XPO Logistics and food and drink company Nestlé are to team-up to build a £55 million 638,000 square foot distribution centre at the new SEGRO East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire, UK.
The facility they say will be the ‘digital warehouse of the future’, will be occupied predominantly by Nestlé for its consumer packaged goods and will function as a testbed environment for XPO technology prototypes prior to global release.
The custom-designed distribution center, scheduled for completion in 2020, will feature advanced sorting systems and robotics alongside state-of-the-art automation co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation.
The site’s digital ecosystem will integrate predictive data and intelligent machines to deliver one of the most advanced distribution management centers in the world, giving consumers faster, more efficient access to Kitkat, Maggi, Nescafe and Nestle brands.
The XPO-owned facility will be 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.
The facility will be sited on man-made plateaus, with landscaping to minimise the visual impact to nearby settlements. Additional sustainability measures include energy-saving LED lighting, environmentally friendly ammonia refrigeration, air source heat pumps for administration areas and rainwater harvesting.
XPO Logistics Europe managing director of supply chain, Richard Cawston said together the companies will create “limitless opportunities” to explore new technologies in a state-of-the-art logistics environment.
He addded: “The new East Midlands center 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.”
Nestlé director of supply chain, David Hix said: “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 recognizable in the world.”