The site where Foodstuffs’ new temperature controlled facility will be built, at its Hornby distribution Centre in Christchurch. From left are Foodstuffs South Island’s General Manager Supply Chain John Mullins, Chief Executive Steve Anderson and General Manager Property & Retail Development Roger Davidson.


"Foodstuffs South Island Limited has just begun construction of a new temperature controlled facility at its Hornby distribution Centre in Christchurch adjacent to the recently expanded ambient distribution centre.

Foodstuffs purchased the site in 2010 to allow for future expansion. We began the planning phase of ‘Project Chilly Bin’ in 2014, as our existing temperature controlled facility was struggling to keep up with demand due to the introduction of fresh produce - particularly in peak trading periods.

We have 14,500m2 of temperature controlled capacity over two sites, 10,500m2 of chiller space and 4,000 m2 of freezer space.

The newly expanded facility will increase our chiller capacity by 100 percent, our freezer capacity by 50 percent and will allow us to significantly increase our product range.  For our retail stores that means we’ll be able to offer an expanded range of products from the distribution centre, seven days per week.

Site works began in June and we expect the project to be complete in mid-2018. The new distribution centre, offices and staff facilities will total 28,551m2, so we are increasing the size by a further 14,051m2 - almost double.

It is going to be a logistical challenge to keep the Hornby existing chilled and frozen distribution centre operating efficiently while the construction work goes on. Access will be a little tight at times but when complete, the new distribution centre will be world class.  We will be using a leading truck docking system developed in Belgium and widely used in warehouses throughout Europe and the USA.

The site will also have its own truck wash, weighbridge, automated pallet wrappers, a fast-charging facility for forklift batteries and smart lighting.

To get ‘Project Chilly Bin’ to this point we have completed a detailed review of our current and future business, analysing what our future volumes and capacity requirements are likely to be. We’ve taken guidance from industry consultants and visited other chiller and freezer operations, to understand best practice.

As part of this exercise, we are future-proofing our Hornby DC meaning we have space for our business to grow.  In the short term that means we can offer a logistics service to third parties for 3PL storage.

Our location at Hornby, Christchurch is very much the distribution hub of the South Island due to its proximately to State Highways North and South, the new Southern Motorway project, plus the port of Lyttelton.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the project come to fruition and ultimately being able to offer an improved working environment to our staff and suppliers – and an expanded product range to our South Island customers serviced by our New World, PAK’nSAVE, Four Square, Raeward Fresh and Trents Brands."

Steve Anderson, CEO, Foodstuffs South Island