Eddie Stobart, part of the Stobart Group, has opened its revamped Nestlé distribution centre at Bardon in Leicestershire, following a £7 million investment.
Stobart and Nestlé started looking at the site a year ago when Innovate Logistics went into receivership and the group took over its chilled and ambient goods distribution.
The 690,000 sq ft facility has been extended to accommodate all seasonal confectionary, such as Christmas chocolates and Easter eggs which account for a third of products produced. The site now provides up to 110,000 pallet locations.
Chris Tyas, Nestlé UK and Ireland’s business services and supply chain director, said: “Nestlé produces 11 million tins of Quality Street a year, which take 14,000 lorry loads to deliver.”
The site now handles 75 per cent of all Nestlé’s UK deliveries, with the other 25 per cent accommodated at its distribution centre in York.
When the Bardon site became operational a third facility in Scunthorpe was closed down, resulting in a number of redundancies.
The new increased capacity centre at Bardon has created an additional 62 jobs in the area, bringing the total number of employees up to 185.
At peak times the facility will be moving 3,000 tonnes of goods each day, with a vehicle departing every eight and a half minutes.
Tyas added: “Nestlé’s vehicle utilisation has improved by 12 per cent over the past five years” and by consolidating its warehousing and distribution operations it will improve the efficiency of its operations, as well as cutting down on empty running journeys and reducing the distance vehicles have to travel.
As part of the renovations, Stobart has created one of the tallest double deep temperature-controlled racking systems in the world with 29,500 pallet locations.
The revamped facility also incorporates co-packing, of which 20,000 units are handled per week.
Andrew Tinkler, chief executive of Stobart Group, said: “Customers are constantly seeking ways to drive down costs, while making environmental improvements and this is a first class example of how the team has worked in partnership to achieve this.”
Tyas added: “This year at Nestlé we are focused on driving greater efficiencies through our supply chain and improving service to our customers. Working with Stobart Group we have been able to achieve operational efficiencies and environmental improvements by consolidating our warehousing and distribution activities to the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
The site was officially opened on 14th September by local MP David Taylor.