Following the success of its facility in West Yorkshire and increasing demand for a temperature-controlled storage, NewCold was “actively looking” for a second UK site, according to the company’s country director Jon Miles.
NewCold made its first foray into the UK market in 2015, when it opened a highly automated, 40m-high cold-storage plant on a greenfield site in Wakefield.
An extension to the site, which included a distribution centre, was completed in spring 2018 and formally opened last September. At the time of the opening, NewCold said £100m had been committed to build-cost, and 200 jobs had been created. Growth plans over the next two years would result in further investment, including the recruitment of 70 new staff, it added.
Three million pallets annually
The Wakefield plant handles three million pallets annually and with a total volume of more than four million cubic metres, the giant deep-freeze has the capacity to store 143,000 pallets, all at –23°C.
An average of 175 pallets come in and out of the site every hour, and the bespoke moving floor trailers (see picture) take five minutes to unload.
Minimal handling is a feature of the site, helping to main product temperature. The operation is driven by Davanti software, which NewCold claimed had been improved year on year specifically to get optimum use of the automation. Furthermore, the dispatch bays are deep-frozen, where many conventional stores are chilled.
Food miles to a minimum
“Not only does the facility operate at around 50% of the energy consumed by conventional deep-frozen storage sites, but also, given the proximity to the motorway network, 90% of NewCold’s delivery points can be reached and returned from within a driver’s shift,” said Miles. “This improves customer service and keeps food miles to an absolute minimum.”
At the time of the opening, NewCold founder and chief executive Bram Hage said a number of challenges were met and overcome by the NewCold team during the development and growth of the Wakefield site.
“This is the coming together of talented people, both from NewCold and our many supply partners and customers, to formulate a truly global consolidation of skills and recourses in the supply chain,” he said.