Last year United was successful in winning a major contract with nation-wide logistics company Bluestar Global Logistics, thanks to exceptional customer service, safety and problem solving ingenuity. Bluestar Global Logistics is a leader in logistics offering a one-stop shop for logistics services, including national door to door deliveries, international freight forwarding and 3PL warehousing.
The successful contract involved the supply of over 60 units of CAT forklifts and reach trucks to Bluestar’s depot’s nationally, with the last of these units having recently been delivered. The forklift equipment included a combination of heavy duty and high performance CAT 2.5t LPG forklifts and CAT 3.0t LPG forklifts that are equipped with a high powered and electronically controlled K21E LPG engine, which provides greater power and lift speeds than other equivalent models. Other equipment included CAT 1.6t electric reach trucks that combine state-of-the-art engineering, modern style design and an extensive range of innovative features which provide high efficiency, outstanding ergonomics and low maintenance needs in the most demanding warehouse environments.
“In a competitive tender, United were the standout company, because their service truly went above and beyond,” said Mr Peter James, Asset & Compliance Manager, Bluestar Global Logistics.
Before submitting the finalised tender, Mark Pemberton, National Major Accounts Manager, and the team visited each of Bluestar’s national offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to assess areas where United could provide cost-saving solutions that optimised efficiency and productivity. From the site visits the team identified two major problem areas where United could provide innovative solutions.
“We discovered that the hosing and hydraulic cylinders in their old fleet were left too exposed, and they were having to replace them frequently due to damage. Our CAT forklifts have been fitted with a low-profile hose which is positioned further back, along with a custom designed and manufactured cylinder protector. Both features reduce damage to these otherwise vulnerable parts and enhance the overall safety of the machines, ultimately reducing the cost of life to our customer” says Mr Pemberton.
“The other wear issue we identified was that the heel of the forklift tynes was wearing out over time, and once it’s worn past a certain point, the forklift is no longer standards or safety compliant. We added a lift cylinder spacer, which means that when the front of the tynes are touching the floor, the back is still slightly elevated. In addition to stopping wear from hitting the ground, it stops the heel scraping along the ground if the forklift moves with its tynes down,” he said.
Bluestar’s Peter James was particularly impressed that United didn’t just set out to fill the tender requirements, but sought to exceed them with our industry expertise to identify areas where we could bring a genuine benefit to Bluestar’s operations.
“We understand that additional features or services are going to cost us money – as they should. But when you’re paying one or two hundred extra up front for a feature that means you’re not buying a $900 replacement part every few months – the cost savings really add up,” said Mr James.
“Forklifts are the lifeblood of our business,” says Mr James. “Our customers expect quick delivery times, and their customers expect quick delivery times, so there’s a significant flow-on effect if we have any issues with our forklifts.”
The CAT forklifts included features specific to Bluestar’s requirements, which included speed-limiters on all forklifts set to Bluestar’s site requirements, as well as an electric on-board pin-code access system to prevent unauthorised use of the forklifts. Each of the LPG forklifts also included a swing-down LPG bracket for the gas bottle. This ensures that the operators never have to lift the bottle during replacement, which would cause excess operator fatigue.
“The United team are a good cultural fit for us. I pick up the phone and things happen. Over the busy Christmas period one of our off-site warehouses was expecting a higher delivery volume and I needed to transfer a forklift there. I called the local United facility in Altona and the team made arrangements and had one transferred there later that same day. You just can’t beat quality service like that,” said Mr James.
“Another major advantage to us is that United is a national business, but they give us localised reporting, including cost-of-life reporting and KPI monitoring. If a forklift needs repair or a delivery is going to take a week, they give us immediate feedback and help us make other arrangements where necessary,” he said.