Centurion was established in 1971 by brothers Frank and Carl Cardaci to service the remote mining communities of the vast and resources-rich Australian state of Western Australia. From a single truck, the brothers’ vision has grown into a large family-owned corporation, the CFC Group, and Centurion now offers a range of specialized transport services utilizing a modern fleet of over 650 vehicles operating from strategically-located local depots. Today, Centurion has a proven track record for fast, reliable service to often distant and rugged locations.
“Our commitment is to provide customers with the best business solutions for their transport needs, whether it is overseas, interstate or intrastate,” says Executive Marketing Director Andrew Ford. “We have branches strategically located throughout Western Australia and have formed alliances with national and international transport companies to enable us to deliver just about anything according to our customers’ needs in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”
Centurion offers a comprehensive range of transport services including general freight, refrigerated goods, over-dimensional transport, mining distribution, warehousing and off-site receipting, retail distribution, logistical support and time-critical services. In and around Perth, the capital of Western Australia, Centurion also offers Centurion Local Express, handling urgent freight, courier, parcel pick-up, taxi truck and fleet management services.
With a commerce degree and solid experience in the transport industry with the Bell Group then Wesfarmers transport division, Ford joined Centurion in 2002 and is currently completing an MBA degree through Curtin University in Perth.
“Recently, we’ve got to a fairly mature market stage as a general carrier,” says Ford. “Now we’re looking to value add and expand into related but new areas. In 2009, we transformed our warehouse and distribution standards with the establishment of a new $AU40 million terminal on eight hectares in Perth and new systems, delivering increased efficiencies and inventory management for customers. Our ‘track and trace’ system provides 100 percent traceability, stocktake support and real-time management enhanced by intuitive logic.
“An in-house IT team works with customers to ensure the most effective integration of business to business technologies. For instance, many mining companies we deal with use the SAP software system. We compare each item then produce an acquittal so they don’t have to check, say, 400 items on delivery. Electronic order interfaces, radio frequency scanning and full slot inventory management systems, combined with the use of better storage materials and containers and our LEAN business improvement culture, ensure greater care, more efficient monitoring and practical stocktake clarity. We are sizeable enough to provide continuity but are still able to tailor solutions to the client.
“Western Australia is a vast area with a small population so we need to be able to provide everything from delivering a cake to huge engines. We have to be everything to everybody and ensure our road trains are full so we’ve had to develop systems and processes that cater for the corner store and the mining giants such as Rio Tinto. We travel more than 25 million kilometres annually to deliver to all parts of Western Australia, using a fleet of triple road trains, refrigerated trailers, trucks and courier cars.
“No other service provider in the region has our network or capability to transport, warehouse and distribute all forms of goods throughout the state. Our ‘track and trace’ technology represents peak inventory control, with substantial benefits for our customers. We provide secure, real time, detailed and transparent management of goods – from individual items as small and vulnerable as an ice cream cake to electrical and whitegoods and massive Haulpaks used in the resources industry.”
Centurion also operates two industry-leading warehouse and distribution facilities in the growing logistics hub around Perth’s international airport.
“Our Abernethy Road headquarters contains complete freezer, chiller and ambient storage facilities set across eight hectares of land,” explains Ford, “while our Hudswell Road Complex is a 9,000 square meter ambient warehouse. Both complexes are embedded with the modern inventory management technology and equipped with specialist machinery capable of handling loads of up to 32 tonnes.”
CERTIFIED & SAFE
Centurion is accredited to ISO 9001 for quality management standards, and holds specific authorizations benchmarking individual services provided across their full range of operations.
“Safety is our top priority,” says Ford, “and Centurion’s performance reflects the importance we attach to the care and well-being of our staff and customers. Worksafe WA statistics show Centurion has significantly less lost time injuries than the industry average. We are now on the point of having on-site personnel on mine sites who are fully au fait with the safety aspects on-site.
“Another priority is environmentally safe practices within our transport and warehousing operations, particularly in energy usage. Our company goal is to achieve carbon emission reductions greater than mandated targets.”
CHALLENGES MOVING FORWARD
The resources boom in the northwest of Western Australia is producing ongoing opportunities and challenges for Centurion.
“We are currently operating project fleet throughout the north west distributing tens of thousands of concrete railway sleepers and discharging vessels at Dampier and Port Hedland, delivering rail and projects-specific cargo in support of the region’s continued growth,” says Ford. “We’ve also taken on the storage and inventory control for all of Rio Tinto’s Haulpak tyres. The tyres are valued up to $30,000 each. We use our scanning and bar coding systems to ensure their timely delivery on site and Rio Tinto are extremely happy as there are large amounts of money at stake if they don’t get it right. We are also developing systems for catering for the offshore oil and gas industry – from supplier to supply base, to the supply vessel then to the offshore worksite.”
“If our clients require something moved from anywhere to anywhere,” says Ford, “we can arrange it. As a Lead Logistic Provider we have created alliances to complement our own fleet allowing us to utilize best of breed out of various areas.” This creates a national network to provide a true “end to end” solution across multiple modes with track and trace visibility.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
COMPANY: Centurion Transport Pty Ltd
EXECUTIVE GENERAL MANAGER: Mark Doig
REVENUE: $AU130 million