Western Australian company CTI Logistics is a classic example of how performance and reputation builds business relationships. CTI Logistics Limited has provided transport, logistics and security services to the Perth marketplace since 1974 and employs over 600 Western Australians. The company offers a total supply chain solution, covering general, bulk and temperature controlled warehousing with flexible distribution options. Its rapidly expanding Minerals and Energy Logistics division offers supply base support including receiving of goods, storage, packing of containers, plant and equipment shrink wrapping and transport. CTI’s transport fleet numbers more than 670 vehicles and its predominantly company-owned warehousing facilities in West Perth, Malaga, Welshpool, Bibra Lake, Bassendean and Hazelmere have more than 120 pieces of Linde material handling equipment.

The relationship with Linde spans more than a decade and has seen major changes in both organisations.

“Back in 2003 we sold our eastern seaboard operations so that we could focus exclusively on WA and develop the best range of logistics services possible,” Neil Raspa, general manager of CTI’s warehousing operations said. “Initially we focussed on general warehousing activities, but we also started to perform contract warehousing for companies such as Target and Mitre 10. That’s when we moved away from two other suppliers for the smaller forklifts we were using and started to bring Linde forklifts into the business because we found them to be a better product – safe, robust and reliable. The purchase price may have been a little more, but what attracted us was the quality and safety of the equipment. Linde equipment has shown itself to be better performing over a longer period.” CTI Logistics also found that the Linde brand’s reputation also ensured that equipment held its value. That was important because the company as a general rule has purchased its mainstay material handling equipment outright rather than opting for lease or rental.

In 2009 the company became involved in the Gorgon natural gas development, the largest single resource project in Australia’s history. The Gorgon Project is being constructed on Barrow Island, a Class A Nature Reserve located 60 kilometres off the northwest coast of Western Australia and recognised internationally as a location where industry and the environment successfully co-exist. “The Gorgon opportunity was the start of our Minerals and Energy Logistics division,” Neil Raspa said. “At the height of our involvement last year we had seven operational sites and in excess of 250 people dedicated to the project. Barrow Island effectively represents what Australia was like 8,000 years ago and there are 340 quarantine provisions to ensure that no non-indigenous species are introduced. “Since we were first approached to wrap some items bound for Barrow Island we have moved numerous items up there, including everything from cranes to bulldozers.”

The wrapping work exposed CTI Logistics to major contractors such as Thiess, Leighton, CBI Constructors, John Holland, Laing O’Rourke and Kentz. As a result of this exposure CTI was approached to provide additional services. The range of services today has expanded to include supply base logistics, materials handling and procurement and transport services. While the company’s Minerals and Energy Logistics division has enjoyed this growth, CTI remains focused on its core transport and distribution businesses. “From an equipment point of view there has also been growth,” Neil Raspa said. “As an example the Linde C4531/5 Diesel 45T container stacker we just put on is our fifth container handler, whereas we only had one in 2009. We’ve won more transport contracts, increased our warehousing footprint and grown our parcel distribution business which today can handle up to 12,000 parcels a day.” Along the way the relationship with Linde has grown and strengthened.

“We’ve found that Linde as a supplier is always ready to bring new concepts to the table and to show flexibility,” Neil said. “We work very closely with Linde and their guys are always coming on site, performing audits and making recommendations as to the mix of equipment we need. They also monitor the utilisation of key pieces of equipment and through that analysis we can then decide on when is the right time to convert a hire into a purchase. Lately we’ve started to take some Linde equipment on leases, particularly where it will be used on short-term contract work. We have a very strong plant hire relationship going with Linde and we hire specifically for projects such as the Chrisco hamper activity every year, which requires up to a dozen forklifts for a four month period. Linde always ensure we have the forks we need, when we need them. The smallest piece of Linde equipment we have would be a manual pallet jack and then we step up through the Linde range to electric pallet jacks and on through counterbalance forks from 1.8 tonne to 16 tonne capacity. Our battery electric Linde equipment ranges from 1.6 tonne forklifts to double deep electric forklifts and high reach trucks.”

“We believe in the one-stop shop concept and Linde is delivering that for us. We work very closely with them and they have an ongoing reporting system in place so that they can automatically attend to servicing. We’re just going through a process at the moment where our procurement manager is looking at the merits of Linde’s FleetFOCUS fleet management program and we are gearing up to run a trial. That’s another example of our evolving relationship with Linde. Linde have a strong commitment to us and we are very happy with the relationship. Their service standards and their response times are excellent, especially if we have any breakdown issues with the equipment. Supply of equipment when we need it is crucial in the industries we service. Often you’ll only get a day or two’s notice before you have to get a site up and running. Linde have been very good to work with us to provide equipment out of stock or else to provide equipment from their rental pool until stock is available to purchase. We’ve never found ourselves unable to engage in a contract or to carry out work due to lack of material handling equipment. With Linde that has never been an issue.”

For more information on how Linde can help your business, contact Linde Material Handling today.