Walmart continues to expand its portfolio of high-tech distribution centers. This July, a Walmart supply chain first is coming to Colton, CA. A newly built, 340,000-square-foot high-tech consolidation center will be the first in Walmart’s supply chain to receive, sort and ship freight.
The automated technology will enable three times more volume to flow throughout the center and will help Walmart deliver the right product to the right store. The consolidation center can take multiple orders and consolidate them to make the process more efficient for distribution centers across the country.
Consolidation centers have a specialized role in the supply chain by moving products quickly on their journey to the customer. These centers receive less than a truckload of general merchandise items like toys and kitchen appliances from suppliers, consolidate quantities of this freight in a full truckload and ship it to regional distribution centers. This allows Walmart’s 42 regional centers to focus on the next step, distributing products to stores.
The new system enables suppliers to fill one larger order instead of separate orders. New software automatically scans and counts the product immediately when it arrives and documents the information in its systems, so Walmart will be able to react faster to order-filling issues. Automating the receiving upstream in the consolidation center allows supply chain teams to group products based on how they are stocked, making unloading simpler as well.
The Walmart-owned center, which will open in July with 150 full-time associates, will grow to employ more than 600 associates by 2021.