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Coles opens first automated distribution centre in Queensland

Coles says the largest single capital investment in its history will provide a safer, more efficient and sustainable supply chain in partnership with Witron

Coles has announced it has opened its first Australian Automated Distribution Centre (ADC) using global leading Witron technology which is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Coles Group Chairman James Graham and Coles Group CEO Steven Cain officially opened the ADC at Goodman’s Redbank Motorway Estate in Queensland this week.

This is the first of two Witron facilities to open in Queensland and comes after Coles Group’s biggest investment into technology in the company’s 109-year history. More than one billion dollars is being invested – with the second ADC opening in Kemps Creek, NSW in 2024.

Coles says the ADCs are designed to create safer and more sustainable outcomes for team members and suppliers and better on-shelf availability for customers.

The state-of-the-art facility in Redbank is located 30 kilometres south-west of Brisbane and will service 219 Coles supermarkets in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, as far north as Port Douglas and as far south as Laurieton in NSW.

When operating at full capacity, the site can process up to four million cases per week, the equivalent of 32 million units sold in stores. Over the course of a year, this is around 1.6 billion sales units.

Chief Executive Officer Steven Cain says the moment is one of the most significant moments since Coles was founded in 1914 and was five years in the making.

“Modernising our operations is how we improve efficiency and availability in our stores and deliver higher service levels for our customers, team members and suppliers,” Cain says. 

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“Our new ADCs can process twice the number of cases and hold twice the number of pallets compared to one of our current DCs. The ADCs enable us to half our current total footprint, leading to a more productive and sustainable business model.

“Over 90 per cent of the cases processed in these automated distribution centres will be processed fully by automation or ergonomically which will be a step-change for the safety of our team as it eliminates almost 18 million kilograms of manual handling in the supply chain each week once the ADC is running close to full capacity.”

Coles Group Chairman James Graham says he would like to thank all those involved for their dedication to this very important project.


“I’m proud of our team, partners and suppliers who’ve worked together for more than five years to create this state-of-the-art facility. More than 3,000 people came together, contributing more than 2.5 million work hours to plan and design the facility, construct the building and install and commission the automation,” Graham says.

The Redbank ADC has LED and sensor lighting to reduce energy consumption and is fitted with a 180,000 litres of harvested rainwater storage for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation. There are plans for 3.5-megawatt solar installation, which will be among the largest rooftop solar solutions in the Coles network. To minimise food waste, the edible food that can’t be sold in the ADC will be donated to Coles community partner SecondBite. 

 Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says this world leading technology will help advance supermarket supply chains.

“This technology is not only a first for Australia, but also a win for the state of Queensland.  As we’ve seen during the pandemic and natural disasters, resilient supply chains are essential when it comes to feeding our nation and providing Australians with essential supplies,” he says.

“Coles is one of the biggest employers in this country and its team was pivotal in ensuring food security during challenging times. A facility like this one in Redbank shows how retailers and manufacturers can look to the future to improve the productivity, safety and sustainability of their operations for all Australians.”

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