Walmart, Bentonville, Ark., announced plans to break ground on the company’s first high-tech distribution center for fresh and frozen groceries.

Set to open fall 2020, this innovative distribution center, located in Shafter, Calif., will use WITRON technology, from WITRON Integrated Logistics Corp., Arlington Heights, Ill., to process grocery perishables such as produce, eggs, dairy and frozen goods.

The new high-tech distribution center is scheduled to move 40% more product than a traditional distribution center.

“The high-tech DC in Shafter will allow us to move product to stores and clubs faster, so that we can better serve customers,” says Tim Cooper, senior vice president of supply chain.

Rather than manually stacking boxes and building pallets, the new distribution center will allow associates to use the new technology to literally do the heavy lifting.

“Every product is measured and documented, so that we know how to handle it,” says Shayne Wahlmeier, one of the engineers on the project. “A computer algorithm shows all the cases ordered for a given store and determines how to palletize them to maximize the space on a pallet or trailer. It also takes into account density – what’s crushable, what’s not.”

Because the technology is helping associates build a more flexible, dense pallet, more products will be able to fit onto a truck.