Boxing clever with card­board em­pire

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - GLEN NOR­RIS

JA­PANESE pa­per gi­ant Oji is plan­ning a national ex­pan­sion after open­ing a $72 mil­lion state-of-the-art cor­ru­gated card­board fac­tory in Yatala.

Oji is tak­ing on mar­ket lead­ers Visy and Orora for a big­ger share of the $2 bil­lion cor­ru­gated card­board pack­ag­ing mar­ket in Aus­tralia after ac­quir­ing the Carter Holt Har­vey pa­per busi­ness in 2014.

Oji’s new Yatala fac­tory will aug­ment its ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Mel­bourne and Syd­ney, with a fully au­to­mated pro­duc­tion line that can spit out a kilo­me­tre of card­board ev­ery three min­utes.

Oji Fi­bre So­lu­tions national sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Philip Nut­tall said the com­pany planned to tar­get cus­tomers in Queens­land’s hor­ti­cul­ture and meat in­dus­tries, which were ben­e­fit­ing from strong ex­port de­mand.

Mr Nut­tall said a “box is not just a box”, with Oji em­ploy­ing de­sign­ers to en­sure its car­tons – that carry ev­ery­thing from man­goes to wagyu steaks – were up to the task. The com­pany had patented some of its man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses.

“When stacked on top of each other, these boxes have to sup­port the weight of hundreds of kilo­grams so it is im­por­tant they can do the job,” he said.

Mr Nut­tall said the 25,000sq m Yatala fac­tory em­ployed 70 peo­ple, with room to hire more as the com­pany ob­tained larger clients.

Oji was the first com­pany un­der the State Gov­ern­ment’s new In­dus­try At­trac­tion Pro­gram to lo­cate in Queens­land.

Queens­land is a good lo­ca­tion for Oji be­cause it is al­ready the dom­i­nant cor­ru­gated card­board con­tainer mar­ket in Aus­tralia for fruit, veg­eta­bles and meat.

Oji is the fifth-largest pulp and pa­per com­pany in the world, with 158 sub­sidiaries lo­cated in 17 coun­tries.

“We are the new kid on the block in Aus­tralia but we are part of a big group that is on a growth tra­jec­tory,” said Mr Nut­tall. “If we get this right, the idea is to repli­cate (fac­to­ries like Yatala) around the coun­try.”

Mr Nut­tall said the fac­tory used vir­gin card­board rather than re­cy­cled ma­te­rial to man­u­fac­ture its car­tons. Card­board sourced from Oji’s New Zealand plan­ta­tions and pa­per fac­to­ries is fed into rolling and cor­ru­gat­ing ma­chines once it ar­rives at Yatala.

Oji will open dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres in re­gional Queens­land to ser­vice cus­tomers in­clud­ing farm­ers and other food pro­duc­ers.

Pic­ture: MARK CRANITCH

Oji Fi­bre So­lu­tions national sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager Philip Nut­tall at the $72 mil­lion state-of-the-art box fac­tory at Yatala.

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