Australian retailer Coles Group has opened the first Automated Distribution Center (ADC) in the Southern Hemisphere. This $1 billion investment is the largest in Coles Group’s 109-year history, and the state-of-the-art facility is located at Goodman’s Redbank Motorway Estate in Queensland. The facility is designed to create safer and more sustainable outcomes for team members and suppliers and better on-shelf availability for customers.
The Redbank site has the capacity to process up to four million cases per week, equivalent to 32 million units sold in stores, with around 1.6 billion sales units annually. The new ADC can process twice the number of cases and hold twice the number of pallets compared to one of the current Distribution Centers (DCs). Enabling Coles to halve its current overall footprint.
Over 90% of the cases in the new ADC will be processed fully by automation or ergonomically, eliminating almost 18 million kilograms of manual handling in the supply chain each week.
The facility has LED and sensor lighting installed to reduce energy consumption and is fitted with a 180,000-liter rainwater harvesting system. Plans are underway for a 3.5-megawatt solar installation, which will be among the largest rooftop solar solutions in the Coles network. Coles also aims to minimize food waste by donating edible food that can’t be sold in the ADC to their community partner, SecondBite.
Coles Group Partnership with Witron
Witron is a warehouse automation system company for global food retailers. Coles has partnered with Witron to create 93 automated distribution centers in 13 different countries. The Redbank facility is the largest ambient system Witron has ever built.
“This technology is not only a first for Australia but also a win for the state of Queensland. As we’ve seen during the pandemic and natural disasters, resilient supply chains are essential when it comes to feeding our nation and providing Australians with essential supplies,” Prime Minster Albanese said.