Ford has unveiled its massive new warehouse located at Merrifield Business Park in Mickelham, north of Melbourne and close to the Hume Freeway, which consolidates all the company’s parts operations. According to Merrifield developers MAB Corporation and Gibson Property Corporation, the facility represents the biggest investment in Ford’s parts business in 60 years.
BodyShop News was invited to view the 87,961 square metre site, which features 49,670 square metres of warehouse space, 1351 square metres of office space, 26,640 square metres of hardstand, 84,000 racking locations, and 97,000 mezzanine locations. It also has 7700 square metres of canopy and 195 car park spaces.
Its construction used 19,500 cubic metres of concrete delivered by 3540 concrete trucks, 820 tonnes of steel, and 8500 square metres of wall cladding.
In a break from standard modern thinking, Ford placed greater emphasis on manpower rather than automation, saying experience shows that humans are a better option when customers cannot be inconvenienced by downtime.
Embracing sustainability, the construction has a dedicated recharging area for electric forklifts and plenty of natural light via 6750 square metres of translucent roof sheeting. Safety is a major consideration with clearly marked walkways and pedestrian gates in the warehouse to reduce the likelihood of a worker walking in front of a forklift.
When announced in mid-2020, Kay Hart, then President & CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand, said the site was an important step in continually improving service for vehicle owners and dealers.
“We know that it isn’t enough to offer great vehicles; we also need to offer exceptional customer service and to support our dealers to do that. That’s why this investment is so important to us,” said Hart.
“With space and great transport infrastructure links, this new site will enable us to store and distribute the parts we need for the current and future generations of vehicles, including electrified vehicles. It will also give our team the space it needs to grow our business into the future.”
Look out for our detailed report in BodyShop News Australia.