Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

XPO builds digital warehouse for Nestlé

Steve Rogerson
July 10, 2018

Connecticut-based XPO Logistics is building a digital warehouse for food and drink giant Nestlé. The 60,000-square-metre distribution centre will be at the Segro East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire, UK.
The digital warehouse will be occupied predominantly by Nestlé for its consumer packaged goods and will function as a test-bed environment for XPO technology prototypes prior to global release.
The custom-designed distribution centre, scheduled for completion in 2020, will feature sorting systems and robotics alongside the latest automation co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation. The site’s digital ecosystem will integrate predictive data and intelligent machines to deliver what is hoped will be one of the most advanced distribution management centres in the world, giving consumers faster, more efficient access to Kitkat, Maggo and other iconic Nestlé brands.
“We are thrilled to be working with XPO Logistics to build a flagship digital warehouse and technology laboratory at the East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park,” said Nestlé director of supply chain David Hix. “This is a world-first investment for Nestlé that builds on a century and a half of proud history in this country. Our partnership with XPO will encourage innovation and experimentation in our UK logistics operations and help future-proof our business. We will be able to be even more responsive for our customers across our brands, which include some of the most recognisable in the world.”
The XPO-owned facility will be strategically located to benefit from direct access to the M1 motorway for road transport, East Midlands Airport for cargo flights, and an onsite rail freight terminal with direct access to the major UK ports of Southampton, Felixstowe, London Gateway and the Channel Tunnel.
“Nestlé has entrusted XPO with the digital architecture for its future vision,” said Richard Cawston, managing director for supply chain at XPO Logistics Europe. ‘Together, we will create limitless opportunities to explore new technologies in a state-of-the-art logistics environment. The new East Midlands centre will operate as both a think tank and a launch pad for XPO innovations, with far-reaching impacts on the way business is done. We look forward to an inventive collaboration with Nestlé.”
The facility will be sited on human-made plateaus, with landscaping to reduce the visual impact to nearby settlements. Additional sustainability measures include energy-saving LED lighting, environmentally friendly ammonia refrigeration, air source heat pumps for administration areas and rainwater harvesting.
“This is excellent news for north-west Leicestershire and the wider East Midlands economy,” said local MP Andrew Bridgen. “That two global giants – Nestlé and XPO – should choose to locate their new state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable facility here shows that this region is a great place for businesses to invest. It’s very positive for the development of our local economy.”
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company with more than 2000 brands ranging from global icons to local favourites, and is present in 191 countries.