Just Chillin’: Freightways plays it cool with ProducePronto acquisition

ProducePronto operates a fleet of 20 tri-temperature zoned vehicles delivering fresh and frozen food around the country.

The move complements the listed company’s successful acquisition of Big Chill last year, building out a same-day and overnight temperature-controlled delivery niche in its express parcel (EP) division.

“The ProducePronto business buys, stores and moves product in an incredibly efficient and attractive model that outpaces its competition and means same-day delivery is guaranteed for customers,” says Freightways CEO Mark Troughear.

“Combining this with Big Chill’s infrastructure means we further corner the express chilled and frozen niche, whilst benefiting from the economies of scale the integration offers.”

Troughhear says ProducePronto will integrate into the wider Big Chill business and allow the EP division to diversify further into the fast-growing fast food (QSR), fresh and convenience food category.

The ProducePronto business achieved revenue of $16 million for FY21, with founders Jason Brennan and Josh Bartley-Smith staying on to lead the business alongside their 41 staff when Freightways took ownership on November 1.

The two entrepreneurs launched the family-run business with office fresh produce deliveries in 2011, before branching into the convenience market in 2014.

Bartley-Smith says the acquisition by Freightways is an exciting development for the company.

“We’re proud of everything we have achieved over the last decade and how rapidly the business has developed since the early days – from office deliveries in Auckland to supplying fresh and frozen products to most of New Zealand’s towns and cities,” says Bartley-Smith.

“Becoming part of Big Chill and Freightways is a huge step and we’re thrilled to join a business that shares our culture of hard work, recognition and delivering on our promises to customers.”