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Freightways has announced a new purpose-built 13,000 square-metre cold store facility for its nationwide temperature-controlled logistics business Big Chill.

The new facility is to be constructed by Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) at Ruakura Superhub and will bring Big Chill’s roster of depots to 10. 

Big Chill is New Zealand’s market leader in temperature-controlled distribution and will be the flagship tenant in the industrial precinct of the Superhub, which also features an inland port, logistics hub and retail and residential offerings.

The facility, with a construction cost of around $40 million, is expected to open in July 2023 and will be capable of storing up to 16,000 temperature-controlled pallets.

Freightways Chief Executive Mark Troughear says the expansion of Big Chill is a crucial step in the company’s plans for growth in the temperature controlled, Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), fresh and frozen delivery category. 

“With supply chains being pushed to the limit over the last two years, it is more important than ever that we continue to strengthen our networks and provide our customers with efficient service and delivery.

“This world-class facility will significantly increase our capacity in this fast-growing space and ensure that essential food items get onto Kiwis’ plates much faster,” says Troughear.

The new location offers Big Chill more effective links to inbound and outbound freight from the Port of Tauranga and will bolster its growing distribution network across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty crucially, increase its capacity for overnight and same-day delivery to Auckland.

Providing a further, cost-effective option for customers needing to despatch time-defined product into the Auckland market is step one, with same and next-day delivery to customers in the Waikato expected to follow.

Big Chill Chief Executive Michael Roberts says the distribution and storage centre will have sustainability at the fore in keeping with Freightways’ company values of offering best-in-class solutions and the vision of TGH for the entire precinct.

“We want to set a new benchmark for environmental performance with this new facility – achieving at least a four-star green building rating, which we understand has not been achieved in a New Zealand cold store before,” says Roberts.

Freightways acquired Big Chill in 2019 adding a new option for its customers in the form of temperature-controlled logistics and bolstered Big Chill’s offering further with the acquisition of family-owned ProducePronto which operates a fleet of 20 tri-temperature zoned vehicles. 

Photo: Freightways CEO Mark Troughear (right) and Big Chill CEO Michael Roberts. 

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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