On the 27th of October, Dutch retailer Albert Heijn opened its new Home Shop Center in Barendrecht (NL). As the foodtech company is always on the lookout for new technologies to work smarter and more efficiently, this warehouse built by WDP features the latest in automation. In addition, this gasless building operates almost completely on solar energy. Let’s take a look at this pioneering facility - a striking example of WDP’s ambition to help its clients on their way to the future of logistics.
Robots and rails
The Home Shop Center was built to support the further growth of Albert Heijn's e-commerce business. Every week, 45,000 orders will be prepared for home delivery. To make this process as efficient as possible, 300 robots pick non-perishable goods and put them in crates that travel through the warehouse on an intricate network of rails. Operators then add fresh produce and finalise the order. The robots make work easier for employees and allow Albert Heijn to grow despite shortages in the labour market. Indeed: a WDP warehouse is more than just a building. It is a smart logistics hub that allows clients to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.
For WDP, the future of logistics is not just about automation. It is also a matter of developing sustainable facilities that help clients to decarbonise their operations. As such, the Home Shop Center is a prime example of both technological innovation and sustainability. How does this warehouse fit into WDP’s sustainable building concept? For starters, this gasless building does not depend on fossil fuels. Over 5,400 solar panels generate enough electricity to power the operations for most of the time. Carefully selected installations account for low energy consumption, such as energy-efficient cooling cells, LED lighting, and heat pumps for climate control in the offices. Outside, there are 63 EV charging stations that will support Albert Heijn’s transition to e-mobility. All these efforts led to a BREEAM Very Good certification.
With this successful project in the books, there’s little time to rest: the next Home Shop Center in Zwolle (NL) is already in the works and set to open by mid 2024.
Are you looking to optimise your logistics operations with a sustainable, automated warehouse? Get in touch with our experts.