Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) said it plans to build a state-of-the-art distribution hub in Hernando, Miss. The facility, to be completed in 2023, will feature automation technology and an evolved organizational infrastructure designed to enable sustainable growth for its retail members.
“Our industry is ever-changing, and it is our mission to provide our member-retailers all of the products, services and tools they need to compete favorably in all markets served, all at the best possible cost,” AWG CEO David Smith said in a statement. “This new facility has capabilities that checks all of those boxes. We are excited to be able to significantly expand what we stock and ship to our member stores while becoming more efficient and cost-effective in our operations. This new facility will be a critical component in our plan to build a safer, better and more efficient supply chain. In addition to becoming the primary supply source for the region, we will also leverage this new operation as an expanded variety source to all of our facilities and member stores. This will create more value throughout the supply chain for AWG and our members.”
The Kansas City, Kan.-based wholesaler partnered with the German logistics firm Witron to design the dynamic food warehouse automation and order picking systems that will be integrated into the facility, including the handling of case and pallet goods; ambient, refrigerated and frozen foods; as well as the handling of individual unit products. AWG said the system would increase throughput of products, increase efficiencies, improve accuracy and reduce loss due to damaged goods, allowing AWG and member stores to realize savings across transportation, inventory management, as well as experience enhanced pick accuracy and lower salvage rates while lowering costs and maximizing the integrity and safety of the food supply chain.
Construction will begin after incentives have been approved by local and state leaders, the distributor said.