Big numbers in new Adelaide food DC

Big numbers in new Adelaide food DC

Jim Plouffe

One of Australia’s largest independent grocery retailers will build an $80 million distribution centre in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

The Drakes Distribution Centre, which has received planning consent from the City of Playford and is fully funded by the South Australian family-owned business, will be located on a 17 hectare site at Edinburgh North.

“This is a major investment in the sustainable future of Drakes Supermarkets in South Australia,” said Drakes general manager Bob Soang.

Preliminary site works have begun on the 104,000sqm development, which will have capacity to house approximately 23,000 separate lines of products including grocery, dairy and frozen foods.

The distribution and logistics centre will also incorporate more than $12 million worth of robotics as part of a high-tech warehouse picking system.

Approximately 300 jobs are expected to be created during construction with a further 120- 250 ongoing full-time equivalent positions when the centre opens. It is expected to be operational by June 2019.

Started in Adelaide in 1974, Drakes Supermarkets now has more than 50 stores across South Australia and Queensland, an annual turnover in excess of $1 billion and 5,500 staff nationally.

“As a local family-owned business we are pleased to create so many jobs in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, which have faced many challenges in recent years,” Soang said.

Edinburgh Parks is just a few kilometres from the former Holden car manufacturing plant, which closed last year.

City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the Drakes Distribution Centre was a major boost for the economy and would support the forecasted growth of 35,000 new residents in the Playford Council area by 2036.

“As the gateway to the north, we are perfectly positioned to accommodate this development, particularly with infrastructure development such as the Northern Connector Expressway,” Docherty said.

The area is also home to the Northern Adelaide Food Park, a food manufacturing and processing hub that has attracted Coles, Inghams, Infuse Bottling Co and Comfresh. The precinct will also be connected to the South Australian GigCity network of high-speed broadband.

Drakes Supermarkets will continue to operate its fresh fruit and vegetable distribution centre at Pooraka and its meat distribution centre at Beverley.

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