Dairy part of Dutch food retailer Jumbo Supermarkets’ new logistics center

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

In the future, all Jumbo stores in the Netherlands and Belgium will be supplied from the new Jumbo fresh food warehouse. Pic: Jumbo
In the future, all Jumbo stores in the Netherlands and Belgium will be supplied from the new Jumbo fresh food warehouse. Pic: Jumbo

Related tags Dairy Robotics Supermarket

Dutch food retailer Jumbo Supermarkten is creating one of the most modern automated fresh produce logistics centers in Europe together with WITRON Logistik + Informatik GmbH.

From 2024, all branches in the Netherlands and Belgium will be supplied with almost 2,900 different fresh items with a minimum shelf life of eight days from the 40,000 m2​ facility in Nieuwegein - dairy products, various types of cheese, meat dishes, tapas, salads, chilled drinks and more.

The central distribution center (CDC) is designed for an initial peak picking performance of more than 850,000 pick units per day. A modular expansion for future growth is part of the overall concept. Additional COM robotics lines are being installed in the existing dry goods warehouse during ongoing operations. 

jumbo cut
The existing dry goods logistics center in Nieuwegein will be equipped with 12 additional COM robotics lines. Pic: WITRON

Karel de Jong, director supply chain at Jumbo Supermarkets said the expansion of the company’s branch business, the growth of online shopping and the expansion of its product range - both in the fresh and dry goods range - requires short response times and a high degree of process flexibility, and that the company benefits from automated logistics systems that can be scale efficiently as requirements grow.

At an ambient temperature range of 2 degrees Celsius, the WITRON robotic solutions Order Picking Machinery (OPM), Car Picking System (CPS), and All-in-One Order Fulfillment (AIO) automate all material flow processes for all product groups, product sizes, and distribution channels. In the shipping area, the roll containers are consolidated and made available in a mechanized shipping buffer via stacker cranes and heavy-duty lanes - in line with the tour, in the correct sequence, and in time for dispatch.  

In addition to cost-efficiency and flexibility, the logistics designers from WITRON focused on reduction of heavy physical processes. In the future, case picking onto roll containers will be handled by the OPM system with 24 COM robotics lines, in line with store requirements and without the need for personnel. A potential expansion to 30 COM robotics lines is included in the concept.

Through the AIO solution, worker walking distances are reduced to a minimum, with tote supply and removal from the pick fronts being handled by stacker cranes and conveyor systems. Heavy and bulky products are loaded onto roll containers by employees in a route-optimized manner - controlled via the CPS - in line with store requirements. Here, too, pallet replenishment in the pick aisles is controlled by automated stacker cranes.

All logistics areas are connected by a 14-kilometer-long conveyor network, which includes a total of 9,500 pallet store locations and more than 600,000 tote- and tray storage locations, as well as 138 stacker cranes. 

The existing installation will be expanded by 12 additional COM robotics lines (making a total of 32 COM robotics lines), enabling picking of 2.6m cases per week onto roll containers by mid-2022. The OPM area corresponds to almost 60% more throughput. The entire conveyor system as well as the automated high bay warehouse, located in front of the COM machines will also be expanded by 6,000 locations and the automated tray warehouse by 176,000 locations. The technology will be integrated into the existing building with a size of around 45,000 square meters.

“The expansion of the logistics center was already fully considered in the original concept phase,”​ said Jack Kuypers, senior vice president North-West Europe at WITRON.

“Based on the strong growth of Jumbo and the rapidly measurable economic success of the already operational OPM system for the customer, we are realizing the upgrade earlier than originally planned. The OPM, DPS, and CPS solutions installed at Jumbo ensure a very high store and customer service for all distribution channels. Therefore, we are proud that we could make an important contribution to Jumbo’s positive business development as a life-time partner.”





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