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Growing demand has led Adelaide-based Railroad Transport to invest in a new Melbourne depot, with ambitions to expand its national footprint
One of Railroad Transport’s most distinguishable features is its logo.
Think of the London Underground and it’s an exact replica of the famous roundel that was designed in the early 20th century.
In fact, Railroad isn’t the only business to adopt the iconic insignia. An internet blog documents worldwide examples, including Mexican electrical cable business Electrica Procables, a Bombay grillhouse, the list goes on and on.
Railroad Transport gets a mention too. It’s an apt name. As it suggests, rail comprises a large portion of operations. Around 80 containers come out of Melbourne per week.
But it wasn’t always like that.
Started in South Australia by Glen McMahon as a livestock transport business called GF McMahon Transport in 1957, alongside AFL Hall of Famer Bob Hammond, he shares directorial duties with his son Craig (pictured) at the company that became Railroad Transport in 1990.
It has since grown to now provide freight services to all major Australian cities.
MELBOURNE MOVEOn the day of ATN’s visit, Victorian state manager Michael Curran is joined in Melbourne by Adelaide-based GM Justin Williams and CFO Daniel Mignone.
Williams says that, over time, the business has transitioned from a 75/25 per cent road to rail ratio, to now 20/80 per cent.
The depot, in Laverton, traverses 8,000 square metres and 6,000 rack spaces. The build lasted around 15 months, with the move completed on January 14 this year.
Railroad predominantly operates between Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth (with some services along the east coast), which the open area in the new Melbourne facility caters for. The 3PL storage and warehouse side of the business will occupy the back part of the warehouse.
It forms a vital component of the business’s operations. As Williams explains: "Basically, Melbourne is 80 per cent of the business.
"We’ve been at a couple of different locations now. Probably the longest one was at Cawley Road in Brooklyn, which had reasonable hardstand but zero storage facilities and no room to grow the business.
"With things expanding rapidly and the requirement for general freight movements out of Melbourne to Adelaide and Perth growing, the decision was made that we needed to make the adjustments if we wanted to expand further.
"We moved out of Cawley Road, leased just next door here – an ex-Scott’s yard – for around 12 months while this one here was being built and now it’s given us an opportunity to grow the business.
"We’ve got a 6,000-pallet storage space out there, which we’re working on with some clients at the moment.
"We’ve got a strong sales team in each state now, and with them on board we needed to do something – otherwise there’s no point having [them].
"Basically the requirement and demand led us to looking at something bigger and better in Melbourne. And Melbourne being the hub for our business, it was time to make the move.
"Without Melbourne and without expanding, we may as well not have a transport company."
This article first appeared on www.fullyloaded.com.au
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