FAST Group inaugurated Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 its half a billion peso cold chain warehouse located in Consolacion, Cebu to further strengthen its presence in the temperature-controlled logistics business.
Fresh by Fast is the group’s brand of integrated, intelligent and flexible solutions that are relevant to those who are in the business of fresh, said William Chiongbian II, group president and chief executive officer of Fast Group.
“When it came to the choice of where to put our first major investment in the cold chain, it is no accident that we chose Cebu. The group considers Cebu our home, where our businesses in shipping and logistics took root many decades past. It is also a strategic choice because of the urbanization and fast growth of Cebu,” Chiongbian said during a virtual press conference.
The cold chain hub in Cebu is an integrated facility with more than 10,000 pallet positions.
“It is now available to serve those who are in the business of fresh meat processors, importers, local producers, fruits and vegetable retailers, quick service restaurants, pharmaceuticals and vaccines, and even those in e-commerce. We have designed this to be flexible so it can serve the big brands as well as the small and medium enterprises whose growth we champion. And this is also the first intelligent cold storage facility in the country today,” he said.
Besides Cebu, the group also launched its cold chain hub in Cavite in July this year, serving the Luzon cold chain requirements.
“These two hubs, plus the ones we manage for our principals, will bring our cold chain footprint to at least 30,000 pallet positions. This is an expansion to our warehouse management footprint of more than 1.2 million square meters for dry storage. We’re studying several other sites to realize the vision of a leading presence in the cold chain nationwide,” said Chiongbian.
In the next two years, the group is eyeing P2 billion in investments for the group’s cold chain expansion plans across the country. Chiongbian said they want to add one to two more hubs to serve Luzon, two hubs in Mindanao and one hub each in western and eastern Visayas.
“Our expansion into the logistics of Fresh is a significant part of our growth as a company, as we strive to also contribute to the recovery and growth of our economy,” he said.
Cold Chain Association of the Philippines lauded the entry of the Fast group into the industry.
“We hail the entry of the Fast group into the cold chain as a timely, appropriate and well positioned move to expand into integrated logistics,” said Cold Chain Association of the Philippines president Anthony Dizon.
Dizon said the Covid-19 pandemic had pushed more business owners and companies to expand their footprint into the cold chain industry due to the disruption in the supply chain landscape which had significant effects in the food, manufacturing and logistics and distribution industries.
“The cold chain has become an indispensable component in the overall strategy for food sufficiency and food waste reduction. It is now widely understood that keeping food products in controlled temperature conditions sustains food freshness, protects food quality and serves to stabilize food availability against seasonality, climate change or supply aberrations,” he said.
Fast Group is an end-to-end logistics and supply chain in the Philippines. Founded by the Chiongbian family in the 1970s, it has a workforce of more than 11,000, spread across 53 branches nationwide, over a million square meters in warehouse footprint and a distribution network of close to 90,000 stores. (KOC)