Robot-racked coolstores help DMS grow
DMS is preparing for its biggest kiwifruit season yet, after building six of the Bay’s largest and most advanced coolstores. The threepallet high robot-racked coolstores, completed this season, use cutting edge technology to maximise fruit pallet handling
Two new Dexion 1,750 highcube pallet capacity coolstores at their Te Puna site – in addition to four 1,400 pallet high cube capacity stores at Pukepack – has helped the Western Bay of Plenty kiwifruit management company ready itself for further growth.
The innovative pallet handling technology effectively minimises the pallet movement within each coolstore row by allowing a shuttle dolly to position under each pallet and retrieve the pallet from the racking remotely. This avoids multiple pallet movement with a traditional forklift to retrieve back row pallets. Less forklifts operating within the coolstore also provides a safer working environment for DMS staff.
The increased capacity is vital for DMS, who have grown 85% since 2014. After a record 2016/17 season which saw net profit, before tax and distributions of $9.7 million, up from $6.95 million the previous year – the company is now focused on managed growth and investment in infrastructure as they look to the future.
Director Craig Greenlees says that a fast growing industry is an opportunity but also has risks, and success is not guaranteed. He points to the recently publicised fortune turnaround of Fletcher Building as an important warning of the dangers facing growth industries, including kiwifruit.
The new coolstores are part of a $23.7m infrastructure investment across its Te Puna and Te Puke sites during 2016/17, including two further coolstores and canopies to be completed at Te Puna in time for the 2018 season.