The Coles distribution centre at Redbank started initial construction works in 2019.
The Coles distribution centre at Redbank started initial construction works in 2019.

500 JOBS: Huge Coles distribution centre taking shape

CONSTRUCTION on a huge Coles distribution centre expected to create hundreds of new jobs in Ipswich has "progressed significantly" according to the supermarket giant.

Developmental approval was granted by Ipswich City Council in August 2019 with preliminary earthworks starting that same month.

The main building measures 412m long, 187m wide and has a gross floor area of 6.9ha.

Coles announced its partnership with Witron Australia in late 2018 to develop two new automated ambient distribution centres in Redbank and Western Sydney at a combined cost of about $950 million.

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The new warehouses are slated to store and distribute twice the volume of groceries in half the space of existing centres.

The Ipswich facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week with about 95 per cent of on-site operations to be automated.

More than 500 workers are expected to be needed to staff the centre with two 9.5 hour shifts a day, and one five-hour shift between midnight and 5am.

The Ipswich site was chosen for its proximity to major road networks and its initial completion date was set for next year.

It will be leased by Coles for 20 years.

A spokeswoman could not confirm when construction is expected to be completed.

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"Building construction has progressed significantly," she said.

"The new facilities are expected to deliver lower supply chain costs and higher service levels, improved stock availability in stores and safer working environments.

"The Redbank automated ambient distribution centre will supply a full range of ambient grocery lines to more than 216 Coles supermarkets in Queensland.

"Witron is a market leader in the design and realisation of dynamic warehouse and order picking systems for distribution centres, with over 52 automated projects currently running for major retailers around the world."

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.


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