Nestlé and XPO Logistics are to co-create a £55m 638,000-square-foot digital distribution centre at East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire equipped with robotics and automation.
The custom designed warehouse will house Nestlé’s consumer packaged goods and function as a test bed environment for XPO technology prototypes prior to global release.
The digital distribution centre will include advanced sorting systems, robotics and automation co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation. The site’s digital ecosystem will integrate predictive data and intelligent machines for maximum efficiency.
The XPO-owned facility will also include sustainability measures such as energy-saving LED lighting, environmentally friendly ammonia refrigeration, air source heat pumps for administration areas and rainwater harvesting.
Nestlé director of supply chain David Hix said: “This is a world-first investment for Nestlé that builds on a century and a half of proud history in this country. Our partnership with XPO 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 at XPO said: “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. We look forward to an inventive collaboration with Nestlé.”
The centre is scheduled for completion in 2020. Its central location enables direct access to the M1 motorway, East Midlands Airport and includes an onsite rail freight terminal.