NewCold Advanced Cold Logistics has unveiled its newly completed frozen food storage and distribution center in Wakefield, England, which is said to be the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom.
During a recent grand opening ceremony customers, dignitaries, staff and well-wishers gathered on the 16.5-acre site to mark the occasion and hear from Jon Miles, NewCold’s country director, who detailed facts and figures about the state-of-the-art storage and logistics complex.
“Here we see the culmination of six years dedicated work, 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 not previously seen in the UK,” he said.
The refrigerated warehouse is expected to handle 3,000,000 pallets annually. Containing more than four million cubic meters of space, it has capacity to store 143,000 pallets at -23°, with 75 pallets coming in and going out on an hourly basis. Driven by Davanti software, the fully automated plant requires minimal manual handling and maintains product temperature precisely as required at all times.
“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,” said Miles. “This improves customer service and keeps food miles to an absolute minimum.”
Bram Hage, NewCold’s founder and chief executive officer, commented on the challenges met and overcome by the company during its development and growth of the Wakefield site, and referenced similar greenfield projects undertaken by the Breda, Netherlands-headquartered refrigerated warehouse operator elsewhere in the world.
“This is the coming together of talented people, both from NewCold and from our many supply partners and customers, to formulate a truly global consolidation of skills and recourses in the supply chain,” he said.
Mark Slaughter, director general for investment at the Department for International Trade, highlighted the importance of ongoing commercial partnerships between the UK, the Netherlands and other countries in which NewCold has established similar cold storage logistics operations.
“I am delighted that we, working in partnership with Wakefield Council, have been able to support NewCold to deliver a truly world class facility bringing over 200 highly valued jobs to the area,” he said. “I know that the completion of this site is just the start for NewCold, and our international economic department stands ready to help the company further expand their UK presence.”
NewCold, which has so far committed to around £100 million in construction costs alone, anticipates further investment and the recruitment of an additional 70 personnel over the next few years.
In completing the official opening ceremony, Denise Jeffrey, deputy leader of Wakefield Council, cut a ribbon suspended between two NewCold double-deck temperature-controlled trailers. Overhead, NewCold logistics advisor Tom Cassells captivated the crowd with a fly-by aerobatic display in his single-seat Cap 23 aircraft.