Set for completion within the next three years, the distribution hub will feature robotic case picking, with the prepared pallets able to be delivered directly to retailers across the UK and Europe. Encirc also planned to create more than 200 new jobs in tandem with the investment.
While the exact location is yet to be confirmed, the hub will have around 170,000 pallet storage spaces for customers’ bottles filled at Encirc’s Cheshire plant, as well as others which have been filled elsewhere, and imported to the UK.
Reduce lorry movements
By going straight to retail and reducing the reliance on regional distribution centres, the hub is set to reduce lorry movements nationwide and achieve notable carbon savings across supply chains in the UK.
The new hub will complement Encirc’s existing automated warehouse in Elton, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe with more than 250,000 pallet spaces.
Adrian Curry, managing director at Encirc, said: “Our new national distribution hub will represent the evolution of drink supply chains in the UK and Europe. This will be a huge leap forward for how the UK drinks industry imports and distributes key brands.
Carbon reduction strategy
“With the backing of [parent company] Vidrala, we’re taking this long-term decision to ensure that we’re best placed in the market to offer our brand owner customers an unrivalled bottling and distribution service. This will be another milestone moment in Encirc’s story of growth and evolution, as well as the carbon reduction strategy for the wider industry.”
Plans for the new mega hub follow Encirc’s announcement that it would increase its wine filling capacity by more than 75m litres per year, as well as its intention to decarbonise its furnaces by switching to sustainable fuels in tis melting process.
Meanwhile, Brewer Molson Coors has invested £25m in new packaging equipment at its Burton brewery.