Walmart announced plans to build two new high-tech facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to support its growing supply chain network. A 1.5 million square-foot automated fulfillment center is set to open in 2023, and a 730,000 square-foot automated grocery distribution center is set to open in 2024.
Amazon, meanwhile, announcement of three planned new distribution facilities in Alabama.
The new Walmart facilities, in Lancaster, Texas, will rank among among the company’s largest automated fulfillment and distribution centers, the retailer said. Through the combined efforts of Walmart associates and automation technology, the high-tech facilities will move more than two times the volume of a traditional fulfillment and grocery distribution center, Walmart added, all while improving the accuracy, quality and speed of the fulfillment and distribution of products.The new fulfillment and distribution centers will create about 1,000 full-time jobs in their vicinities, with 40% requiring STEM skills to support technical positions.
Walmart pointed out that the high-tech facilities are part of a larger investment it announced earlier this year to double down on the use of automation technology in the supply chain. It comes just months after the retailer revealed plans to add automation in more than half of its regional distribution centers and automated market fulfillment centers in select stores. In addition, the retailer has made investments in drones and autonomous vehicles to support last mile deliveries.
Joe Metzger executive vice president, supply chain operations at Walmart U.S., said, “These high-tech facilities will include game-changing innovations that are radically disrupting the supply chain, getting products onto store shelves and items shipped to our customers even faster, while saving time for our associates.”
Amazon announced plans for three new distribution facilities in Alabama: a Birmingham delivery station; a Huntsville XL fulfillment center that will receive, store and package heavy or bulky items such as home appliances; and a Montgomery Receive Center that will receive and consolidate items from vendors and facilitate shipment to fulfillment centers. Amazon also reported it had opened a Huntsville, Ala., fulfillment center where employees pack and ship larger items to customers.
In addition, as it looks to optimize its key strategies, Amazon maintained that it had opened a sortation center in Maple Grove, Minn., in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.