Walmart Announces New High-Tech Grocery Distribution Center
BENTONVILLE, AR - Shafter, California, will soon be the new home to Walmart’s first high-tech distribution center for fresh and frozen groceries. As the retailer seeks out ways to better serve customers, it wants to transform the way its distribution centers operate, according to a blog post. With more efficient, forward-looking tech, this distribution center—slated to open in the fall of 2020—will use WITRON technology to process grocery perishables, such as produce, eggs, and dairy, in addition to frozen goods.
“The high-tech distribution center in Shafter will allow us to move product to stores and clubs faster so that we can better serve customers,” said Tim Cooper, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain for Walmart.
The new distribution center will move 40 percent more product than a traditional facility, the blog post noted. Rather than manually stacking boxes and building pallets, the center will allow associates to use the new technology to do the heavy lifting.
“Every product is measured and documented so that we know how to handle it,” Shayne Wahlmeier, one of the engineers on the project, explained. “A computer algorithm shows all the cases ordered for a given store and determines how to palletize them to maximize the space on a pallet or trailer. It also takes into account density—what’s crushable, what’s not.”
Due to the fact that the tech helps associates build a more flexible, dense pallet, more products will fit onto a truck. This reduces transportation costs; savings which can be passed on to customers. In addition to these savings, fewer damages to product will account for a reduction in food waste.
How will this new distribution center stack up against competitors? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.