By Agatha Wong
South East Asia’s close proximity to China and favourable location on the world map provides a compelling case for strengthening the region’s logistics capabilities. With the world’s largest manufacturing hub at its doorstep, there is sufficient cause for companies to take heed of this zone as an upcoming epicentre of cold chain development. This is further facilitated by the growth on online grocery shopping and delivery services, which will require the appropriate storage facilities to keep products fresh.
More than that, the consumer base in South East Asia is belied by growing affluence and a hunger for products beyond their shores. In that sense, both quantity and quality are vital factors in satisfying demand. To that end, a robust network of logistics services will play a key role in ensuring that F&B operators, retailers, and restaurants are kept well stocked to meet their demands.
An expanded hub
In a three-way partnership with Commonwealth Capital Group, Kokubu Group Corporation and Kajima Corporation, Commonwealth Kokubu Logistics recently broke ground at an upcoming food logistics facility that will span a total floor space of 500,000 sq ft, with a capacity to hold some 80,000 tonnes of halal and non-halal food. Standing at over 100m tall, the facility will also offer multi-temperature storage solutions of 30 to -30°C, including a 45m automatic storage and retrieval system in a frozen environment in the building’s top floor housing.
At completion, the facility will feature automatic storage and retrieval systems and automated-guided vehicles (AGVs) that complement Commonwealth Kokubu Logistics’s existing capabilities, thereby improving operational facility and optimising labour efficiency. Altogether, this new facility will fortify Singapore’s cold chain logistics network, providing local food and beverage manufacturers with timely solutions for managing their inventories.
“The capacity of this facility, when constructed well, will ensure that the frozen food stock is maintained in the highest quality. The fulfilment system is also designed such that we take in a complex in- and outbound profile of our customers. As F&B operators are diversifying their procurements to mitigate any disruptions, it is customary for us to see inbound containers from all over the world. We are also cognizant of the fact that retail space is costly, and while F&B operators would like to have stock available for their use in-store, they would not want to take up too much space. A fulfilment system that selects only the cartons needed for the customers minimises the overheads they require without running into any stockcaps,” said Daniel Tan, executive director of Commonwealth Kokubu Logistics.
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