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Coles and Linfox: growing our partnership for more than 60 years

Think Customer

It’s a partnership that started more than 60 years ago and keeps growing, with Linfox awarded the management of Coles’ secondary transport services out of four distribution centres (DCs) in Victoria and two in Queensland, including the new automated DC (ADC) in Redbank.


Linfox Founder, Lindsay Fox AC along with CEO Linfox Australia and New Zealand, Mark Mazurek and Linfox President Retail, Simon Livingstone, took time to personally visit the Victorian team at Coles Truganina, as they celebrated the successful go live of the secondary transport operations across the four Victorian sites. NSW team members also visited to support the transition.

“The Linfox and Coles partnership continues to grow stronger,” said Linfox General Manager Coles, Tim Trewin.

“Linfox has invested significantly in fleet, security, people and infrastructure. With an additional 80 prime movers, almost 350 trailers and more than 500 team members, we are well-equipped to uphold our high level of service and safety for Coles,” he said.

Following the successful go live in Victoria, Linfox is excited to begin secondary transport operations in Queensland. 

Linfox’s new fleet of temperature-controlled trailers preserves the freshness of Coles grocery items throughout the journey from DCs to stores.

Linfox has supported Coles’ growth from almost the beginning, with a decades-long supply chain partnership which began in the 1960s, around the time Coles opened Australia’s first freestanding supermarket, equipped with an adjacent car park.

Through local and global challenges, the partnership has thrived alongside the growth of Coles, which is now one of Australia’s leading retailers with an extensive national footprint of around 1,800 supermarket and liquor stores.

In addition to this new work, Linfox has a well-established partnership to manage Coles’ secondary transport in New South Wales as well as Coles’ ambient DC network in Victoria, along with extensive interstate intermodal transportation.

“As of July this year, Linfox will manage secondary freight across the east coast of Australia streamlining operations and increasing efficiencies across the network,” said Linfox President Retail, Simon Livingstone.

“Our NSW transport work has also recently been extended, which is a testament to our strong safety record, service levels and performance.

“Coles also continues to entrust Linfox with the management of Coles’ Truganina Regional DC and Somerton National DC in Victoria. These significant ambient operations jointly employ more than 1,500 people, who manage approximately 18,000 stock keeping units.

“The strength of our relationship is built on our commitment to supporting Coles in meeting its customers’ expectations of value, quality, convenience, and great service,” said Simon.

Moving more stock from road to rail continues to be a priority for Linfox and Coles, as the two companies seek to reduce emissions from carbon-based fuel.


Unlocking the network benefits of intermodal transport

Moving more stock from road to rail continues to be a priority for Linfox and Coles, as the two companies seek to reduce emissions from carbon-based fuel.

Linfox provides primary and interstate freight transport for Coles Collect right across Australia. This work, which has recently been renewed, combines rail and road services to ensure freight is efficiently transported from Victoria to distribution centres nationwide.

Coles Collect is the single largest transport provider into the Coles DC network and one of Linfox’s valued customers.

Linfox has invested heavily in new temperature-controlled and ambient trailer containers, designed to manage a diverse range of customer freight, to safely and efficiently transport essential food, groceries and other consumer goods.

“Rail-based intermodal freight systems are three times more fuel efficient than road transport, resulting in substantial decreases in greenhouse gas emissions,” Linfox President Intermodal, Cameron Trewin.

“Linfox’s new national agreement with Pacific National will unlock ongoing benefits for customers seeking to take advantage of rail transport and deliver on their emissions reduction targets.

“Linfox customers, including Coles, will benefit from Pacific National’s scale, coupled with Linfox’s strategic property locations, offering more service options, greater reliability and greater reach than any other rail provider in Australia.

“Our cold chain offering, which constitutes around 40 per cent of all Linfox rail movements, is now the number one temperature-controlled containerised freight service in Australia.” 

Shared commitment to supply chain resilience

The last five years has tested the resilience of Australian supply chains. Notably the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent impact on operations and staffing, as well as the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events such as droughts, cyclones, fires and floods. 

“Linfox is dedicated to supporting Coles and our other customers with a strong, resilient supply chain,” said Cameron.

“We take pride in our ability to adapt to disruptions, ensuring efficient and sustainable operations that meet customer expectations and support essential business functions.

“In recent years, Western Australia has experienced several devastating floods and cyclones, which have impacted key transport routes vital for the safe delivery of essential goods. In response, Linfox worked closely with customers and authorities to identify alternative routes and transport options, including triple road trains into Western Australia to keep communities supplied,” he said.

Linfox’s intermodal capabilities continue to provide Coles with safe, secure, efficient, sustainable logistics services.

Linfox and Coles: Since 1963

“Since 1963, Coles has been judging Linfox by its actions. We’ve grown together and shared in each other’s success. In 1963 Dave Gibbins and Jack Pender agreed to put one of our trucks into Coles on a three-month trial. Without Dave and Jack’s support we wouldn’t be where we are today. By 1965, we were transporting everything for Coles in Victoria and in 1973, we built a warehouse for them, which was the beginning of our supply chain solutions. Jack and Dave were gentlemen. Tough but fair, respectful and honourable. 

Since then we’ve continued to be a trusted supplier for Coles.”

Lindsay Fox AC
Linfox Founder

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