Woolworths starts building Moorebank national DC


Primary Connect arm to see state facility in same footprint

Woolworths starts building Moorebank national DC
Brad Banducci

 

Building works for Primary Connect’s new national distribution centre (NDC) at the Moorebank Logistics Park in Western Sydney has begun, according to parent Woolworths Group.

Set to open in 2024, the Moorebank NDC aims to strengthen Primary Connect’s national supply chain and service more than 1,000 Woolworths supermarkets nationally.

The site will be co-located with the Moorebank regional distribution centre (DC), construction of which will start later and open in 2025. 

With cutting-edge automation and 75,000 square metre of floor space across both sites, Moorebank NDC will "enable Woolworths to offer its customers an expanded range and improved stock availability in-store", it says.

Woolworths will invest around $700-$780 million in the technology and fitout of both distribution centres in partnership with Dematic and Vanderlande.

Qube will invest around $440 million to build the distribution centres, with Woolworths signing an initial 20-year lease.

"The challenges of the past year have put a spotlight on the critical role our distribution centres play in providing the essential food and everyday needs Australian communities rely on," Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci says

"To keep pace with growing demand and ever evolving customer expectations, we need to continue to invest in new technology and capacity to power our next generation supply chain. 

"We have ambitions to offer a more tailored range of products in our stores. This has traditionally been constrained by what we can hold in our distribution centres. 

"Once both centres are up and running, we’ll be able to carry up to 8,000 additional products in our range than we can in our existing facilities. This will help unlock a much better shopping experience for our customers.

"With unrivalled logistics infrastructure and connections to key port, rail and road networks, Moorebank is the ideal base for what will be our largest single supply chain investment."


Read about Primary Connect’s recent Toll deal, here


The retailer insists that Moorebank Logistics Park’s direct access to a dedicated freight rail line from Port Botany, with onward connections to the national rail network, will help take at least 26,000 truck movements off roads each year.

Woolworths Group has a $2.3 billion investment program planned across NSW over the next five years, which will support a further 7,500 ongoing jobs and thousands more during construction.

The start of construction follows approval of both developments by the NSW Department of Planning in late 2020 and the recent appointment of Richard Crookes Constructions as the lead builder on the Moorebank NDC.

Each distribution centre is targeting a Five Star Green Star Design and As-Built rating and will incorporate sustainability initiatives including solar PV systems, LED warehouse lighting and rainwater harvesting.

 "The steps we take to become a more sustainable business today will help create a better tomorrow for generations to come," Banducci says.

"At Moorebank, we’ll harness renewable energy at scale, with some 9,500 solar panels set to generate 5,550mWh of energy each year.

"This is equivalent to 880 households’ annual energy consumption and will offset about 13 percent of our power needs at Moorebank."

Woolworths says advanced automation at the facilities will build tailored pallets for specific aisles in individual stores.

This aims to improve in-store product availability with faster restocking and reduces congestion in stores – ultimately enabling a safer work environment for teams, with less manual handling demands.

The Moorebank investment is Primary Connect’s next step in transforming its national supply chain network and was first announced last June.

Since 2018, it has expanded its Townsville, Adelaide and Tasmanian distribution centres, opened its new Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre and commissioned the automated Melbourne South Regional Distribution Centre. Heathwood Fresh Distribution Centre is under construction in Queensland as well.

 

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