This month, Walmart will open a high-tech consolidation center in Lebanon, Pa. The new 400,000-square-foot facility will bring nearly 1,000 additional jobs to the area, 500 of which were hired in advance. Once implemented, the facility’s automated technology can enable three times more volume to flow throughout the center and help Walmart deliver the right product to the right store, so customers can find the products they need. The Lebanon consolidation center will service all 42 regional distribution centers across the U.S., with plans to service fulfillment centers in the near future.
This building will be the second of its kind in Walmart’s supply chain. The first, located in Colton, Calif., opened in 2019. Consolidation centers have a specialized role in moving products quickly on their journey to store shelves, and ultimately, the customer. Each has the ability to receive general merchandise items from suppliers in smaller freight loads, known in the industry as less than a truckload (LTL) and consolidate them into larger freight loads, known as full truckloads (TL). Then the product is shipped to regional distribution centers where it is sorted for distribution to stores. Suppliers will now be able to deliver merchandise to one singular location for consolidation versus shipping separate orders for each of the 42 regional distribution centers. This automation will unlock new benefits for suppliers through simplification of purchase order fulfillment, reduction of lead times and increased speed to customers.
“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,” said Mike Gray, senior vice president, supply chain operations at Walmart. “As part of these investments, the Lebanon facility will provide even more opportunities for small to medium sized suppliers who do not ship nationwide, the ability to provide product to all 4,700 Walmart stores.”
These high-tech consolidation centers support a broader focus on technology within Walmart’s supply chain. This year, the retailer announced plans to renovate all 42 regional distribution centers with automated technology.
“Walmart is creating the future of 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,” said David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation & automation, Walmart U.S. “It’s an exciting time to join our second high tech consolidation center in Lebanon. At this facility, we’re implementing the technologies Walmart will continue to roll out throughout our supply chain network.”
Once staffed, Walmart will have 1,000 associates at the Lebanon consolidation center in roles ranging from Freight Handler to Operational Manager. Full-time positions qualify for Walmart’s total rewards and benefits plans, including medical, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) matching, paid time off, stock purchase plan and access to a 100% paid college tuition and books through Walmart’s Live Better U.