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Swire Cold Storage and Australian Country Choice expand their joint operations

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article image SCS’s facility

Swire Cold Storage (SCS) and Australian Country Choice (ACC), a major meat supplier to Coles Group, are expanding their joint operations.

The partnership between ACC and SCS began in the mid-90’s and was further strengthened when SCS and ACC were approached by Coles Group to deliver a centrally processed meat project. The result was the construction of SCS’s facility in Cannon Hill, Queensland, adjacent to the ACC abattoir.

The purpose built facility was specifically designed to meet Coles Group’s requirements for meat cross-docking and is unique in that it is a facility to be linked via a 230 metre refrigerated overhead conveyor bridge to the ACC abattoir and processing plant. The joint initiative between SCS and ACC enables a unique paddock to plate solution for meat to Coles and Bi-Lo stores.

According to Australian Country Choice, it has been in partnership with Swire Cold Storage and Coles for a number of years. The current expansion not only cements that partnership further, but brings about growth and economic gains for all involved.

Phase one of the expansion has seen two more conveyors linking SCS with ACC, thereby increasing the volume of boxed meat able to be transferred to SCS’s refrigerated distribution centre.

Product transferred via the conveyors is automatically scanned into the Swire Warehouse Management System (SWIMS) in real-time, and is also loaded onto shelves allocated to chiller and freezer Variable Retention Tunnel (VRT) blast tunnels to bring the product to the correct temperature within the required timeframe. A Unistore, a unique fully-enclosed and automated sortation system, then palletises the loads for storage, outward distribution or transfer back to ACC for value-add processing.

Phase Two will enable handling media changes as SCS will modify the VRT and Unistore to handle re-usable plastic totes, as well as cardboard cartons, cardboard totes and standard cartons. Phase two will also see the reconfiguration of palletising equipment to automatically handle the new mix of handling media.

According to Swire Cold Storage, what Coles and ACC have achieved at Cannon Hill is a world-leading unique cold chain solution that can be adapted to suit current or future market trends and growth. The SCS management team has been fortunate to work with Coles and Australian Country Choice on such an exciting project.

With the completion of the project, SCS’s Cannon Hill facility will be able to handle in excess of 10 million cartons per annum for distribution, in accordance with Coles Group’s requirements.

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