Nestlé unveils ‘world first’ investment in distribution centre

Nestlé has unveiled plans to create a 638,000sq ft distribution centre at the new East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire, UK. The food and drink giant is working alongside XPO Logistics on what it’s calling a ‘digital warehouse of the future’.

The facility will be occupied predominantly by Nestlé for its consumer packaged goods and will also be used as a testing environment for XPO technology prototypes prior to global release.

According to the brand, the custom-designed distribution centre, scheduled to be completed in 2020, will feature sorting systems and robotics alongside advanced automation.

Nestlé says the site’s digital ecosystem will integrate predictive data and intelligent machines to deliver one of the most advanced distribution management centres in the world.

The XPO-owned facility is strategically located in the Midlands to benefit from direct access to the M1 motorway for road transport, the East Midlands Airport for cargo flights, and an onsite rail freight terminal with direct access to the major UK ports of Southampton, Felixstowe, London Gateway and the Channel Tunnel.

“We are thrilled to be working with XPO Logistics to build this flagship digital warehouse and technology laboratory,” says David Hix, Nestlé director of supply chain.

This is a world-first investment for Nestlé. Our partnership will encourage innovation and experimentation in our UK logistics operations, and help futureproof our business. We will be able to be even more responsive for our customers across our brands, which include some of the most recognisable in the world.”

Richard Cawston, managing director, supply chain, XPO logistics Europe, adds, “Nestlé has entrusted XPO with the digital architecture for its future vision. Together, we will create limitless opportunities to explore new technologies in a state-of-the-art logistics environment.

“The new East Midlands centre will operate as both a think tank and a launch pad for XPO innovations, with far-reaching impacts on the way business is done.”

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