Respected motivational author and radio presenter, Earl Nightingale, once said, “everything begins with an idea”. For many in the transport industry, however, the idea is only as good as the actions taken to bring it to reality.
One person who has turned an idea from thought to tangible success is Simon Frazer, Owner of Link Cold Storage & Transport. “Building a cold store was just an idea that I had six years ago,” Simon says. “I was already working in the industry so I used my knowledge to create a business model that worked – we soon quadrupled in size.”
According to Simon, the key to his company’s strategy is to keep costs down by doing things ‘the smart way’. “In our market, many only see logistics as an extra expense,” Simon explains. “Our customers are focussed on keeping their costs down, so a smart way of doing business is to use technology that helps us stay competitive.”
A recent investment that Simon says was part of the plan was the purchase of a Vector 8500 refrigeration unit from Carrier. “We’ve only had the unit installed on a 45-foot (13.7m, ed.) meat hanger since just before Christmas and we’re already seeing the savings,” Simon says. “It has the electric E-Drive technology and a new compressor. It pulls down so quickly and it’s just so much more advanced.”
Simon explains that the Vector units can turn components off or on depending on whether they’re needed, and relays information on running hours for him to analyse. “We can see exactly what it’s costing us, and the data shows that it is turned off 33 per cent of the time,” says Simon. “As well as saving us money in run time, it also cuts down on emissions. Everyone has got to be kind to the environment so we do what we can, where we can, to lower emissions. The new Carrier unit plays its part in that.”
With Simon a fan of his first Vector 8500 unit, he says he will be looking to change over the units on the six other trailers in his fleet, especially considering the increased serviceability of the electric system. “The Vector system eliminates many maintenance items found in conventional mechanical refrigeration systems, such as alternators, drive belts, idlers, vibrasorbers, compressor shaft seals and clutches,” lists Kelly Geddes, Carrier Transicold Australia Marketing Manager.
The benefits of the electric system make it easy for Simon to show his customers the advantages of new technology. “The old way isn’t always the good way, which is sometimes the opinion in the transport industry,” Simon says. “But you’d be foolish not to notice that technology has advanced in leaps and bounds across the board in the last six to 10 years. Our clients appreciate that we invest in the newest technology to look after their products.”
Link Cold Storage’s major clients are based in Corowa, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as in various northeast Victorian and regional New South Wales towns including Wagga Wagga, Griffith and Mount Beauty. The cluster of clients is ideally located for the Wangaratta-based company, which moved into a new warehouse in October last year.
“We outgrew our facility again,” Simon says proudly. “Now we’ve invested in six acres and built a Stage One, 1,000 pallet capacity warehouse to start with. I’m looking forward to add on to that, we’ve got ample space to grow at the same pace as the industry and suppliers like Carrier that advance alongside us.”
Simon’s latest idea to advance his company the ‘smart way’ is to tap into an open market and provide an export service this year, and is already taking the actions to make the idea a reality. “At the moment we’re pursuing our export licence,” Simon explains. “In country Victoria there’s not a lot of companies that do exports, so we’re looking to fill the void and offer the service to our clients.”
Link Cold Storage Owner, Simon Frazer, bought his first Vector 8500 unit from Carrier State Sales Manager, Rob Smith, who he describes as ‘very professional’. “He’s very well organised and he’s really good at his job,” Simon explains. “Carrier is light years in front of the rest and they’ve got the right guy doing the job.”