Walmart Inc. on Oct. 18 said it will open a new high-tech distribution center for groceries in California by fall of 2020.
The new facility will use technology developed by Witron, a company that specializes in storage systems and warehouse logistics, to process grocery perishables such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, lowers and frozen goods.
The new system will take over key tasks in the facility, such as heavy lifting, stacking boxes and building pallets, so Walmart associates no longer need to these tasks manually.
"Every product is measured and documented so we know how to handle it," Shayne Wahlmeier, one of the engineers on the project, said in a statement. "A computer algorithm shows all the cases ordered for a given store and determines how to palletize them to maximize the space on a pallet or trailer. It also takes into account density – what's crushable, what's not."
The technology is also helping associates to build a more flexible pallet to allow more products to fit onto a truck. Because of this, the new facility is expected to move 40% more products than the regular distribution centers and lower the company's transportation costs.
The Arkansas-based retailer is also expecting the distribution center to create hundreds of new technology-focused jobs.