Walmart is in the midst of a major overhaul, looking to transform its business from top to bottom. While many recent improvements have targeted the digital shopping space, the company has also been heavily investing in its infrastructure, logistics, and supply chain.
Some of the areas of focus include Canada and Mexico, where Walmart’s investments are increasing the speed of fulfillment. Walmart Canada plans to open a first-of-its-kind distribution center in Quebec that will tap into cutting-edge technology to lower transportation costs, improve product assortment, and expedite fulfillment services.
Walmart Canada already opened two distribution centers earlier this year, one serving the Easter region in New Brunswick and the other in British Columbia. Alberta also became the host city for a new high-tech sortable fulfillment center, and Ontario will welcome the country’s first fully automated ambient distribution center in early 2024.
In Mexico, Walmart is launching the Villahermosa Perishables Distribution Center to strengthen logistics and supply chain networks across the Southeast region. The new center will provide customers with wider access to fresh local products and will improve the transportation of perishable goods.
The company plans to open another distribution center in Mexicali for dry and ambient products. Combined, these new distribution centers will create about 3,200 new jobs.
“We want our customers across town — and across the country — to get what they need, how and when they need it. That’s why we’re opening new, state-of-the-art distribution centers in Canada and Mexico with a focus on improving the links that comprise our supply chains,” said Patricio Dallan, SVP, supply chain, Walmart Canada and Enrique Pellico, VP, supply chain, Walmart of Mexico and Central America, in a statement.
U.S. Plans Progress
In the U.S., Walmart plans to renovate all 42 regional distribution centers to increase product distribution speed, efficiency, and safety. The company also announced plans to build four new fulfillment centers over the next three years.
In Joliet, Illinois, Walmart is tapping into robotics and machine learning at its next-generation fulfillment center. These centers will have the capacity to provide around 75% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping on millions of items, according to Walmart.
“Walmart is creating the future of supply chain — a modern system that pairs the latest in software and automation technologies, with a highly trained and specialized workforce of Walmart associates — to disrupt the industry as we know it,” said David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation and automation, Walmart U.S in an earlier statement.
Working Toward Sustainable Practices
Among the goals is sustainability. The new tech is helping Walmart to remove greenhouse gasses from its operations, moving closer to carbon-zero distribution centers. Walmart hopes to become a regenerative company by 2040.
“We’re proud that around the world, Walmart is investing in the future, making sustainable progress so our customers can find the things they need — whether online or at the store just down the street,” said Dallan and Pellico.
Walmart’s expansion shows no signs of slowing. The retailer is offering a slew of enticing, limited-time benefits to new sellers on their third-party digital marketplace, and will also open 30 new Sam's Club locations in the next few years.