Woolworths to build AUD$184mn Heathwood Distribution Centre
Primary Connect - Woolworth Group’s supply chain arm - has begun building works on its new AUD$184mn Heathwood Distribution Centre (DC) in Southeast Queensland.
“We’re proud to be investing in our Queensland supply chain network for the benefit of our customers and store teams. This development will help us deliver better service and fresher food to our stores, take trucks off Brisbane’s roads, and create exciting new career opportunities for Queenslanders. The extra delivery capacity enabled through the Heathwood DC will be key to supporting our continued growth in Queensland for many years to come,” commented Dale Acton, Primary Connect General Manager for Queensland, Woolworths Group.
Heathwood Distribution Centre (DC)
Woolworth new DC will be a 42,000 square meter, temperature controlled facility to enable fresher, faster and more efficient deliveries of its 4,000 frozen and chilled products to more than 260 stores in Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
The DC is set to open in the first half of 2022. It will be co-located with Woolworths’ meat supplier’s production facility (Hilton Foods Australia), taking up to 390 truck movements off Brisbane roads each week by consolidating delivery loads to stores.
“Over the next five years we plan to inject a total of $500 million into the Queensland economy across our store network and supply chain, e-commerce and shopping centre developments — creating more than 5,000 new jobs," added Acton.
The DC is being built by Vaughan Constructions, creating around 200 Queensland jobs in construction, and at full capacity more than two million cartons a week will be moved through the DC.
Woolworths Group has also set ambitions to achieve a Five Star Green Star rating at the Heathwood DC from the Green Building Council of Australia.
“In these uncertain times, we need major job-creating projects that will create certainty in job opportunities and economic growth. That’s what the Heathwood Distribution Centre will bring to Brisbane by securing around 200 jobs during construction and sustaining around 300 jobs after. Working alongside Hilton Foods Australia, this new facility will help boost consumer confidence while positioning Brisbane as the hub for a local, reliable food supply chain for Queensland,” said Adrian Schrinner, Lord Mayor of Brisbane.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany