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Robot Testbed? The 638K SF Midlands Facility That Will Change Your Warehouse World

An XPO robot goes about its business

Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drink company, and Connecticut-based XPO Logistics are to create a 638K SF Midlands warehouse that will be a testbed for new robot technology.

The distribution centre at the new SEGRO East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire will trial XPO technology prototypes prior to global release.

The facility, scheduled for completion in 2020, will feature advanced sorting systems and robotics alongside state-of-the-art automation co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation.

The site’s digital ecosystem will integrate predictive data and intelligent machines to deliver one of the most advanced distribution management centres in the world, giving consumers faster, more efficient access to Nestlé brands including Kit Kat and Nescafe.

The XPO-owned facility will benefit from direct access to the M1 motorway for road transport, the East Midlands Airport for cargo flights and an on-site rail freight terminal with direct access to the major U.K. ports of Southampton, Felixstowe, London Gateway and the Channel Tunnel.

 “Together, we will create limitless opportunities to explore new technologies in a state-of-the-art logistics environment. The new East Midlands center will operate as both a think tank and a launch pad for XPO innovations, with far-reaching impacts on the way business is done,” XPO Logistics Europe  Managing Director Richard Cawston said.