Only two years after announcing its ambitious project, Groupe Robert last month officially opened its automated distribution center in Varennes, Quebec. This investment of over $200 million, supported by financial contributions from the government of Quebec, Investissement Québec and several partners, places Groupe Robert at the forefront of food logistics in Quebec.

For this project, Groupe Robert drew inspiration from some of the most technologically advanced distribution centers on the planet. The company wanted to offer its customers the best possible solutions to help them ensure the reliability and profitability of their operations. 

"This new state-of-the-art distribution center, that brings together the best proven technologies in the industry, demonstrates Groupe Robert's continued commitment to innovation and excellence for our clients," said Michel Robert, president and CEO of Groupe Robert. 

The company is the first third-party logistics (3PL) service provider in Quebec with an automated warehouse for fresh and frozen food products, one of the most advanced facilities in North America.

Beyond its functional aspect, this facility is a veritable showcase of Quebec innovation, know-how, productivity, and leadership. To improve the building's energy efficiency, Groupe Robert had specific, thicker insulating panels developed for the project, which are now certified. In terms of fire protection, the traditional sprinklers have been replaced by an oxygen level reduction system, designed by Wagner.  

The building itself is an architectural feat: A 14-story freestanding structure, built with high-precision parts manufactured in Austria and pre-assembled in the Saguenay before being erected in Varennes. This method helped propel the development of local expertise. To start operations, only the unloading and loading will be done manually, which greatly improves efficiency in the face of the current labor shortages, without any loss of employment, because it's a net addition in capacity

Located near Highway 30, the large vertical capacity distribution center will boast a height of 131 feet and will have storage capacity for 60,000 pallets, 30,000 for fresh products and 30,000 for frozen products.

This new warehouse is an addition to the facilities of Groupe Robert's Boucherville agri-food complex and will allow the company to offer existing and new customers augmented solutions for their refrigerated and frozen goods

About Groupe Robert
Founded in 1946, Groupe Robert has since become a leader in supply chain management in North America. The company's 3,200 employees are the cornerstone of its success – a success built on extensive knowledge and experience in logistics, distribution, warehousing, and transportation solutions. Groupe Robert operates more than 41 distribution centers, including 326,000 square meters of warehouse space in Canada. The company has recognized expertise in warehouse logistics management, particularly in the aerospace manufacturing industry in Mirabel, and controls 100,000 square meters of warehouse space in the Mirabel area.