Primary Connect, the supply chain arm of Woolworths Group, has chosen leading warehouse automation provider, Dematic, for an automated fulfilment system at its new distribution centre in Moorebank, Sydney. The deal builds on a 30-year history between Dematic and Woolworths.

Dematic CEO for Asia Pacific, Michael Jerogin said the company’s local capability with over 600 employees and manufacturing facility in Belrose, Sydney, ensures quality service and systems for customers.

“We are very proud to be a trusted partner of Woolworths and thrilled to be building on this partnership by playing a key role in Woolworths’ automation strategy,” he said.

The Dematic solution for the new DC will build store-friendly pallets for Woolworths’ retail stores. The Flexible Mixed Case Order Fulfilment system, powered by the Dematic iQ Warehouse Management System (WMS), will handle over 9,000 products from 900 suppliers, delivering daily to over 1,000 stores nationally.

The 40,700 square metre Moorebank DC is planned to feature wall-to-wall automation, providing the flexibility to cater for seasonal and other peaks in demand. Woolworths also expects to remove at least 26,000 truck movements between Woolworths facilities from New South Wales roads annually.

Woolworths Group chief supply chain officer and Primary Connect managing director, Paul Graham said the investment is designed to transform the way the supermarket giant serves its stores by strengthening its network and delivering on its ambition to create Australia’s best food and grocery supply chain.

“Cutting-edge automation will build tailored pallets for specific aisles in individual stores — helping us improve on-shelf product availability with faster restocking, reducing congestion in stores and enabling a safer work environment for our teams with less manual handling,” he said.

“We expect the new facilities to also help us progress our localised ranging efforts, with the ability to hold thousands of additional products centrally than we can in our existing facilities.”

The Moorebank DC is scheduled to be operational late 2023.