NewCold Advanced Cold Logistics says its newly completed deep frozen storage and distribution center in Wakefield, England, the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom, now is running near capacity, and the company is planning further growth and investment over the next two years, including hiring 70 more people.
NewCold officially opened the 16.5-acre Wakefield site in the spring of 2018 with a ceremony featuring customers, dignitaries, staff, well-wishers and Jon Miles, NewCold’s country director, who spoke about the facility’s “impressive facts and figures.”
“Today sees the culmination of six years of dedicated work,” Miles said. “And the opening of a food-handling facility which, in terms of size, performance, sustainability and low energy consumption, raises the bar to new heights—until now, not seen in the UK.”
NewCold’s logistics operation currently includes 50 tractor units and 80 temperature-controlled trailers, many of which are high-volume double-deckers with auto-loading, the company said.
The Wakefield plant handle’s 3 million pallets annually, and with a total volume of over 4 million cubic meters, the giant deepfreeze has the capacity to store 143,000 pallets at a constant -23°. NewCold said 175 pallets go in and out every hour, and only five minutes is required to unload its bespoke-designed moving floor trailers.
Featuring some of the most advanced automated technology of its kind, the NewCold plant is fully automated, and minimal handling maintains product temperature at all times. The operation is driven by Davanti software, which has been improved every year, specifically to get optimum use of the automation, the company said. Furthermore, the dispatch bays are deep-frozen, whereas many conventional stores are chilled.
“Not only does the facility operate at around 50% of the energy consumed by conventional deep-frozen storage sites, but also, given the proximity to the motorway network, 90% of NewCold’s delivery points can be reached and returned from within a driver’s shift,” Mile said. “This improves customer service and keeps ‘food miles’ to an absolute minimum.”
Bram Hage, NewCold’s founder and CEO, commented on the ‘challenges’ met and overcome by the NewCold team during the development and growth of the Wakefield site, and referenced similar greenfield projects undertaken by NewCold elsewhere in the world.
“This is the coming together of talented people, both from NewCold and our many supply partners and customers, to formulate a truly global consolidation of skills and recourses in the supply chain,” Hage said.
Added Miles: “From the start, (Wakefield Council Deputy Leader) Denise Jeffrey and the Wakefield Council have helped greatly, including three years ago with the introduction of many new recruits—75% of whom, I’m pleased to say, are still with us and remain part of our 200-strong team.”
Miles also said NewCold has so far committed around £100 million ($126.4 million) on build cost alone, and their growth plans over the coming two years will see further investment, including the recruitment of an additional 70 personnel.
“With the success of the Wakefield facility and the increasing demand for a quality temperature-controlled logistics offering, NewCold are actively looking for a site for their second UK facility,” Miles said.