Impact Publications : AirCargo-257
AIRCARGO ASIA-PACIFIC • NOV-DEC, 2018 • Page 17 interview For imports this allows us to have full control of the prod- uct and keep our customers informed, from the moment it lands in Sydney until its deliv- ery to destination in excellent condition. For the export market the new facility will assist us with growth, including the opening of the China market for sum- mer fruit and cherries under the new protocol. Using fumigation, we can treat the product at the right temperature and place it in our pre-cooling room to bring the temperature back down before uplift, with minimum fuss or movement of the product as it is all in the one place. Our tra- ditional business also benefits as the facilities can hold more product at any given time, meaning customers can deliver into our store in the evening instead of waiting till the morn- ing, knowing their product will be held at the correct temper- atures at all times and enabling their trucks to be out of the Sydney area before peak hour traffic. How has the market changed in Australia since you moved into a management role? Over the past 10 years the market has changed dramati- cally. For exports we handle the full process including Quar- antine inspection. Fumigation has always been there, but we have changed the footprint by bringing it in house. With new protocol markets opening every year, we need to stay in the know and change our pro- cesses to suit. Imports used to see the majority of inspections done either at Quarantine or at a seafreight container facility. Once again we have changed this and bought it in house to ensure control. It is possibly a harder job these days and cer- tainly has more responsibility placed on the forwarder. The growth of imports into Australia has been massive over the past 10 years and is expected to continue. December must be the busiest period of the year for you. What are the main challenges? Mangoes, stone- fruit and cherries all are in full swing for export and berries and as- paragus are being imported. The challenge for us is to ensure we keep the product moving and maintain the standards of quality and temperatures so we can en- sure the product arrives at desti- nation in the best condition. It is a busy time and sometimes we can be short on team members due to this, but we move people around to ensure that where the pressure is, is where the people are. We do not believe in bringing in outside assistance as we want to ensure standards are maintained. How is 2019 shaping up for Main- freight? Do you expect continued growth? 2019 will be extremely exciting and we are ready for the chang- es. We have been advised that pre-clearance inspections will stop and as such all horticultural product will need facilities such as ours. In reality the commercial world for perishable products is getting smaller. Years ago you would not have seen cherries in Australia in June but now it is accepted and expected that citrus is all year round. There also are more pro- tocol export opportunities being worked on by Australian Quaran- tine. So yes, it is exciting times for Mainfreight and anyone involved in the perishables Industry. What is Mainfreight’s take on training and technology. Does the company make use of latest developments? Training for most of the hands- on perishable operations is done on site and we are staying ahead of the developments within the perishable industry, with current- ly 10 quarantine-licensed fumi- gation officers, four export-ap- proved quarantine offices and our warehouse team all trained on load and restraint of airlines units in our facilities throughout Australia. Mainfreight also has an extensive training program with a purpose-built training centre located in Melbourne with a team of nine trainers. We provide training in a wide range of areas to enhance our teams’ skillsets for their day to day tasks, legislation require- ments and also to develop their leadership skills. Would you recommend freight forwarding and logistics as a good career move for young people? Absolutely. Every day is differ- ent and the people I get to work with are as passionate as I am, as it is that type of business. I have worked hard but have loved every minute, although some years have been tougher than others. It is a totally different industry to the one I started in, with certainly more responsibil- ity on the forwarder, but what a fantastic opportunity for young people. The world is getting smaller in regards to food being available and everyone eats so yes, it is worth getting passion- ate about.