Walmart has announced that it is building a new high-tech grocery distribution centre in Shafter, California to increase the efficiency of its distribution operations.
According to Walmart, the new high-tech distribution centre will be capable of moving 40% more product than a traditional distribution centre, and will process groceries such as fresh produce, eggs, dairy and frozen goods.
The centre itself will be highly-automated, and will utilise technology from German logistics company WITRON to process products moving in and out of the facility.
Walmart claims that the technology will allow warehouse staff to load more produce onto pallets, meaning more products will be able to fit onto a truck, reducing transportation costs in the retailer’s supply chain.
Walmart estimates that the new centre should be operational by 2020, and the project forms part of the retailer’s strategy to modernise its operations in the face of increasing competition from online retailers such as Amazon.
Over the last year, Walmart has acquired grocery delivery app Cornershop for $225 million, expanded the service areas of its Jet delivery service and partnered with Japanese retailer Rakuten to launch a new online grocery delivery service in the country.
“Tim Cooper, senior vice president of supply chain for Walmart said: The high-tech distribution centre in Shafter will allow us to move product to stores and clubs faster so that we can better serve customers.
“The beauty of this is that we take one of the most manual jobs we have and we create this high-tech enablement to give faster, better service, better quality, and really position ourselves to be relevant for future operations.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019