Woolworths completes $12M facility upgrade

Supermarket company, Woolworths, has strengthened its supply chain resilience in Far North Queensland.

Woolworths has upgraded its Townsville Regional Distribution Centre (DC) following the completion of a $12 million expansion.

The DC is double the original footprint at 10,416 square metres. The company has also hired an additional 30 team members to boost capacity and service local stores in Townsville and Far North Queensland.

The expanded site can reportedly hold an additional 435 fresh food and essential product lines.

“This is a big moment for our local team in Townsville and the broader North Queensland community,” said Woolworths Group General Manager for Queensland Supply Chain, Dale Acton.

“Townsville has faced tough times in recent years, and we wanted to do our bit to aid the economic recovery after the 2019 floods.

“This project has injected $12 million of fresh investment into the region, created 30 new permanent jobs and will deliver a more resilient supply chain network for our North Queensland customers.

“With the extra space and equipment upgrades, we’re better placed than ever before to service our North Queensland stores year-round and in the unfortunate event of a natural disaster.”

The DC services 39 Woolworths supermarkets spanning from Sarina to Weipa – delivering fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, and groceries from hundreds of suppliers, who have generously supported better local range availability for North Queensland customers.

“In the lead-up to a natural disaster such as a tropical cyclone, supermarket shelves can be stripped bare as residents prepare for impact, and flooding events can see our region cut off from the rest of the state,” said Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill.

“The investment made by Woolworths to expand its Townsville distribution centre means they have more stock available locally to replenish stores when needed, which is great news for the community when they’re in recovery mode.”

“Woolworths is an extremely important part of our community, employing more than 1,000 people in the Herbert electorate alone,” said Federal Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson.

“Projects like this expansion – and the 30 new jobs that it brings – are a massive vote of confidence in our region as we grow and recover from the challenges of a global pandemic and a one in 500 year flood. This is what happens when we create an environment which allows private enterprise to expand and invest in Townsville.”

Queensland builder Spaceframe commenced works in December 2019 and employed around 170 workers throughout construction. Following completion, Woolworths has extended its lease with property owner Centuria.

Jesse Curtis, Fund Manager for Centuria Industrial REIT, which owns the DC, said: “Centuria’s improved facility now provides a cold storage area about the same size as three tennis courts and the dry-store area is the equivalent of almost three-and-a-half Olympic swimming pools. Centuria’s development team spent six months overseeing the expansion of this key distribution centre and we are excited its officially opened”.

The upgrade of the distribution centre followed a commitment from Woolworths in February 2019 to invest $20 million in the Townsville store and supply chain network. Woolworths delivered a full renewal of its Fairfield Central supermarket in March 2019 after it had been badly damaged by the floods.