To keep goods moving faster, Walmart will open a 400,000 square-foot high-tech consolidation center in Lebanon, PA, this month, which will use automation to move goods three times than has been traditional and help Walmart deliver the right product to the right store.
The company indicated that the building will be the second of its kind in Walmart’s supply chain, with the first operating in Colton, CA, since 2019. Consolidation centers have a specialized role in moving products quickly with the ability to receive general merchandise items from suppliers in smaller freight loads and consolidate them into larger ones. With the consolidation center, suppliers can deliver merchandise to one location for consolidation versus shipping separate orders for each of the company’s 42 regional distribution centers, Walmart pointed out.
Automation associated with the consolidation centers will unlock new benefits for suppliers through simplification of purchase order fulfillment, reduction of lead times and increased speed to customers. Consolidation centers support a broader focus on technology within Walmart’s supply chain, the company noted. Walmart already plans to renovate all regional distribution centers with automation technology.
“We’ve made continued investments in our people, facilities and technology to ensure we have the right product, in the right place, at the right time,” said Mike Gray, senior vp, supply chain operations at Walmart, in announcing the consolidation center addition. “As part of these investments, the Lebanon facility will provide even more opportunities for small to medium-sized suppliers who do not ship nationwide, the ability to provide product to all 4,700 Walmart stores.”
David Guggina, Walmart U.S. senior vp of innovation & automation, said, “Walmart is creating the future of supply chain—a modern system that pairs the latest in software and automation technologies, with a highly trained and specialized workforce of Walmart associates—to disrupt the industry as we know it. It’s an exciting time to join our second high-tech consolidation center in Lebanon. At this facility, we’re implementing the technologies Walmart will continue to roll out throughout our supply chain network.”