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Walmart set to open Pennsylvania consolidation center, adding 1,000 jobs

New 400,000-square-foot facility using automation to move shipments faster

Walmart aims to streamline supply chain operations with the opening of a second automated consolidation center in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. (Image: Walmart)

Walmart Inc. has announced it is opening a 400,000-square-foot automated consolidation center in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, aimed at speeding up supply chains across the company’s 42 regional distribution centers in the U.S.

The new consolidation center is scheduled to open by the end of August. Walmart has already hired 500 workers at the facility, which will employ up to 1,000 once fully staffed, the company said in a news release last week.

“Walmart is creating the future of the supply chain — a modern system that pairs the latest in software and automation technologies, with a highly trained and specialized workforce of Walmart associates — to disrupt the industry as we know it,” David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart, said in a statement. “At [the Lebanon] facility, we’re implementing the technologies Walmart will continue to roll out throughout our supply chain network.”

The Lebanon facility is the second automated consolidation center Walmart has opened, with the first coming online in 2019 in Colton, California. Both the Lebanon and Colton facilities receive general merchandise items from suppliers in smaller freight loads that are then consolidated into larger freight shipments to regional logistics centers, where they are sorted for distribution to individual stores. 

This allows suppliers to deliver merchandise to one location for consolidation instead of trucking separate orders to each of Walmart’s regional distribution centers, the company said.

“We’ve made continued investments in our people, facilities and technology to ensure we have the right product in the right place at the right time,” Mike Gray, senior vice president, supply chain operations at Walmart, said in a statement. “As part of these investments, the Lebanon facility will provide even more opportunities for small- to medium-sized suppliers who do not ship nationwide [to have] the ability to provide product to all 4,700 Walmart stores.”

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced earlier this year it had expanded its partnership with supply chain automation company Symbotic to deploy robots in all 42 regional distribution centers. The two companies will retrofit the facilities over the next eight years.

Symbotic’s AI-enabled robotics technology aims to provide faster responsiveness to store orders and increased inventory accuracy, as well as higher capacity for receiving and shipping freight to each store.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]