Trailer Magazine

Qube partners with Woolworths on $1.2B investment

  • Posted on Tuesday 23rd, June 2020.

Leading logistics company, Qube, has announced it will partner with Woolworths Group on two state-of-the-art facilities budgeted currently at $1.2 billion.

Both parties are investing in an automated Regional Distribution Centre and a semi-automated National Distribution Centre set for the Moorebank Logistics Park in Sydney.

The first of the new high tech distribution centres (DCs) is slated to begin operations in 2023. 

Woolworths Group confirmed it will invest up to $780 million in the technology and fitout of the two distribution centres over the next four years.

The supermarket company signed an initial lease term of 20 years with Qube Holdings Limited, the parent of Qube which has committed between $420- to $460 million to building the warehouses.

Subject to State Government planning approval, the DCs will cost, as part of the joint investment, in the vicinity of $1.2 billion.

Moorebank Logistics Park is Australia’s largest freight infrastructure project and will link Port Botany direct to rail terminals and warehousing on a 243 hectare site.

The new Moorebank facilities will replace the current ambient operations at Woolworths’ Sydney Regional Distribution Centre in Minchinbury, the Sydney National Distribution Centre based in Yennora and the Mulgrave-based Melbourne National Distribution Centre.

Woolworths plans on closing these sites by 2025.

Direct rail access to Port Botany will provide strategic benefits for Woolworths’ transport network and help remove at least 26,000 of its truck movements from NSW roads each year.

The long-term commitment, according to Qube Managing Director Maurice James, would reinforce the commercial appeal of this nationally important infrastructure and freight project.

“The benefits of railing containers direct from Port Botany to a terminal co-located with warehousing across a site the size of the Sydney CBD will deliver Woolworths time and cost efficiencies,” he said.

“Our project team is looking forward to working with the Woolworths team in delivering an optimal solution for their operations.”

Both sites will build on semi-automated and automated technology currently pioneered by Woolworths at its Melbourne South Regional Distribution Centre.

Woolworths Chief Supply Chain Officer Paul Graham said the investment at Moorebank, which he anticipates enabling a safer work environment, will transform the way it services its grocery supply chain in NSW.

“The new facilities will also help progress our localised ranging efforts, with the ability to hold many thousands more products centrally than we can in our existing facilities,” he said.

Graham acknowledged the complexity and challenges inherent in such a bold transition.

“We explored options to upgrade our existing sites, but the aging infrastructure just won’t be able to support the growth in volumes we’ll need to service in the years ahead,” he said.

“We’ll look to offer redeployment opportunities wherever possible with 650 roles available at the new Moorebank sites, as well as providing a wide range of support and career transition services to our team well before site closures.”

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