Silverwater Box – More than
just boxes and crates

by Tony Yetton

After more than 60 years in the timber crate and packaging industry, Silverwater Box is recognised as the industry leader.

Managing Director Mr Joe Baliva says that his company is also recognised as a "One Stop Shop" for all his customers' packaging needs.

"We help our clients by making it easy for them to order everything they need from the one site", said Joe. "This saves them valuable time, because they know that they can rely on us for a very wide range of packaging products, from Cardboard and Bubble Wrap to Timber, MDF and Plywood."

The company’s ‘One Stop Shop’ model also helps customers get the full range of smaller items from one point of contact. Joe explained:

"We also provide what we call ‘Grocery Items’, such as Shrink Wrap, Packing Tape, Strapping, Clips, screws and so on, so we actually offer our customers a world of packaging - if it has something to do with packaging, we can supply them with it".

Joe has a unique place in the company’s history. His father Frank, bought the business over 60 years ago in when it was based in Silverwater (hence the name: ‘Silverwater Box’) and steadily grew the business. As with so many astute migrant Italians, Frank could see the benefits of moving the business further out west and so moved it to his family property in Erskine Park, to what must have been seen generally, back in those days, as ’Rural’ Sydney. It is a far cry from what it was then, to what it is today.

Erskine Park allows for more convenient contact with customers and reduces lead-times, as it’s now close to the epicentre of the Sydney Basin industrial hub and has the M2, M4 and M7 right on the doorstep.

Joe started work in the business from an early age, helping Frank and his crew before and after school, learning the ropes and learning from Frank how to make a business strong, profitable and customer-focussed.

Eventually Joe took up the reins as MD. Working for Silverwater Box is the only job he has ever had in a specialised career that spans over 40 years.

Joe said: "The challenge now is to continue to diversify; adding services and products that will enhance our offer to the customer by giving them a complete range of options."

Downturns in the industry have become more frequent and less predictable, he said.

"We need to insulate our business from these fluctuations by increasing the range of services and constantly reviewing our business practices to stay ahead of the game". Joe went on to say that Networking has become a big part of what we do. As we grow, space, time and resources are being stretched. "Other, like-minded companies are finding it beneficial to work with us to achieve mutually rewarding outcomes. They win, we win and the client wins. It really is all about providing the client with the best possible result. Networking is giving us a competitive edge in the industry and our network partners provide services that work really well with all the other things that we do," he said.

The business has also recently released a range of new services including Plywood and MDF supply, furniture trolley products to the removal industry and customised presentation boxes for the public relations / promotions industry, with more initiatives to come over the next year or so. Joe said:

"All these new services are designed to add value to our offer, diversify the business and secure the future. We also listen to our customers. They have an input into what the market expects and we ensure that their needs are met. Because our customer base is diversified – we need to offer packaging solutions for a wide range of commercial and industrial industries."

All things being equal, Silverwater Box certainly seem to be doing a good job of achieving their objectives.

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