Woolworths breaks ground on new $135m distribution centre

Woolworths has commenced building works on the supermarket’s new Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) in Truganina, Victoria.

The multi-million state-of-the-art facility, which will be built by Vaughan Constructions, will store and deliver fresh produce and chilled products to hundreds of Victorian supermarkets, create 200 jobs during construction and 300 permanent new jobs when it opens in late-2020.

The custom-designed facility will replace Woolworths current operations at Mulgrave, and provide the leading national retailer with a market edge in terms of supply chain dynamics. The MFDC will be co-located with Woolworths’ meat supplier Hilton Meats’ production facility.

Co-location with Hilton and closer proximity to more fresh food suppliers will take up to 600 trucks off the West Gate Bridge each week and a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year.

“This development will help us deliver top quality fruit and vegetables to our customers fresher, faster and more efficiently than ever before. At one-and-a-half times the size of the MCG field, the distribution centre will provide a significant uplift in capacity to support our continued growth in Victoria. We’re proud to be investing in a best-in-class supply chain network in Victoria – delivering fresher food to our customers, taking trucks off Melbourne’s roads, and creating hundreds of new jobs,” Woolworths Chief Supply Chain Officer Paul Graham said.

At full capacity more than one and a half million cartons a week will move through MFDC bringing customers fresh fruit and vegetables and chilled goods from more than 500 suppliers.

The $135m investment on the MFDC is majority funded by landowner Charter Hall, with Woolworths signing an initial 15-year lease on the site. This builds on an extensive national relationship between Woolworths and Charter Hall across both industrial and retail properties.

The commissioning of the MFDC will take around 600 truck movements off the West Gate each week as Truganina is located closer to more Woolworths suppliers than Mulgrave. Co-location with Hilton Meats will take a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year as it eliminates shuttle runs between Mulgrave and Truganina.

The MFDC is also targeting a Five Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, with a solar panel system on the roof, charge points for electric trucks, and fuel savings of more than 400,000 litres each year from transport efficiencies. The Mulgrave Produce DC will continue to operate until the MFDC opens in late 2020.