Ocado’s picking and packing automation technology is set to be deployed in Australia after Coles secured two sites for distribution centres.
The two sites are located in New South Wales near Sydney and in Victoria near Melbourne. They will use Ocado’s smart platform, which uses a robotic grid to automatically sort orders.
The sites will come online in the 2023 financial year, supporting 600 jobs during construction with 600 ongoing jobs once operation commences.
Coles signed an agreement with Ocado in March 2019 to use its platform.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the investment in technology would support employment opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We remain committed to our strategy of Smarter Selling through efficiency and pace of change, while partnering with world-class technology partners to provide the capability we need for a second century of sustainable growth,” he said.
Mr Cain said Ocado’s online fulfilment solution, which also includes new website technology for Coles Online and Ocado’s delivery management technology to maximise transport efficiency, would transform the Coles Online experience for customers while also reducing waste and improving safety for team members.
“Ocado has been a world leader in online fulfilment for more than a decade, and through our exclusive Australian partnership we will use their proven technology to offer customers more products than ever before, delivered at a time to suit them, while building capacity to service the growing demand for online food and grocery shopping,” he said.
Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions, said securing the development sites was an extremely exciting moment for the Coles-Ocado partnership, following the recent opening of Ocado’s first international CFCs for partners in France and Canada.
“Ocado’s technology has revolutionised the way in which grocery shopping is done online,” he said.
“When these two Coles CFCs go live and begin to ramp up, they will be instrumental in delivering unrivalled online grocery experiences to Coles customers in Victoria and New South Wales. They will also create exciting job opportunities for engineers looking to work with some of the most cutting-edge robotics and automation technology in the world.”