Leicester Mercury

Up to 200 jobs at ‘distributi­on centre of future’



A £55 MILLION warehouse dubbed the “Digital Distributi­on Centre of the Future” has been officially launched – creating up to 200 jobs.

XPO Logistics is operating the site at the Segro East Midlands Gateway warehouse park for Nestlé.

About 130 staff – rising to 200 in peak periods – will handle Nestlé goods made by 11 of its 14 manufactur­ing sites, plus imported products.

Thousands of extra square feet are set aside for growth and new machines as the volume of goods handled increases.

The 638,000 sq ft facility uses robotics, automated sorting systems and XPO’s intelligen­t analytics to deliver fast, efficient distributi­on of Nestlé products, including KitKat, Quality Street and Nescafé.

Andrew Shaw, the supply chain director at Nestlé UK and Ireland, said there are between 25,000 and 45,000 pallets of chocolate on site, depending on the time of year.

Additional­ly, the warehouse looks after Nestlé brands including

Nescafé and Nespresso, with about 18,000 pallets of coffee on site.

XPO said it has been ramping up operations on site since mid2020, as part of a phased opening, and said it has used its global experience dealing with Covid-19 and extensive safety protocols to keep workers safe.

Mr Shaw said sustainabi­lity was a key part of the operation, with deliveries to the London area all going via rail.

A liquified gas refuelling station is being built to enable Nestlé to operate energy-efficient gas trucks instead of diesel.

Mr Shaw said: “I would like to offer a huge thank you to the many people at Nestlé and XPO who have worked so hard to bring our vision to life in this magnificen­t facility.

“Our digital distributi­on warehouse is an important step forward for our business and our customers.

“We can now be faster, more responsive and more agile in how we supply our products under all conditions, and we can provide a bespoke, personalis­ed service.

“This truly is a digital warehouse of the future, with advanced technology that will give Nestlé the flexibilit­y to meet customer and consumer requiremen­ts for many years to come.”

The site includes an innovation hub that also functions as an incubator to test new ways of addressing logistics needs.

“It will help XPO conduct reallife operating trials of promising technologi­es and showcase innovation­s to customers.

Malcolm Wilson, XPO’s chief executive for Europe, said he was delighted the site had officially launched.

He said: “Nestlé and Swisslog are trusted strategic partners of XPO, and they believe, as we do, the best way to deliver excellence in the present is to maintain a strong focus on the future.

“We’re pushing the boundaries of supply chain thinking and disrupting the industry in the most positive sense.”

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