Distribution centre hums

Jill Fowler
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DEBERT - The Sobeys distribution centre is truly a well-oiled machine.
The 300,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse sits on 15 acres of land in the Debert industrial park.
"We ship to over 200 stores across the Atlantic provinces on a regular basis," said Trevor Bartlett, vice-president of category management services for the Atlantic region. "The centre is the only one of its type in the Atlantic region where Sobeys is concerned."
The building has five separately controlled temperature chambers, a loading dock, a storage fridge, freezer and even a road hockey area for employees.
"We've got a 24-hour turn around time here at this facility," explained Bartlett. "That means that if say a local strawberry is picked at 8 a.m., it will be transported to the warehouse facilities by 11 a.m., it would be received, put away in our warehouse, picked again and shipped back out to our stores in a 24 hour time frame."
Such a speedy distribution time is important for produce like berries, because they have such high water and sugar content that they break down very quickly.
"The sooner we can move it through our warehouse distribution facility and get it back out to our stores, the customer can have a much better product," added Bartlett.
Sobeys also offers a direct-to-store option for producers in the area.
"It allows some more flexibility for the farmers," explained Bartlett.
"If they're in a shoulder season or the farmer doesn't have as much crop to deliver they can just drop it right off at the store."

jfowler@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Sobeys

Geographic location: DEBERT, Atlantic

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