Western Australia-based transport company, Busselton Freight Services (BFS), was founded in 1983 as a sideline for the Price family’s Busselton supermarket.
The family-owned enterprise has grown from a single truck to become one of the most successful freight carriers in the state, servicing various major supermarket chains.
Brothers Denis and Allan Price have built what they proudly call a first-class business.
BFS operates out of its company-owned depots in Busselton and Maddington as well as shared facilities at Canningvale with Metcash.
The family company, according to Denis, is a diverse business unit comprising BFS, Ironman Haulage, BFS Logistics, Busselton Advanced Driver Training (truck licence provider) plus retail entities including two hair salons, a beauty salon, an unattended fuel site, post office, newsagency and laundromat.
“The truck driver training business unit dovetails into our transport operation nicely,” Denis says. “All drivers, whether subscontractor or staff are refreshed through the driver training modules every 12 months.”
The BFS fleet currently comprises 40 prime movers, 20 rigids and a mix of 55 semi-trailers. The majority of the freezer vans that the company has invested in are manufactured by Schmitz Cargobull Australia.
BFS specialises in the transportation of supermarket food, alcohol and fresh produce. There is also one dedicated road train combination for carrying scrap metal. The transport company travels along most of the western side of Western Australia, from Kalbarri on the north to Busselton in the south, inland to Boddington and Northam, York and Bindoon, servicing long-term customers.
BFS started investing in Schmitz Cargobull trailers in 2009 when it was on the lookout for a world leader in refrigerated trailer technology.
“At the time, it was soon evident that that trailer supplier would need to be a European brand, where 12 monthly testing of the efficiency of a refrigerated trailer is mandatory,” Denis says.
“Schmitz Cargobull was chosen as the panel supplier and an order of 4 x 16-pallet tri-temp distribution trailers were ordered. A Melbourne based company did the chassis and assembly.
“I still remember at the 2010 Melbourne Truck show meeting the German Schmitz engineers for the first time. We discussed a road train option, and to my bemusement I had to show them a photo of what a road train was. The engineer was quick to point out ‘we can do that, our floors are the strongest in the world’ – subsequently, a couple of 45’ road train trailers were commissioned.”
A testament to his long-term investment in Schmitz Cargobull’s refrigerated trailers, Denis says their temperature control and efficiency are a world best.
“We haven’t had a temperature failure in one yet,” he says. “No sweating on a humid day tells me that after many years of service there has been no water ingress to the insulation. New customers comment that their ice cream is actually frozen when delivered.”
To maintain an efficient and reliable service, as a result of contract growth and managing new customers, BFS has invested in new Schmitz Cargobull reefers.
The aftersales support, Denis says, has been excellent through Krueger Transport Equipment. “The WA-based representative is very prudent in following up even the smallest issue and resolving it – well done, Nigel Withnell.”
Busselton Freight Services has achieved its second re-entry audit to ISO Standards HACCAP, 4801, 9001, 14001 and 45001.
On a personal level, the Price brothers, Allan and Denis, enjoy supporting not-for-profit entities like TransafeWA, iNSTRUCKTA!, BFS Rising Sports Star, parkrun and Busselton Runners Club.