Woolworths and Vaughan Constructions have commenced building works on the supermarket’s new Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) in Truganina.
The multi-million state-of-the-art facility, which will store and deliver fresh produce and chilled products to hundreds of Victorian supermarkets, will create 200 jobs during construction and 300 permanent new jobs when it opens in late-2020.
The MFDC will be co-located with Woolworths’ meat supplier Hilton Meats’ production facility, and replace the current operations at the Mulgrave Produce DC.
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.
Woolworths Chief Supply Chain Officer Paul Graham said: “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.”
Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne, who joined an event on-site to mark the start of construction, said: “Woolworths’ decision to develop its new Melbourne Fresh Distribution centre at Truganina is a big win for locals in the western suburbs and a huge tick for our planners, who have been working with industry and local communities to take more trucks off local streets in the west.
“The Andrews Labor Government is focused on delivering a range of initiatives to take thousands of trucks off local streets, build better connections for producers, and ensure Victoria remains Australia’s freight and logistics capital.
“The West Gate Tunnel Project will remove trucks from local streets and cut travel times for freight as we continue to work and on the business case for the Western Interstate Freight Terminal (WIFT) – a world-class freight and logistics precinct, including an interstate intermodal terminal.”
Wyndham City Mayor Mia Shaw added: “Wyndham is fast developing as a destination of choice for businesses.
“We are open for business and commercial developments like this one are contributing significantly to the trend, building a robust local economy.
“On behalf of Council, I’d like to extend my thanks to the Woolworths Group and Charter Hall for investing in our city.”
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.