In a major upgrade to its supply chain, Walmart this month is opening a high-tech consolidation center in Lebanon, Pa., that will service all 42 of the retail giant’s regional distribution centers across the U.S.
The 400,000-square-foot center — Walmart’s second consolidation facility following the initial opening across the country in Colton, Calif., in 2019 — will also service fulfillment centers in the near future. Located at 1625 Heilmandale Rd. in Lebanon, it will employ nearly 1,000 workers, including 500 hired in advance.
Walmart’s consolidation centers use automated technology to enable three times more volume to flow through the supply chain. They receive general merchandise items from suppliers in smaller freight loads, known as less than a truckload (LTL), and consolidate them into larger freight loads, or full truckloads (TL). Product is then shipped to regional DCs, where it is sorted before going to stores.
Suppliers will now deliver merchandise to one location for consolidation instead shipping separate orders for each of the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant’s 42 regional distribution centers, simplifying purchase order fulfillment, reducing lead times and increasing speed to customers.
“We’ve made continued investments in our people, facilities and technology to ensure we have the right product, in the right place, at the right time,” Mike Gray, senior vice president of supply chain operations at Walmart, said in a statement. “As part of these investments, the Lebanon facility will provide even more opportunities for small to medium-sized suppliers who do not ship nationwide, the ability to provide product to all 4,700 Walmart stores.”
The new consolidation center coincides with Walmart’s previously announced plans to install automated technology in all 42 regional DCs.
“Walmart is creating the future of supply chain — a modern system that pairs the latest in software and automation technologies with a highly trained and specialized workforce of Walmart associates — to disrupt the industry as we know it,” according to David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation, Walmart U.S. “It’s an exciting time to join our second high-tech consolidation center in Lebanon. At this facility, we’re implementing the technologies Walmart will continue to roll out throughout our supply chain network.”