Australia’s largest cold chain refrigeration logistics company has gone bust, meaning about 1500 workers face an uncertain future after their employer went into receivership.
Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics, which counts supermarket giant Coles among its grocery and food and beverage clients, entered voluntary administration on Monday before KordaMentha was appointed receivers.
The business provides mobile refrigeration and temperature controlled warehousing facilities.
Scott’s was acquired by private equity film Anchorage Capital Partners in June 2020 for about $75 million, according to the Australian Financial Review.
Anchorage had initially appointed McGrathNicol as voluntary administrators, before secured creditors for Scott’s appointed KordaMentha late on Monday.
KordaMentha partner Scott Langdon said the advisory firm was seeking support from all Scott’s customers to give the business “the best chance of being sold to a new long-term owner”.
“We anticipate a high level of interest in this business and its assets, given its significance in the cold chain supply system in Australia,” he said.
The company’s collapse comes amid a period of protracted supply chain insecurity across Australia, following labour shortages driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple natural disasters, rising fuel costs and the war in Ukraine.
Inflation on the price of food alone shot up by 9.2 per cent on average during 2022.
A Coles spokesman confirmed the supermarket chain was a client of Scott’s and was working to limit the impact of the collapse on shoppers.
“We’re aware of the challenges being faced by one of our transport providers, and we are working hard to provide support and minimise the impact this might have on our customers and product suppliers,” he said.
Scott’s states on its website it has more than 500 prime movers and 1000 trailers as part of its network, and that its vehicles cover more than 500,000 kilometres daily.
Woolworths, Aldi and IGA were approached by this masthead following the collapse.
The United Workers Union, which represents supermarket supply chain workers, has been contacted for comment.
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Source: Thanks smh.com