60 | “Container availability is severely compromised and, on top of that, a severe hailstorm at the top of the South Island late last year really knocked back the region’s horticultural industry so we have seen a massive change in expected storage needs in that area.” COOL STORE INDUSTRY Cold Storage Nelson Adapting to complex market needs T T Kim Newth A focus on diversity and geographical strength has enabled CSN to face supply challenges and adapt to primary producers’ changing needs. A member of the Horizon Energy Group www.coollogic.co.nz 021 227 6878 0800 772 077 Proud to support and work with Cold Storage Nelson. For all your Industrial Refrigeration and Automation Solutions. T his past year has created some unique challenges for cold store providers such as Cold Storage Nelson (CSN), which works with New Zealand food producers to store their goods and get them safely to port or wherever else they need to go. A focus on diversity and geographical strength has enabled CSN to face the challeng- es and adapt to primary producers’ changing needs. “We have a number of factors in play that are difficult for us as well as our customers,” explains CSN CEO Richard Aitken. “Container availability is severely compromised and, on top of that, a severe hailstorm at the top of the South Island late last year really knocked back the region’s horticultural industry so we have seen a massive change in expected storage needs in that area.” Fortunately, CSN is strategically well-posi- tioned throughout New Zealand with facilities in Nelson, Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Christchurch. As well, CSN has a diverse cli- entele across a range of industries, including dairy, meat, fish and horticultural producers. “It means if an adverse event - or natural disaster - affects one area, then the other branches can help spread the impact and, from a client’s perspective that builds confi - dence as we can offer stability and reliable continuity of service.” Staff in one area can also be moved within the business to take up training and oppor- tunities elsewhere, providing pathways for growth and development. Richard and his team are well aware of the issues affecting some clients, who are struggling to get product to offshore markets because of constraints on container space and shipping. “We really feel for producers in this situa- tion. One of our large customers, for example, has enough orders to fill 100-plus containers and yet there are very few available to them. It’s a real pinch point. “Sometimes we are told to fill a certain number of containers only to find the number available has halved so we then need to put product back in the shed.” Typically, the company will receive product direct from a producer – for example, from the freezing works – to be stored, loaded in a container and then delivered to port. “We do very little in the domestic space – we’re very much export oriented.” CSN delivers freezer and chilled storage services, as well as blast freezing - for exam - ple, for fresh boysenberries. Once frozen, berries are transferred to bulk bins for further processing elsewhere. The processed fruit is then returned to CSN for distribution to the international supply chain. Services are constantly being reviewed to best meet market and customer require- ments. CSN has recently retrofitted a large store in Tauranga and is also planning to build on a new site in Mount Maunganui. CSN has its own in-house inventory management and tracking systems, so customers can check where products are at any time. “We’re looking to expand our national business – we want to grow further and critical to that is, ‘knowing your customer’. We will continue to align ourselves with where they want to go.” CSN employs a full-time staff of 108 people. As Richard observes, that’s 108 families to consider. CSN is strongly committed to build- ing better health, safety and well-being in the workplace and beyond.