Supply Chain

E.Leclerc Socamil And WITRON Win Prestigious French Logistics Award

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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E.Leclerc Socamil And WITRON Win Prestigious French Logistics Award

It’s been a successful month for E.Leclerc Socamil. The French food retailer has received the ‘Rois de la Supply Chain 2022’ award – the most prestigious logistics prize in France – from Supply Chain Magazine.

The retailer received the award for its fully automated omnichannel/multi-temperature distribution centre in Castelnaudary, which was designed and implemented by its lifetime logistics partner, WITRON.

The core innovation at the site is the innovative FPM (Flow Picking Machinery) solution, a fully automated ‘flow-through warehouse’ for the complete range of fresh and ultra-fresh products.

FPM was described by the jury as a ‘paradigm shift’ in the French fresh-produce logistics sector. The award enables E.Leclerc to participate in the European Logistics Association Awards.

Flexible, Cost-Efficient And Sustainable

“Despite the pandemic conditions, we succeeded in realising this flexible, cost-efficient and sustainable logistics centre in record time, together with WITRON,” commented Christophe de Nays Candau, general director of E.Leclerc Socamil. “It serves all distribution channels – hypermarkets, stores and drives, as well as the online business, with more than 30,000 different items from the complete product range – dry, fresh and frozen.”


On a peak day, WITRON’s OPM and FPM solutions pick up to 300,000 pick units. A mechanised shipping buffer controls and optimises the dispatch process and shipment of up to 6,000 pallets daily.

Fully Automated Picking

“With the FPM, we have developed a highly efficient system for fully automated picking in stockless distribution centres – end to end, from receiving to shipping,” commented Claus Holm, WITRON’s authorised signatory with responsibility for the South-Western European sales region.

“The FPM concept is thus the perfect solution for fresh-produce logistics in the French food retail sector, which is handled almost exclusively via flux tendu (just-in-time) stockless distribution warehouses. Also, the new concept deals with very high demands on product variety, product quality, and time to store.

“The performance of the FPM system is demonstrated in daily operations at E.Leclerc Socamil, where more than 100 hypermarkets, drives and stores are supplied with up to 100,000 pick units from a range of 12,000+ fresh and ultra-fresh items.”


Pictured celebrating the joint success are the project managers of E.Leclerc Socamil and WITRON. Front row, left to right: Laurent Borneuf, Christophe de Nays Candau, Claus Holm, Adrien Ponsero. Back row, left to right: Bertrand Fritz, Thierry Gardette, Othmane Benhammou, Jean-Marc Heilig.

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