New Technologies and Trends Taking Over Major Retailer Distribution Centers
May 31, 2014
Some of the biggest innovations taking over the retail space lately wont be ever seen by customers. Yes, online shopping is steadily picking up pace, but its not the only development working its way through industry. Energy efficiency is the new black and retailers are working hard to stay ahead of the trend. But its not just about stores changing out old light bulbs for more efficient varieties; retail distribution centers are increasingly rolling out new updates to reduce their environmental footprints.
In Freetown, Massachusetts, a Stop & Shop distribution center is welcoming new legislation designed to reduce or eliminate food waste by setting up an on-site system that generates power from spoiled food. The warehouse and distribution center serves more than 200 Stop & Shop locations in New England, and covers more than 1 million square feet of space. Such a major operation requires a major amount of electricity, totaling 17 million kilowatt hours each year. Once the new food-to-energy system is in place, it is expected to provide about 40% of that power demand. The facility will be just the second of its kind in the United States, with the only other similar system located in California.
Walmart distribution centers have also been making headlines lately thanks to their own growing commitment to green energy. The mega-brand has increased its investment in hydrogen fuel cells, which are being used to power electric lift trucks in six of their North American distribution centers. Plug Power is the selected provider for Walmarts fuel cell infrastructure, and the brand is well-known for their material handling options. The company is also expanding beyond the warehouse, with new applications for fuel cell power constantly being found.
Were interested to see what other new developments come out of the material handling sector over the next few years. Were also happy to do our part to increase efficiency in distribution centers by installing scrap and waste handling systems that save energy and improve working conditions for staff members. Learn more about our energy efficient scrap handling systems for warehouses online. For more information, please feel free to contact us or reach out via Twitter.