Canada's METRO Inc. and the WITRON Group are to build another automated distribution centre, having completed two projects in the Toronto area.
The companies are now eying the province of Québec, and will start working on a site in the city of Terrebonne in the northern suburbs of Montréal.
The 600,000 square foot hi-tech distribution centre is scheduled to open in 2023.
Karl Hoegen, CEO of WITRON, North America, said, “We appreciate the great relationship that our two companies have formed.
"We always look for more than just a client, we want to find real business partners and create a win-win relationship for many decades to come.”
Just like the other two projects, this new warehouse will be part of METRO’s fresh and frozen food network initiative.
WITRON’s OPM system (Order Picking Machinery is already operating in many temperature-controlled warehouses across the world.
For this level of mechanisation – a fully automated warehouse including storage, picking, and palletising – it is unique to find a technology that works in sub-zero temperatures just as well as it does in an ambient environment.
The centrepiece of WITRON’s automation is the COM (Case Order Machine) – a palletiser that builds mixed, very densely, and well-packed pallets.
Building such well-calculated pallets saves costs during transportation and optimises store operations, providing a true end-to-end supply chain solution.
In the new Terrebonne facility, 12 COMs in the fresh zone and nine COMs in the freezer will pick up to 285,000 cases each day.
The entire system will handle approximately 6,800 SKUs in the freezer and fresh zone.
Founded in 1971 in Parkstein, Germany, WITRON is a global leader in warehouse automation.
With annual sales of more than $16 billion, METRO Inc. is a food and pharmacy leader in Québec and Ontario.