Food and drink firm Nestlé has collaborated with transport and logistics solutions provider XPO Logistics to develop a digital warehouse in the UK.Under the deal, the partnership will build a 638,000 ft² distribution centre at the new Segro East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire.
XPO Logistics Europe supply chain managing director Richard Cawston 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.”Nestlé will predominantly occupy the new digital warehouse to be used for its consumer packaged goods.
Expected to be operational in 2020, the digital facility is said to function as a testbed environment for XPO technology prototypes prior to global release.The digital warehouse will feature an advanced sorting systems and robotics, in addition to automation co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation.
Its digital ecosystem will incorporate predictive data and intelligent machines, helping customers to effectively access KitKat, Maggi, Nescafé and other Nestlé brands.
The XPO-owned facility will be provided with direct access to the M1 motorway for road transport and the East Midlands Airport for cargo flights.It will also be connected with freight terminal with direct access to the major UK ports of Southampton, Felixstowe, London Gateway and the Channel Tunnel.
In addition, the facility will feature energy-saving LED lighting, environmentally friendly ammonia refrigeration, and air source heat pumps for administration areas and rainwater harvesting.Nestlé supply chain director David Hix said: “We are thrilled to be working with XPO Logistics to build a flagship digital warehouse and technology laboratory at the East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park.
“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.”