Walmart is opening the distribution centre of the future in Shafter, California. The centre for perishables will be capable of moving 40 percent more groceries than a traditional distribution centre, all while reducing the damage of goods.
The 2020 project will be Walmart’s first high-tech distribution centre for goods of this nature, and will employ tech-focused jobs and techniques rather than traditional logistics. The facility will have the technology do all the heavy lifting, including documentation of incoming products. An algorithm will allow the machines to see all cases ordered for a location and determine how to best palletise them. Walmart has described the process as “sort of like a game of Tetris, but with apples and ice cream.”
As the technology maximises palletising efficiency, the trucks used to transport goods will be able to fit more on board, reducing transport costs and carbon emissions. Consumers will see savings on their end thanks to this reduced cost, as well as savings from fewer damages to products.
The new centre will create plenty of tech-focused jobs, giving STEM graduates a place to go.