Third-generation transport company FoodBoss Transport has been delivering food products across Australia for 70 years. When looking to expand its temperature-controlled fleet, owner Ian Gibson turned to Schmitz Cargobull. Kim Berry writes. This story originally appeared in the March 2021 issue of Food & Drink Business.
FoodBoss Transport started three generations ago as Fordcraft Fresh Logistics and is now run by the three sons of founder Laurie Gibson.
Seventy years after Laurie began collecting milk from the farm gate for the Nepean Milk Depot, Robert, Graham and Ian now run a business that criss-crosses the continent.
Ian Gibson told Food & Drink Business it is the sense of history and how hard the family has worked that is most rewarding.
“Seeing one of our trucks out of the road with our logo on it, I get a bit of a kick from that as well,” he says.
In 2010, Fordcraft Fresh Logistics acquired FoodBoss Cold Storage to develop a fully integrated cold logistic service.
The two companies became FoodBoss Transport and over the last decade it has grown into a refrigerated logistics and cold storage specialist.
Meanwhile, in October 2019, truck and trailer specialist Schmitz Cargobull opened its new assembly facility in Noble Park, Victoria. Since then, it has delivered more than 80 refrigerated vans from the site.
Taking on the heat
Schmitz Cargobull managing director Les Lange says the move allowed the company to expand its product offering, but it is the refrigerated range that sets it apart.
“Our Ferroplast Refrigerated Trailers have thermal advantage over our competitors because of their NX17 high density polyurethane hard foam insulation. Our 125-millimetre insulated roof and unique box design with no thermal bridges create premium conditions for refrigerated and fresh produce logistics,” Lange says.
Gibson agrees, recalling a delivery to Lightning Ridge in far west New South Wales.
“It was forty-three degrees outside and minus twenty inside the box, so a sixty-degree difference and it held its temperature. The walls are only about an inch-and-a-half thick but are very effective.
“The thermal qualities and the fridge unit are equally important, but if the thermals stand up in an extreme climate like that, then the fridge doesn’t have to work so hard. The result in that example was exceptional,” he says.
On the road again
FoodBoss does a Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane run up and down the eastern seaboard every day, one to Adelaide once a week, and one to Perth every fortnight.
“Our main concentration is in New South Wales and heading out to the mid and far west – Dubbo, Cobar, Walgett. All those little towns that do it tough. Although, we’ve definitely noticed a pick-up in some of the regions due to COVID-19, with people holidaying closer to home and exploring their own state.
“We almost solely work in the food supply chain, storing and transporting product for food service,” Gibson says.
The company has 3000 spaces in its warehouse, with a chiller and two freezer rooms.
It has many cross dock pits from various suppliers and offers a complete captive link for container deliveries.
“We cart anything from frozen and chilled beef to fruit concentrate, fresh produce, and cultured craft beer,” he says.
One of the big changes Gibson is seeing is the increase in climate-controlled freight. Increased awareness and concern regarding product integrity and safety is pushing more manufacturers to refrigerated transit.
It is one of the reasons why FoodBoss ordered new trailers from Schmitz Cargobull.
“As I said, their thermal qualities are some of the best in the world and I can put in an order and it is here within the month,” Gibson says.
As the company continues to grow with the needs of its customers, its products will be well supported, and cool.