Woolworths Group’s supply chain arm Primary Connect has opened the new Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) at Truganina. The new facility will store fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and chilled products and serve more than 230 Victorian supermarkets.
Construction of the 38,000sqm distribution centre site began last year. It will employ more than 400 staff from Melbourne and process 1.5 million cartons every week coming from more than 500 fresh-food suppliers. The MFDC will use an automated airbridge to connect the centre to Woolies’ meat supplier Hilton Foods’ factory.
“The importance of a strong, responsive and resilient fresh-food supply chain has come into sharp focus during the pandemic. This state-of-the-art distribution centre will take our supply chain to the next level – allowing us to get fresh food into our stores much faster for our customers. The opening is a welcome boost for local employment and will help us deliver what is expected to be our busiest Christmas ever,” Primary Connect supply chain general manager for Southern Region Justin Dowling said.
“The site has the latest in banana and avocado ripening technology, along with world-class refrigeration systems to ensure top product quality and freshness on the shelf. A fully integrated warehouse and transport management system will also help reduce freight movements as we optimise inbound and outbound deliveries. This will not only reduce the lead time for fresh food deliveries to stores, but also help cut our carbon footprint.”
The state member for Tarneit, Sarah Connolly, said the opening will benefit the community as it generates local job opportunities and provides job security for families.
There will be 600 truck movements coming from the West Gate weekly since Truganina is closer to Woolworths’ suppliers compared to the company’s Mulgrave DC. The co-location with Hilton Meats will add further 3000 truck movements every year as the new site will lessen the shuttle runs between Mulgrave and Truganina.
The MFDC is eyeing a Five Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, since it installed a solar panel system on the roof. It also installed charging stations for the electric trucks and helped save fuel around 400,000 litres.
Landowner Charter Hall had majority funding to Woolworths’ new facility and the grocery giant signed a 15-year lease on the property.