CAT Logistics is renowned globally as one of the largest and most advanced Logistics providers. Every day, billions of tones of earth is moved by CAT equipment – and servicing the maintenance of these mechanical beasts falls with the team at CAT Logistics. CAT Logistics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc – of Periora Illinois. Little do many know, CAT Logistics not only services the CAT network of dealers globally – but also provides 3rdParty Logistics services for other automotive stalwarts such as Mercedes, Harley Davidson and many more.
In 2010, during a time of continued growth, Emrack International was invited to tender for the supply and installation of Selective Pallet Racking requirements for a new CAT Logistics facility in Somerton, VIC. The site was to be a temporary one, with a relocation planned for 2012 – although to this day, the Somerton site is still being utilised to support the critical distribution efforts of the organization.
In late 2010, Emrack was awarded the project. “Naturally, we were delighted that a company with the reputation of CAT recognised the value that we could provide them. We value all of our clients highly – and adding CAT to the list of global clients we service was reward in itself” said James Scuderi, National Sales Manager.
Being a Caterpillar parts distribution centre, the range of size and weight combinations for the items being stored in the new Somerton Facility was extensive. Ranging from huge radiator fans, to filters and other large, bulky parts (such as windscreens, buckets and motor heads for the CAT earth moving equipment), the detail required throughout the planning process was instrumental in ensuring this site was fully workable and safe for the Somerton team members.
The team at CAT knew exactly what they required. With a team of dedicated Data Analysts and Planners travelling from around the world – and converging in Melbourne, the planning process was highly co-ordinated. The Somerton site has been optimised to require only 12 staff on the floor at any one time. The specifically designed racking layout – combined with the SKU’s allocated, allows for the material handling equipment and racking to perform at its peak at all times, keeping staffing costs to a minimum.
To ensure the maximum amount of storage space was created, the Emrack engineering and drafting teams worked closely with Caterpillar to clearly understand any restrictions, sizes and details of products – and their allocation within different areas of the new facility. Due to the high number of SKU’s – and the bulky nature of the items being stored, beam heights and clearances were particularly important to ensure products were easily accessible and fully faced up in the allocated space, leaving very little wasted space between each storage level.
The overall project was fairly basic in respect of its complexity, being purely Selective Pallet Racking – although volume of material was considerable. Storing the product on custom-designed Mesh Decking eliminated the need for using pallets. This is a model used by CAT globally – and allows universal storage of the typical CAT skid, pallet or crate throughout the entire facility. This move in itself reduces cost for the site with not having hire pallet fees or pallets that will age and deteriorate over time.
The Somerton location in Victoria had the 29,000 sqm of racking and over 11,000 mesh decks installed in a matter of three weeks using the Emrack Installation Team. The twenty container loads carrying 274 tons of steel was delivered to site in November 2010. “The installation was completed on time by the team at Emrack, both the installation team and the Account Manager were always professional, punctual and cooperative with us” Vinesh Swamy, Distribution Services Supervisor at Caterpillar Somerton says. The site employed a basic ‘Back-to-Back’ configuration – with some areas requiring a custom extra deep configuration – with continuous Mesh Decking the entire depth. The Custom ‘extra deep’ configuration was required to store giant radiator fans – with an overall size of approx. 6.5 x 6.5ft!!! A total of 7,500 pallet spaces was achieved in a dedicated area of the 29,000 sqm site.
CAT Logistics demanded quick turnaround for this temporary site set up, with the planning stage, manufacturing, delivery and installation complete in just eight weeks! With head office being located in Sunshine, Melbourne – only a few kilometres from the new site, CAT was able to leverage off the globally competitive manufacturing base of Emrack – while benefitting from the support and compliance provided by a local supplier. As with all projects, large and small - Emrack dedicated a professional Account Manager to the project, available to CAT Logistics at any time throughout the life of the project and beyond. On this occasion, this meant that CAT benefited from personalized service and quick development and planning, including a full set of technical drawings, whilst taking advantage of the reduced prices for the product sourced from the international GETC that backs Emrack International on every project.
The decision by CAT to elect Emrack as the supplier for this project was a logical one “Caterpillar Logistics makes its decisions on suppliers based on lead times, price and also the standard that is shown to us at quoting stage” Graeme Hutchinson (a 25 Year company veteran) from Caterpillar says“Emrack International had the best appraisal for the project”. "Graeme was involved with the project from day one – and his 25 years of experience in the CAT organization – combined with his ‘on the ground’ experience - meant that the finer detail was always considered carefully during the planning stages. Graeme and his team were instrumental in the development of the project, and myself and the team at Emrack certainly learnt a lot from him” states Sunil Lalwani.
The Somerton site has a proven storage system that is working well for the site Emrack International supplied “racking right for our product”, “.........there is no reason why Caterpillar Logistics would not use Emrack International again” Graeme Hutchinson, Caterpillar Logistics. As CAT Logistics continues to expand at a furious pace throughout Australia, Asia-Pacific and globally – the team at Emrack looks forward to working with this valued client again - delivering world-class facilities at unmatched value.
To find out more about CAT Logistics visit the website http://www.cat.com/