The first Coles Australian Automated Distribution Centre (ADC), the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, has opened in the Goodman Redbank Motorway Estate, Ipswich.
The centre is the biggest single investment into technology in Coles’ 109-year history, worth about $500 million in technology led innovation for more efficient, sustainable and safer supply chains.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese MP, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Coles Group Chairman James Graham and Coles Group CEO Steven Cain officially opened the ADC on Thursday, 27 April.
Chief Executive Officer Steven Cain said it was one of the most significant moments since Coles was founded in 1914 and five years in the making.
“Modernising our operations is how we improve efficiency and availability in our stores and deliver higher service levels for our customers, team members and suppliers,” Mr. Cain said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese MP said this world leading technology will help advance supermarket supply chains.
“This technology is not only a first for Australia, but also a win for the state of Queensland. As we’ve seen during the pandemic and natural disasters, resilient supply chains are essential when it comes to feeding our nation and providing Australians with essential supplies,” Prime Minster Albanese said.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the investment confirmed Ipswich’s local economy was well placed to grow in years ahead.
“The decision to invest and build this Australian-first facility here in Ipswich is a testament to the strength and attractiveness of the city,” Mayor Harding said.
“Ipswich is Queensland’s fastest growing city and this investment will drive productivity growth in Queensland and ensure food security in one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.”
Economic and Industry Development Committee Chairperson and Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said the scale of the building was impressive.
“The building size is 66,000 square metres, making it one of the biggest automated distribution centres in the world, while the overall site is 170,000 square metres, which is the equivalent size of two Suncorp Stadiums,” Cr Jonic said.
“More than 2,500 people came together to contribute more than 460,000 workhours to construct the building and an additional 1.1 million workhours to install the automation.”
Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle welcomed the positive environmental aspects of the centre.
“The centre has LED and sensor lighting to reduce energy consumption, is fitted with 180,000 litres of rainwater storage and there are plans for 3.5-megawatt solar installation,” Cr Doyle said.
“Additionally, edible food that can’t be sold in the ADC will be donated to Coles community partner SecondBite.”
Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said the city’s location meant it was poised for sustainable growth.
“This ADC will service 219 Coles supermarkets in Queensland and the northern part of New South Wales, from Port Douglas to Laurieton,” Cr Fechner said.
“The centre can process twice the number of cases and hold twice the number of pallets compared to current centres, which means current total footprint is halved and that leads to a more sustainable and productive model.”
The Redbank ADC is named Nguru-Mandin, meaning the spirit of the fishing net.
The site is home to the Yuggera, Jagara and Ugarupul people and an acknowledgement of local language plaque was erected at Nguru-Mandin with a blessing from the traditional owners of the land.