From humble beginnings, starting out from Peter Cochrane’s backyard nearly 50 years ago, express transport and logistics company Cochrane’s Transport has now moved into its new $20 million depot in Gillman, SA.
Peter started the business back in 1974, with just two trucks and a contract to deliver Women’s Weekly.
Fast forward to 2021 and the business has set new parcel and pallet delivery records within days of moving into the new purpose-built 37,000sqm facility. Cochrane’s now employs approximately 250 staff across its South Australian operations, with depots in Gillman, Whyalla and Port Augusta.
The new Gillman depot has also delivered significant fuel cost savings and reduced handling and haulage times, while providing better access to key metropolitan and regional routes and growing industries.
“Just days after relocating we had set new records for the number of parcels and pallets of freight that we delivered,” said Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer Martin Robb.
Buoyed by a surge in online shopping at Christmas and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Robb will help steer the company through what’s expected to be period of strong growth.
“The business has gone from strength to strength, necessitating the relocation to a more advanced, fit for purpose depot,” Robb said.
“While plans for the new depot were already underway, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a spike in the delivery of packages to people who have turned to online purchasing to meet their shopping needs at home, which continued throughout the Christmas period.
“Our next day express freight, to virtually all of South Australia, has and continues to be a service in high demand.”
Robb added that new depot includes a semi-automated parcel sorting line to reduce handling times, so parcels arrive at their destination sooner.
“We also provide a daily parcel delivery service to regional South Australia, more than any other operator, and this service needs to be as streamlined as possible,” said Robb.
“Following our relocation, there are now only two sets of traffic lights between our new Gillman depot and the regional town of Port Augusta.”
Robb said he is optimistic that South Australia’s economy has a bright future, saying the relocation moves Cochrane’s closer to the growth industries.
“Relocating to Gillman will help Cochrane’s to leverage access to the port and the defence precinct which will undergo significant growth in the coming years,” he said.
“Our largest volume customers are now based predominantly in the northern suburbs, so it was important that our location enabled us to service them as efficiently as possible.
“The new Gillman depot, and location, with significantly more capacity provides room for growth and expansion.”
Cochrane’s new Gillman depot provides 30 percent more storage capacity and improved workflows, providing opportunities for revenue growth through Cochrane’s warehousing services.
Other features of the new Gillman depot include a drive-through truck wash, onsite mechanical workshop for maintenance and repairs, onsite gas and diesel fuel supply, axle weigh bridge and adjustable loading dock.
The new depot was constructed by local South Australian company, Woolcock Constructions.