A mainstay in Australia’s freight and logistics industry, the Glen Cameron Group need no lengthy introduction. Between the two arms of the business, Cameron Interstate and Cameron Logistics, they run close to 1,000 trucks and trailers around the country on a 24/7 cycle, keeping shops stocked and households happy.
A good percentage of Cameron’s clients require local distribution services, and for a great many others the company provides a complete end to end transport solution, with last-mile delivery as the cherry on top of a well-honed operation.
Behind the scenes
Cameron’s has been providing metro route distribution services to Asahi Beverages in Melbourne for more than 15 years, delivering iconic brands including Schweppes, Pepsi and Cool Ridge.
When Asahi Beverages ran a rigorous tender process for multi-state metro route distribution early last year, Cameron’s was thrilled to have the opportunity to extend the relationship, successfully winning route distribution services in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Guarantees in supply chain flux
With three months to get trucks on the road between securing Asahi Beverages’ multi-state contract in June 2020 and commencing the services in September, Cameron’s needed a firm partner on the truck side of business who could guarantee delivery, despite the fluid conditions created by COVID.
“We had three months to procure a new fleet to fulfill this contract… it was a tight schedule to say the least,” said Greg Morris, Glen Cameron Group Fleet Manager.
“We looked at a whole range of different suppliers for the best beverage solution that could be delivered, given the timeframe and the challenges we had in front of us with COVID.
“We sat down with Les Spaltman and the team at Isuzu and came away with a partnership that worked really well for us.
“It wasn’t just a matter of finding the right truck. It was finding the right people to execute and distribute in a very, very tight window,” Greg continued.
“Isuzu fully supported us in this. It was a great example of how when people have a plan to work together, we can achieve great outcomes.”
Hotels to milk bars
Cameron’s penchant for shopping to find that ‘just right’ solution for a specific task is well-known and highly regarded by clients—after all, it means they’re assured the very best from day dot.
A critical point of their new contract was distribution to customers clustered in metro areas, and a smartly outfitted, 24-strong fleet of Isuzu FSR 140-240s fit that part of the bill very nicely, Greg explained.
The nifty 14,000 kg GVM FSRs are expected to pull their weight, with 50,000 km and 5,000 drop-offs predicted for each truck per annum.
“We needed something that was capable of tackling the final mile of our distribution process across Australia,” said Greg.
“The four-cylinder FSRs are ideal for that urban application. The turning circle is good, we’re happy with the TC-AMT transmission.
“As a side note, Glen Cameron delivered one personally to Sydney from Melbourne when the borders were open and said it was a great little truck to drive; from our view that’s high praise!
“From an OH&S perspective, the low chassis height is a big bonus as the trucks are being unloaded by hand. We are very happy with that safety aspect in particular.”
Tip to toe, impressive show
Driver safety being a chief concern—and Greg is complimentary about Isuzu’s well-rounded safety suite, coming standard in all F Series trucks—there’s no denying Cameron’s also knows how to carefully hone a spec and truck fit-out to ensure the final product does the job well and looks smart whilst doing so.
Striking livery (by Fleetmark) and outfitted with no expense spared, from integrated telematics systems with multiple cameras to highly specified bodies, every Cameron’s truck is top-of-the-line, and the company’s determination to collect the best of the market’s current offering is equally admirable.
In this case, it’s the very latest in beverage distribution technology out of Europe—in the form of Rapid Liner bodies with gate-rated, load-safe curtains, fitted by Alltruck Bodies and mated to Isuzu’s FSR cab chassis.
“In my view, Isuzu have a great range for us to select from. We had a very specific application to deliver on, and Isuzu catered to that with the FSR,” said Greg.
“But at the end of the day, a truck is a truck. They’re important, but the relationships we have with our OEM partners are more important.
“Unlike a lot of large carriers, Cameron’s don’t have big workshop resources in house. Our business model is focusing on freight and logistics, and we partner with the larger OEMs with Australia-wide resources to give us the best outcomes for the fleet.
“To this end, we really lean on the premium aftercare support, skills and expertise that come with partnering with an OEM like Isuzu,” Greg concluded.