When Grove is a major Queensland fruit juice supplier to supermarket chains throughout Australia, Mother Nature has to assist by supplying the juicy oranges that are the basis for grove fruit juice’s business.
As Queensland is not renowned as a big grower of oranges, Grove has to draw its fruit from elsewhere.
According to Grove, it draws fruit up to a radius of about 2000km of this building. The majority of it comes from the Riverina region, with some fruit coming out of Mildura. A limited quantity comes from Queensland and it is a short season.
Grove considered the logistics of full trailer loads of oranges, and how to get them here. One of the options is using bins but there is a weight factor involved. Also, it has to return them, so there is added cost that way. For Grove, it was all about logistics.
To overcome this expense, Grove set up a bulk loading facility. They use a 37-tonne B-double truck with self-tipping facilities for bulk loading. Fruit is transported in the truck in bulk.
Once it gets to Brisbane, Grove utilises Loscam bins to hold the fruit until processing. In house, it has between 800 and sometimes up to 1000 half-tonne bins, and it simply unloads into those bins.
The vehicle is emptied and sent back for more fruit. There are some other deliveries from growers using bins, but where possible, the company utilises the 37-tonne truck.
Sometimes Grove has smaller volumes coming from certain areas or it has more volume than its truck can handle. Grove hires all its bins from Loscam on long-time hire for the plant and short-term hire for one-way transport.
The company has been dealing with Loscam for more than five years, initially using a small number of pallets. Then Ted Jenkins suggested Loscam could assist Grove with bulk bins, and it has gone from there.
Grove is one of the great juice success stories. Commencing back in 1983, Managing Director, bought a one-man home delivery business, bottling juice early in the morning and delivering it in the afternoon. Through hard work and acquisition of other small juice operators, and quickly expanded the business.
The Managing Director joined the company in 1988, and at that time, he had a small juice business himself.
Originally, Grove had an exclusive home delivery operation, then moved more into retail and started servicing the supermarkets in 1991. Today, the majority of its business is retail, although it still supplies three home delivery runs as a kind of legacy to its beginnings.
According to Grove, the market generally, is looking for the minimum processing of the product, and that demand was its entree into the supermarket arena.
Grove is basically a fresh fruit processor; it takes fresh fruit and processes it into juice. It leaves here every day. Because it needs to satisfy various segments of the market, it does product with a 10-day shelf life, and others with longer shelf life. This can vary from 25 days up to 8 weeks.