Menlo opens $127m logistics centre for Asian wine clients

Menlo opens $127m logistics centre for Asian wine clients
The Straits Times

A unit of American logistics giant Con-way yesterday officially opened a $127 million high-tech logistics centre at Jurong - its eighth facility here.

Menlo Logistics' 5ha facility includes a warehouse and distribution centre, and will focus on servicing the firm's clients in the wine and spirits industry across Asia.

Construction of the five-storey facility began in June last year.

It also provides services "in a variety of industries for which Singapore is a growing market", the firm said in a media release.

These industries include the automotive, consumer electronics, apparel, aerospace and industrial sectors, according to Menlo president Robert Bianco Jr.

"Singapore and the regional Asia markets (are some of) our fastest growing sectors, due in large part to our strong market share and industry-specific expertise in wine and spirits distribution," he added in a statement.

Features of the new facility include secured, temperature-controlled warehousing for high-value wines and spirits, with a "drive-in" racking system to maximise storage capacity by reducing the use of floor space.

An advanced inventory management system also handles the 50,000 pallets of goods that can be stored in the warehouse, and allows the firm's clients to check on the status and movement of their goods online. The centre also offers value-added services such as customised labelling and return management. "With the resources and capabilities we now have... we can service our clients faster and more efficiently than before," said Mr Bianco.

Operations at the facility began in January this year.

More than 9,200 shipping orders for local and regional distribution and 4,500 inbound deliveries can be supported each year by the new centre.

More than 100 employees - about 60 per cent Singaporeans - are housed in the centre, joining 400 workers in the other Menlo facilities across Singapore. The new facility brings Menlo's total warehousing capacity here to about 22ha.

The five-storey facility is on a 10-year lease from locally listed real estate investment trust Mapletree Logistics Trust. The trust invested $127 million to build the centre, which has 9.3ha of floor space, a ceiling height of 12m, and vehicular ramp access on every level.

Mr Bianco said that the lease demonstrates Menlo's commitment to the Singapore market, and added the firm is "investing to grow with our customers".

In an interview yesterday, he told The Straits Times that plans are under way to build a finished vehicle distribution centre here within the next two years, and cited German auto brand BMW as a possible client.

Menlo, which came to Singapore in 2001, provides logistics, distribution and transportation management services to more than 200 Singapore businesses and multinational companies in various sectors.

The company, worth US$1.5 billion (S$1.9 billion), also operates facilities in the rest of the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America.

Its major clients here include electronics giants Philips and Bosch, and global leading wine and spirits firms such as Asia Pacific Breweries, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi.

This article was published on May 7 in The Straits Times.

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