Contract warehousing concept stirs delegates’ interest

A visit to Auckland’s Contract Warehousing and Logistics Limited (CWL) in East Tamaki sparked a buzz of interest for the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Pacific Path to Market delegation.

Rod Giles talks about the warehouse process to the visiting delegates of the PTI Pacific Path to Market Programme in Auckland.

Rod Giles, Founder owner of CWL Limited welcomed the 25-member delegation from eight Pacific Island countries to his business.  The delegates were on the final day of the PTI Pacific Path to Market four-day programme that included the Pasifika Festival, a Gap Analysis work shop, site visits and Business to Business Speed Dating meetings. The programme provides a structured approach to understanding the New Zealand market.

The group visited CWL to learn more about warehousing and logistics.  Mr Giles said demand for his warehousing had ramped up over the past 3-4 years with the rapid growth of online sales and New Zealand’s vibrant economy.

Mr Giles founded Contract Warehousing in 1978. He had a history in both warehousing which followed into freight before starting Contract Warehousing Ltd some 40 years ago. During this time he has been involved in training for industry and also operating in Australia with his company for a number of years and further developing his company to meet the ever increasing demands of online sales, both nationally and internationally.

The beauty of third party warehousing is that businesses don’t necessarily require a shopfront or the capital commitment normally required to commence a business.

Prior to Christmas last year the business was processing 40 containers monthly, up from their usual 15 containers monthly at the same time last year.  The success of the business comes from the driving passion of the sprightly 70-year old who starts his day at 6:30am and ends about 13 hours later at 7:30pm. It has seen him start a business in warehousing before others and create custom computer programmes after visits to Australia and England failed to find what he wanted.  Facing the challenge however put him ahead of the curve and the competition.

And it’s not just about processing the orders and distributing the goods. Mr Giles says he cares about the success of his customers that translates to his own success.

The beauty of third party warehousing is that businesses don’t necessarily require a shopfront or the capital commitment normally required to commence a business.  Instead it allows clients the benefits of experienced trained staff and systems in servicing their needs from day one in what Mr Giles described as “an effortless and seamless manner.”

In a nutshell, Contract Warehousing hires out the space for the goods, the orders are picked and packed by warehouse staff and delivered to the customer by courier.

The delegation’s company tour started with an introduction to the frontline team of about 6-8 office staff.  They receive the orders, generate the invoices and forward the order to the warehouse where the goods are picked, checked, packed to meet the products requirement and then delivered by courier.  The delegation then visited the very large busy warehouse located in a long building behind the office.  The warehouse featured rows of floor to ceiling racking designed to accommodate the wide variety of products which total over 10,000 different items of boxed goods from kitchen equipment from the USA, to food from India, to wine bottles from small South American and books sold to the USA.

Throughout the visit Mr Giles repeatedly stressed the importance of keeping a very efficient electronic system and maintaining the traceability of products.  From the receipt of the order through to the picking and packing in the warehouse to the date and time of delivery by courier.  The operation relied on accurate units of measure, correct product codes and shipping details, a great team of dedicated staff and an in-depth knowledge of freight, insurances and the associated shipping laws.  The traceability meant a stock report could be generated and emailed to clients daily.

It’s a straight-forward process Mr Giles suggests, “What’s required in warehousing is you deliver the right product, in the right condition to the right customer at the right time.  For this to happen day in and day out the systems must be in place and the staff fully understand and follow the requirements to make this happen,” he said.

However, he also related a sobering story of client’s failed business after they switched to a DIY Warehouse and Distribution option rather than using the specialist warehousing and logistics company.   Mr Giles added “It has to be understood that the best marketing in the world fails if the service to deliver every day does not back up the marketing and this is too often taken for granted.”

For the delegates on the Pacific Path to Market programme, third party warehousing was a revelation and provided a clearer understanding of some of the options available when exporting into the New Zealand market.

For more information contact Joe Fuavao, PTI Trade Development Manager on joe.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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