signage that leaves the floor free of clutter is just one innovation brought in by our own people. We're also running continuous improvement programmes that will ensure we make it an even more innovative and green facility. One example is the innovative ‘voice picking technology' which we are introducing to ensure better and efficient storage as well as reduced handling while picking the product, leading to less time and costs for our customers."
The Erskine multi-user distribution center includes plug and play technologies for different systems and for different customers backed up with DB Schenker's own warehouse management system to ensure flexibility.