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Woolworths begins work on $135m distribution centre

Woolworths’ $560 million automated warehouse in Dandenong
Photo Source: Eamon Gallagher

Supermarket giant Woolworths has kicked off construction on a
$135 million state-of-the-art distribution centre for fresh produce in Victoria.

The Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) in Truganina will house Woolworths’ fresh produce and chilled products before distribution to its supermarkets across the state, replacing the current Mulgrave Produce DC.

The new facility will have the capacity to move one and a half million cartons from over 500 fresh fruit, vegetables and chilled goods suppliers. Woolworths’ meat supplier Hilton Meats will also be located at the site.

The centre is expected to open at the end of next year creating 300 permanent jobs, as well as 200 during the construction process.

Solar power is a big feature of the new site, with a solar panel system on the roof and charging points for electric trucks.

“This development will help us deliver top quality fruit and vegetables to our customers fresher, faster and more efficiently than ever before. At one-and-a-half times the size of the MCG field, the distribution centre will provide a significant uplift in capacity to support our continued growth in Victoria,” Woolworths chief supply chain officer Paul Graham said.

“We’re proud to be investing in a best-in-class supply chain network in Victoria – delivering fresher food to our customers, taking trucks off Melbourne’s roads, and creating hundreds of new jobs.”

Landowner Charter Hall is funding the majority of the A$135m investment, with Woolworths signing a 15-year lease on the lot.

The groundbreaking ceremony of Woolworths’ new Melbourne facility

With the new location closer to the majority of Woolworths’ suppliers, it will reduce the amount of trucks needed on the roads by hundreds and will cut fuel use by over 400,000 litres each year.

“Woolworths’ decision to develop its new Melbourne Fresh Distribution centre at Truganina is a big win for locals in the western suburbs and a huge tick for our planners, who have been working with industry and local communities to take more trucks off local streets in the west,” Victorian minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne said.

Woolworths said that the Mulgrave Produce DC will still continue to operate until the new MFDC opens in late 2020.

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