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Possible food supply delays after major trucking company collapses



Shoppers may feel the pinch in the refrigerated section of supermarkets after a major trucking company freight giant collapsed causing possible food supply delays.

Scott's Refrigerated Logistics entered voluntary administration last Monday, leaving 1500 employees in the lurch.

Scott's is a massive freight business for Australian supermarkets moving on average 8000 pallets daily to major grocery retailers, independent supermarkets, food manufacturers and exporters.

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But insolvency firm KordaMentha has warned there will be supply disruptions for the company's contracted supermarkets including Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.

Coles told the retailer is working quickly to move deliveries to other transport providers amid the collapse of their contractor.

"Our focus remains on continued availability of refrigerated products in stores and online for customers," the spokesperson said.

"We are working quickly to transition to our other transport partners and are closely monitoring deliveries across our supply chain.

"We are working hard to minimise disruption for customers and our farmers and suppliers as deliveries ramp up."

It is a similar story with Woolworths as the company works with the suppliers who used Scott's Refrigerated Logistics to deliver to distribution centres.

"We realise that Friday was a difficult day for Scott's and its employees," a Woolworths spokesperson said.

"We're working closely with our impacted suppliers to maintain continued products to our distribution centres."

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Aldi expressed its sympathies to Scott's as the freight industry is hit by residual COVID-19 pandemic impacts, diesel shortages and soaring fuel prices.

"The supermarket supply chains rely on many interdependent partnerships, following the challenges presented this week from Scott's Refrigerator Logistics, we have worked with our existing logistics partners to ensure the 3 per cent of Scott's business managed for ALDI now transitions to other logistics partners," an Aldi spokesperson said.

"As we transition the volume, we will work to minimise any impact to ALDI customers with regard to product availability, and to ensure continuity of product collection from our valued supplier partners."

Earlier KordaMentha's Scott Langdon anticipated there would be a great deal of interest in snapping up the business.

"We anticipate a high level of interest in this business and its assets, given its significance in the cold chain supply system in Australia," Langdon said.

"Right now we are seeking support from all customers to give the business the best chance of being sold to a new long-term owner."

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However this didn't come to fruition as the firm approached interested parties about the sale of Scott's but was unsuccessful in securing any bids on Friday, KordaMentha said.

The collapse of the freight giant comes as the industry faces heavy pressures, particularly with fuel costs.

According to the Transport Workers Union, almost 200 companies in the transport industry became insolvent in 2022 alone.

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