Trailer Magazine

SCT Logistics

  • Posted on Tuesday 8th, February 2011
SCT Logistics

For 37 years, SCT Logistics has relied on an independent approach to capture the Australian transport market. Being the first private company to challenge government monopolised rail freight services on the Australian interstate network, the growing road line haul division assists in completing its national freight service portfolio.

Rail to road, dry freight, refrigerated or bulk, the combination of rail freight service and an extensive road line haul network has earned SCT Logistics a distinct status in Australia’s transport industry. But despite continuous growth, the company has maintained the values instilled by Peter Smith, who established Specialized Container Transport (SCT) in 1974.

Peter Smith’s association with the transport industry dates back to the 1960s, when he decided to purchase a Bedford tray and shortly after commence work as an interstate truck operator. Peter’s passion for the industry led him to form Cubico, which was later sold to multinational corporation Mayne Nickless.

In 1974, Peter established SCT utilising the services of state based railways Victorian Railway, Australia National and Westrail.

At the time, the Victorian railways used a broad gauge track, which meant that all rolling stock that was loaded out of Victoria undertook a bogie exchange at the South Dry Creek bogie exchange building in Adelaide. As a result, journeys from Melbourne to Perth often took over 14 days to complete. In the early 1990’s, on the back of the government’s decision to standardise the track in Victoria and National Rails’ decision to intermodalise trains and cease servicing rail vans, SCT decided to take on National Rail by commencing its own rail services. So SCT became the first private rail operator in Australia competing on the main interstate corridor between Melbourne and Perth; altering the landscape of the Australian rail industry and catapulting SCT Logistics into a national company competing directly against Australia’s National Rail Corporation and other freight forwarding heavy weights of that time. The first private rail freight service, a 600m long train, departed Kensington, Melbourne on 13 July 1995, bound for Perth.

Today, SCT Logistics maintains offices in all capital cities as well as strategic regional locations in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. All offices can offer a range of transport and logistics services including road and rail services, local distribution, contract management, warehousing and specialist logistics services. Peter Smith still maintains an active role within SCT operations today as Chairman, bearing responsibility for over 800 people. “Our success is largely about the people who form our team including my sons Geoff and Glenn. We’ve always had a free thinking environment which encourages innovative thinking and for people to have a voice and that I believe brings out the best in people and the business. We’re still a grounded organisation with hands-on management who are proud of their achievements,” says Peter.

“The road line haul division predominantly services the east coast of Australia as well as specialised road bulk operations such as sugar cane and mineral sand cartage,” he explains. “In close cooperation with our rail network, SCT Logistics can offer innovative and thermally-efficient refrigerated transport options. We have invested significantly in developing Australia’s first refrigerated rail cross-dock, temperature-controlled facilities around the country. This compliments our road line haul fleet that consists of rigids, B-doubles, Wingliners and tippers.”

Maintaining 150 company-owned trucks, Peter Smith places value on innovation – the average age of SCT’s equipment is around three years. “The SCT fleet is improving non-stop and features the most innovative and reliable equipment available,” Peter says.

In addition, SCT Logistics operates 230 trailers – including Vawdrey, Krueger, and MaxiTrans equipment. “We use a combination of 45’ and 48’ single trailers, B-doubles, straight deck and drop deck tautliners, including some with adjustable mezzanine floors; 40,45 and 48’ skels; and tipping trailers,” Peter says. “We also use refrigerated Wingliners and pan-techs, capable of handling both dry and temperature controlled freight. In addition, we maintain rigid vehicles in varying sizes to suit individual freight tasks.”

In the past, SCT has developed a corporate philosophy that does not only reflect integrity, innovation and family values, but also ecological sensibility. “SCT Logistics is committed to improving its environmental credentials by reducing its Carbon footprint and seeking new ways to demonstrate ongoing improvement,” says CEO Geoff Smith. “SCT Logistics is committed to the protection of Australia’s unique landscape and currently maintains three significant conservation areas in Altona, Victoria.”

As the head of a company employing 800 people, Peter Smith obeys a plain mission statement: “We want to offer something different. To be a leader in innovation and lateral thinking,” he says. “It is our vision to continue expanding whilst maintaining our independence. SCT Logistics will also continue to develop modern terminal facilities to accommodate the national expansion of integrated transport services. From one man’s dream, to the creation of a transport empire, SCT Logistics continues to thrive and flourish.”

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