Major Nestlé UK distribution centre includes key confectionery brands

Nestlé and transport firm XPO Logistics have confirmed development of a 638,000-square-foot distribution centre at the new Segro East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire, UK.

The facility, described as a digital warehouse of the future, will be occupied predominantly by for consumer packaged goods from the global manufacturer’s portfolio, including confectionery brands including KitKat. It will function as a testbed environment dedicated to technology prototypes prior to global release.

The custom-designed distribution centre, scheduled to complete in 2020, will feature advanced sorting systems and robotics alongside state-of-the-art automation co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation.

Its digital ecosystem will integrate predictive data and intelligent machines to deliver one of the most advanced distribution management centres in the world, giving consumers faster, more efficient access to its series of key brands.

As the businesses explained, the XPO-owned facility will be strategically 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 facility will be sited on man-made plateaus, with landscaping to minimise the visual impact to nearby settlements. Additional sustainability measures include energy-saving LED lighting, environmentally friendly ammonia refrigeration, air source heat pumps for administration areas and rainwater harvesting.

Nestlé director of supply chain, David Hix, 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 futureproof 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.”

 

Kitkat

Richard Cawston, managing director, Supply Chain, XPO Logistics Europe, also welcomed the venture as being strategically important.

He 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.”

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