Developed alongside logistics provider XPO Logistics, the 638,000 square foot facility will be located at the SEGRO East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park and will focus mainly on Nestlé’s consumer packaged goods, as well as functioning as a testbed environment for XPO technology prototypes prior to global release.
The custom-designed distribution centre is scheduled to be completed in 2020 and is expected to feature advanced sorting systems and robotics alongside state-of-the-art automation co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation.
The site will also include integrated predictive data and intelligent machines, which Nestlé hopes will deliver one of the most advanced distribution management centres in the world.
The XPO-owned facility will be 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 site itself will be located on man-made plateaus, with landscaping to minimise the visual impact to nearby settlements. Additional sustainability measures will include energy-saving LED lighting, environmentally friendly ammonia refrigeration, air source heat pumps for administration areas and rainwater harvesting.
David Hix, Nestlé director of supply chain, 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 future-proof 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 of supply chain at XPO Logistics Europe, said: “Nestlé has entrusted XPO with the digital architecture for its future vision. Together, we will create limitless opportunities to explore new technologies in a state-of-the-art logistics environment. 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.”
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, also welcomed the investment. “This is excellent news for North West Leicestershire and the wider East Midlands economy. That two global giants – Nestlé and XPO – should choose to locate their new state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable facility here shows that this region is a great place for businesses to invest. It’s very positive for the development of our local economy.”
Nestlé recently announced that 73 jobs will be lost at its Fawdon facility due to it moving production of Blue Riband to Poland.