Retail giant Walmart on Thursday opened the second of four planned “next generation fulfillment centers” that will achieve faster shipping and delivery times by aligning people, technology, and machine learning, the company said.
The McCordsville fulfillment center is a 2.2 million-square-foot facility located some 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis. As well as increasing order fulfillment capacity for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company to sell its own goods on Walmart.com, the site will also allow the company to expand its third party logistics (3PL) practices.
As the company’s largest fulfillment center to date, the building will support Walmart’s end-to-end third-party fulfillment business, known as Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), and will provide space to fulfill goods sold on Walmart Marketplace, the company’s e-commerce platform.
Walmart did not disclose exactly which logistics technologies it had installed in the new facility, but last year it said that its next generation fulfillment centers would run on automation and robotics from Knapp, Symbotic, and Witron.
When all four next generation fulfillment centers are online, Walmart says they will combine with the rest of its fulfillment network to enable the retailer to reach 95% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping.
“The McCordsville grand opening marks a major milestone in our supply chain modernization journey,” Karisa Sprague, senior vice president, Fulfillment Network Operations for Walmart U.S., said in a release. “With more customers shopping online, we’re leverage state-of-the-art technology to increase speed of delivery all while creating tech-empowered career opportunities for our associates.”
According to Walmart, the modern scope of its “next generation” facilities will support more diverse career paths than traditional warehouse work descriptions. The company says it is currently hiring for tech-focused jobs as it ramps up to hire more than 1,000 Walmart associates to staff the McCordsville site.