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A Knack for Logistics

2020 Vision: Hospitality Outlook for the New Decade
April 22, 2020
New Editor for Horeca Magazine – Terence Mirabelli
July 1, 2020
 

A visit to Unistores Ltd. facility led Kristina Cassar Dowling to discuss the ins and outs of logistic services in Malta. Tonio Ciantar shares his account of the company’s recipe for success. Unistores (Services) Ltd. is a logistics service company that forms part of FG & Co Group and which also focuses on retailing, food services and construction materials in Malta.

Tonio Ciantar, the Group’s Strategy Director, explains: “Our priority is to provide our customers with a vast range of options, products and services, across all the divisions, backed up by a genuine customer service which thrives to always exceed our customers’ expectations.” As a result of the specific efforts of the group’s purchasing unit we have managed to move forward and to develop our centralized depot significantly. Such improvements have allowed the group to start offering food logistics options to third parties.

“Unistores (Services) Ltd. aims to have a global network of operations dedicated to manage the supply chain of foods with an emphasis on temperature sensitive goods for the Maltese Islands,” explains Tonio. “We employ industry experts who monitor every step of our clients’ food supply chain. We are also working closely with our clients in order to create a glasshouse supply chain which enables our clients to monitor our performance and the quality of their merchandise in real time.”



Interview by Kristina Cassar Dowling

 

Initially operating from a 400m2 storage facility, Unistores (Services) Ltd is now operating from two centrally located temperature controlled depots with a storage area exceeding 3500m2. Both depots fully meet the EU Food Establishment Regulations and are HACCP certified. Internal audits ensure that high standards are retained at all times. Unistores follows an ecosystem approach that allows for high end products to find their way to Maltese shores. Once quality products are imported on behalf of third parties including business owners, the restaurant and hotel industry, Unistores stores all the products and delivers their goods to the allocated venues.

Third party catering services that make use of Unistores are eliminating intermediaries and thus reducing costs. All goods are stored secure, well-equipped, state of the art depots. Improvements are continuously being promoted, applying personalized tools to boost client commodity with synchronized decisions. “At Unistores (Services) Ltd excellent quality is a must at all times, across the board and in all locations both locally and abroad. Global technological systems have been implemented in order to ensure continuous traceability and reporting. Our client’s peace of mind is a priority for us,” states Tonio.

During 2015, Transporter Ltd, a subsidiary of Unistores (Services) Ltd. was founded. This setup allowed the company to enhance its local services through the introduction of both assembly and delivery services. “We don’t only store goods on behalf of third parties but we also deliver their products to their customers,” explained Tonio. “This means that we are not only holding goods for our customers, but we are also delivering their goods to the stores, factories or restaurants of their choice. This service is not limited by quantity or time.”

Such services are being delivered using thermo-regulated vehicles with a storage temperature that can range from -40 to + 15°C - depending on the type of food product being transported. Vehicle temperatures are monitored in situ, in order to ensure that all food items are delivered safely to the customers.

 

Blue Box, set up during 2018, is today a leading food repackaging company with a variety of customized capabilities. Food repackaging is one of the most important elements for keeping consumers loyal to their brands and takes into consideration the needs of the customer without sacrificing the safety or the quality of the product. We ensure that the integrity of the product is maintained whilst delivering top-quality repackaging work each time.

Our high end competence meets the various needs of our clients and our customized food repackaging services allows us the flexibility to provide the different companies with the tailor-made repackaging to meet the needs of their customers. We are always available along the way to provide guidance about our quality food repackaging, the various options we have available, and how Blue Box can be a valuable business partner to you. From our experience we know what works, what sells and what keeps customers coming back for more – starting from a standard pouch in a carton to more complex master shipper designs. We are in a position to offer either piecemeal or else even complete solutions including repackaging, storage facilities and delivery to the end consumer.

Tonio tells us that the company has now embarked on an extensive campaign to identify the appropriate Electric Vehicles for the local market in order to be in pole position to deliver the requested products in all localities at all times without any restrictions. Further products will be introduced locally by Unistores. “We have already identified quality products on the international market that can enhance our portfolio. In fact, we have already teamed up with A-Safe and we are proud to announce that we will be launching the first project in the coming weeks’.

A-Safe are advanced industrial safety barriers, bollards and facility protection of an international standard which can be installed in all work depots and parking facilities. “At Unistores (Services) Ltd. we devote our time to think and strategize in order to ensure that our workers are working in a safe environment at all times,” shared Tonio as our conversation came to a close.

Unistores (Services) Ltd have a mission - to provide logistic solutions which involve people, locations, distribution and technology - working synergistically in order to provide an integrated and fully fledged supply chain. Our business philosophy is simple. “Our success depends entirely on people: the people who work with us and the people who shop from us,” concluded Tonio.




Click here to see Horeca Issue 3 online