Alibaba Group’s digital intelligence-powered new retail company, has officially launched its supply chain center in Shanghai. The center, with a total area of nearly 1 million square feet, has the largest area of any Freshippo supply chain center, boasts the highest technological capabilities, and has received the greatest investment.
The center, located in Pudong New Area of Shanghai, took three years to build. It is a comprehensive supply center that integrates the processing of agricultural products, research and development into ready-to-eat food, the cold storage of semi-finished food, a centralized kitchen, and cold chain logistics distribution.
As the fresh supply hub for Freshippo in Shanghai, the center not only supports over a hundred of Freshippo Supermarkets, Freshippo X Clubs and other retail store formats in Shanghai, but also covers the whole east China region, including areas such as Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Hefei.
“The announcement of the center marks the upgrading of Freshippo’s new retail supply chain. It will be driven by data to promote the full automation of Freshippo’s warehouse operations and management. At the same time, it will use Freshippo’s special central kitchens to greatly improve the efficiency of our supply chain, and will reduce operating costs and fully process various agricultural products to add business value,” explained Hao Jingbin, director of Freshippo supply chain center.
“This is Freshippo’s first wholly automated park, which includes an automated cold chain fresh processing center and a series of logistics automation facilities systems. It also leverages technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things and blockchain to achieve full automation and digitization of the entire supply chain, which helps to improve supply chain efficiency and reduce operational costs.”
The center leverages automated equipment such as automated guided vehicles (AGV), robotic arms and cross-belt sorters. AGVs use QR code and inertial navigation technologies, which allow them to be deployed on the cloud server during the product sorting process.
Based on intelligent algorithms, the vehicles can follow the optimal path and work together to transport unpacked goods. Through this process, the center can sort more than 2.8 million items per day.
Tang Lei, director of Freshippo Shanghai Centralized Kitchen, said, “Another major feature of the supply chain center is its centralized kitchen, where fresh ingredients are processed into prepared dishes, complementing the full supply chain process of Freshippo’s private brand prepared dishes products from research and development to production and transportation.
“From raw materials to the production of fresh food, and transportation to stores, every step along the supply chain can be traced. This not only ensures high standards of food safety, but also greatly improves the iteration speed and promotion efficiency of self-developed food, to help Freshippo vigorously develop prepared dishes, so that consumers can quickly enjoy delicious fresh food of Freshippo’s own brand in the busy urban life.”
Since its establishment, Freshippo has vigorously developed its fresh logistics supply chain and built a backbone logistics network, putting its seven supply chain centers in northwest, southwest, central and east China into production one after another.