Albert Heijn to invest in a future-proof distribution center

Albert Heijn to invest in a future-proof distribution center

Zaandam, the Netherlands – Albert Heijn will invest in an automated distribution center for non-perishables. By creating more capacity in the same space, Albert Heijn can better accommodate the future demands of customers and supply its stores more efficiently.

The quality of life at work will also improve for employees in the distribution center, as machines will take over the heavy manual labor. The first automated distribution center will be located on the site of the regional distribution center in Zaandam and is expected to be complete by the end of 2017. Vanderlande Industries will provide the automation systems.

In recent years the number of Albert Heijn stores, and thus the number of fresh produce departments, has grown. Albert Heijn will therefore invest in an automated regional distribution center (RDC) for non-perishable products in Zaandam. Almost the entire regional non-perishables assortment will be processed fully automatically from arrival to loading. The automation will lead to more products being processed in the same space, enabling Albert Heijn to better accommodate customer demand in the future, and that the number of required transport movements will be reduced, as products will be stacked optimally. Another advantage is that products from the same product groups will be delivered together, making it easier for store employees to fill the shelves.

The quality of life at work will also improve for employees in the distribution center as machines will take over the heavy manual labor. With regard to the consequences of automation for employees a Social Framework has been established with the trade unions, which includes a job guarantee for AH Logistics employees.

A new hall will be built for the automation system on the site of the RDC in Zaandam. Vanderlande Industries, a global player in the field of automation systems and services to improve logistics processes and performance, has been selected to provide the automation systems. Albert Heijn has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a detailed design. After completion of the final plan Albert Heijn will enter into a definitive contract with Vanderlande Industries. The current plans concern a single automated distribution center that supplies to around three hundred stores.

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