It was for this reason that Bundaberg Sugar rekindled its 20-year partnership with CHEP in late 2011, signing a new service agreement covering several different platforms.
According to Guy, the decision was based on CHEP’s ability to provide quality product and service, consistency of supply and more importantly no hidden charges.
“Some years back we had to consider alternative equipment options that were the same as our customers’ to limit dual supply, which can be costly, and to minimise the amount of inventory lines we had to manage,” Guy says.
“However, we came across issues meeting urgent orders, which is more and more common as customers try to reduce inventories, and needed to work with suppliers that could provide equipment quickly.”
CHEP has 72 service centres and agents across Australia, including 48 in rural areas. This national reach is particularly important for rural based companies like Bundaberg Sugar to source pallets, containers and other equipment within short turnaround times. It also offers Bundaberg Sugar’s customers the benefit of easily returning their equipment to a local CHEP service centre.
“We’ve found that the convenience in supply CHEP offers is the most cost effective solution for us and our customers’ supply chain in the long run,” Guy says.
“We ship over 4000 pallets a week and supplying those pallets as well as everything which goes with that including stretch wrap, pallet covers and cardboard slip-sheets is a massive undertaking.
“We saw that CHEP offered what we need in efficiency, accessibility and responsiveness,” Guy says.
In coming back to CHEP, Bundaberg Sugar has also managed to pass on cost savings to its customers by shipping liquid sugar products in heated CHEP food grade UNICON Plus containers, which replace the company’s old 40-gallon drums.
“Our highly viscose sugar products like molasses are easier to handle when warm, so the advanced heated containers like UNICON cut down handling costs,” Guy says. “This is a win-win situation for both us and our customers.”
“We are also able to reuse these containers, further cutting costs and reducing our environmental footprint.” CHEP Australia Senior Business Relationship Manager, Peter Gaddes says, “The added benefit of using the heated containers are that the heat pads inside can be slipped in when the customer needs it and removed when they don’t.