United Natural Foods Inc. opened a refrigerated distribution center in New Hampshire, to expand its capacity across the Northeast while relieving pressure on neighboring facilities in New Hampshire and Connecticut, the company said last week.
The 125,000-square-foot Londonderry site is expected to facilitate growth across UNFI’s New England market, in part to support the culinary business of one of its major customers, according to the release. The distribution center completed its first outbound shipments to customers Oct. 3.
“The opening of our new Londonderry facility acts as a complement to other regional distribution centers enhancing our ability to deliver improved service levels to our customers,” UNFI Chief Supply Chain Officer Mark Bushway said in the release.
The expansion follows the announcement of a partnership with technology company Symbotic to deploy an end-to-end automated system in five of its warehouses, as UNFI ramps up efforts to optimize its network of 59 distribution centers.
Symbotic’s system will enable the food wholesaler to improve order accuracy and storage capacity, which UNFI highlighted as critical components in the growth strategy it introduced last year.
As part of this plan, UNFI on Thursday named Erin Horvath its chief supply chain transformation officer, a new role designed to build out the company’s future capabilities, drive profits and improve customer and supplier experience.
Horvath will oversee the development of UNFI’s fulfillment network and lead automation efforts, such as the Symbotic agreement, according to the release.
Horvath joins UNFI after 17 years at AmerisourceBergen, where she served as chief transformation officer and, previously, distribution services president. She devised a five-year operations strategy, created a warehouse automation team and led construction of distribution centers for the pharmaceutical wholesaler, the release said.
“The food industry, like many industries, is experiencing a significant change,” Horvath said. “UNFI’s focus on, and investment in, advancing technologies and transforming operations is a testament to leadership’s commitment to a long-term strategy that will best support customers and suppliers within this evolving landscape.”