The Co-operative Group will officially open its £25 million multi-temperature distribution centre today in Newhouse, Lanarkshire, which will serve 618 stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Trevor Ashworth, director of food retail supply chain, will join group chief executive Peter Marks, and distribution general manager Justin Cash, to unveil a plaque at the 503,000 sq ft depot, just off the M8 motorway near Glasgow.
The development is part of a major overhaul of its food logistics network following its acquisition of Somerfield in 2009. The overhaul aims to upgrade the existing facilities, and improve supply chain performance.
Marks said: “The Co-operative Group’s food business has significantly grown in recent years and our logistics operation has undergone a major overhaul to develop accordingly. This investment will help us to continue to provide high standards of service to our customers, while also allowing for further growth.
“Newhouse is the latest phase in the ongoing development of our logistics operation nationwide.”
Once the facility is fully operational it will employ 1,000 workers, and will handle 60 million cases per year.
It is equipped with a fleet of 370 lorries and 140 forklift trucks and low level order pickers.
Every week the delivery vehicles will receive 500 roll cages, make some 3,655 store drops and make 85 return ferry trips from Stranraer to Larne.
The Newhouse depot will also receive rail freight, as well road freight, taking lorry loads off the motorways, and saving more than a third of a million road miles a year and reducing carbon emissions.
The site has been designed to be environmentally friendly, and it will re-use rainwater for use within the refrigeration and office toilet flushing. All vehicle waste oil is re-used as heating for the on-site garage.