F1 Logistics – on the road to success

Damien Matthews is the sole owner of both GTS and F1. “F1 is an independent business that does not carry the overhead GTS has to shoulder,” he says. “Serving only GTS, the new transport business is based on a lean cost model which allows us to isolate and comprehend the operation of running a pure linehaul business.

“F1 will enable the GTS Group to keep growing and thereby compliment the solid business that GTS has developed since 1980.”

Unlike the typical start-up, F1 does not have to start off from scratch, but can draw on GTS’ tried and true fleet, management, and infrastructure. It will be operated from the GTS head office in Mildura and operationally controlled by the parent company.

“The GTS premises were designed to accommodate the ever changing face of GTS and the continually growing fleet,” says Damien. “That’s why we are well prepared to welcome a new brand in the GTS family.
“For example, F1 will be able to outsource many of the operational aspects of its business – such as maintenance, fuelling, washing, scheduling, driver management and training – to GTS,” he explains. “And our workshop is just one of the components that make this state-of-the-art facility truly innovative. So why not use apparent synergies?”

According to Damien, the GTS workshop was custom designed from scratch with much thought and consideration put into achieving optimal productivity. “It sets the benchmark in every possible way, being OH&S compliant, environmentally efficient, functional and boasting a sizeable capacity.” The design of the workshop – in particular the elevating work platforms used – has seen GTS win the 2007 Work Safe Victoria Award for the best designed workplace and the Blake Dawson Inside OHS Award 2008. “All those awards prove GTS already has the best infrastructure available, so we decided to leave this expertise with GTS. The advantage of such a structure is that F1 only pays for the actual usage of GTS’ infrastructure, without the need to maintain it. This strategy will ensure that the business can grow and prosper at a controlled rate.”

Although it shares GTS’ ongoing commitment to improve operational efficiency, product quality in transit and OH&S standards, F1 takes pride in creating an independent identity. “F1 has a stunning new, fresh colour scheme and logo that will set it apart in the industry,” says Damien. “In fact, the dynamic purple graphics on a black background indicate our ongoing spirit of optimism.”

According to Damien, F1 will offer a road line haul service that concentrates on high-utilisation routes and contracts. “At the moment, our fleet averages approximately 2.2 million kilometres per month,” he explains. “But with F1, that figure won’t last long.”

To cater for such growth, the Group just added ten new, F1-branded prime movers and a range of specialised B-double combinations to the existing fleet. “The combined fleet consists of 125 B-double prime movers and 180 B-double sets,” says Damien. Banking on GTS’ experience in the field, the new F1 equipment will be standardised regarding both size and capacity. “Just as GTS, F1 will offer 36 pallet space across the board to cart both glass bottles and palletized finished goods for the wine, beverage and grocery industry as well as inputs and products that support these,” Damien explains.

“On the truck side, we decided to go completely Kenworth. To start with, we purchased three T909 and seven K200. They are all equipped with automatic transmissions and boast some 600hp and 2050ftp. But that’s just the beginning. We want to keep expanding next year.”

When making an investment like that, one factor can make all the difference, says Damien. “Reliability. That’s why we bank on Kenworth. They are built for Australian conditions and offer a good resale value, which weighed heavily in our thinking.”

After all, the selection of vehicles and equipment plays an important role in running a business efficiently and profitably – and this applies to trailers also. To be a part of the GTS and F1 fleet, a trailer has to provide efficiency, high quality, value for money, and a task-oriented design, Damien explains.

As a result, F1 will boast one of the most advanced fleets in the country, which is just another sign that it is pursuing an ambitious goal. “If you are not growing then you are going backwards. That’s why we expect an annual double digit growth over the next few years,” says Damien, revealing that progress sometimes means finding new ways to generate business – such as opening a new, lean, and cost-effective business. But there is more to F1 than just economical streamlining. “GTS was always at the forefront of environmental awareness,” says Damien. “F1 will continue the tradition and maintain a close relationship with the Environment Protection Authority Victoria. We constantly analyse all vehicle fluids, for instance, to assist assessment and decision-making regarding service intervals, usability of used fluids and early detection of issues.”

In addition, F1 will carry over GTS’ integrated service and maintenance scheduling along with accurate fuel consumption data (by vehicle) to identify faults and allow for timely rectification.

To ensure an industry-leading sustainability record, “All new prime movers incorporate Euro 5 emission levels, thus making them the newest in technology and the latest in emission reductions,” Damien adds.

“We are always seeking opportunities to grow our customer base within our business model, and continue to keep an open mind on future directions and opportunities,” adds Damien. “At the moment, though, we focus our energy on the F1 project.”

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend