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Kraft Heinz Invests In Automated CPG Distribution Centers

Kraft Heinz automated CPG distribution center rendering

The Kraft Heinz Co. will invest more than $400 million to build one of the largest automated CPG distribution centers in North America.

Located in DeKalb, Illinois, the 775,000-square-foot national distribution facility will feature automation technology and national railway access, enabling Kraft Heinz to drive greater supply chain efficiencies and distribute its products to retail and foodservice customers faster than ever. The facility is expected to bring more than 150 jobs to the region.

“As we continue on our journey to lead the future of food, our talented North America teams and collaborative external partners are innovating at a rapid pace to expand our supply chain capabilities,” said Carlos Abrams-Rivera, EVP and president, North America at Kraft Heinz.

Kraft Heinz automated CPG distribution center rendering

“The DeKalb distribution center is expected to play a critical role in our larger distribution strategy, moving more than 60 percent of Kraft Heinz dry goods in North America through our automated facilities. It’s a testament to the dynamic, out-of-the-box thinking of our supply chain teams whose work enables us to operate with greater efficiency and agility every day.”

The automated CPG distribution center’s design includes a 24/7 automated storage and retrieval system with the ability to drive twice the volume for Kraft Heinz customers, distributing more than 60 percent of the company’s foodservice business and about 30 percent of all dry goods.

It is also expected to contribute to Kraft Heinz’s ability to achieve its broader ESG ambitions to reduce its operational environmental footprint through the implementation of sustainable technology and solutions to reduce the waste produced at the facility and minimize its overall environmental impact.  

“We’re driving end-to-end transformation across our entire supply chain, investing in automated technology and digitized solutions to increase the agility of our logistics operations,” Erin Mitchell, VP of logistics and head of network restructuring at Kraft Heinz, said in a statement.

Kraft Heinz automated CPG distribution center rendering

“The construction of our new DeKalb distribution center is the latest example of this transformation in action. We have designed it to help ensure the delivery of our delicious, innovative and iconic products at the right time for our customers and consumers for years to come.”

Kraft Heinz has partnered with Trammell Crow Co., a global commercial real estate developer; Krusinski Construction Co. as general contractor; Daifuku as integrated logistics automation provider; and the city of DeKalb and the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp. on the development of the facility.  

“We are pleased to be partnering with Kraft Heinz to develop this innovative project, working alongside KCC to deliver a state-of-the-art facility for Kraft Heinz,” said Josh Udelhofen, SVP with TCC Chicago.

“Located in the master planned ChicagoWest Business Center, which TCC has developed in partnership with Jerry Krusinski and his KCC team, Kraft Heinz will be located near other large-scale distribution companies in DeKalb. The area benefits from a strong labor pool, Enterprise Zone incentives, as well as an ideal location along I-88. We look forward to reaching the next construction milestone and moving this project along to deliver the facility to Kraft Heinz in 2025.”

Cohen Barnes, DeKalb mayor, said, “We are very excited that Kraft Heinz will bring its worldwide reputation for quality products and services to our community. The construction and post-construction employment opportunities they bring will have a positive and lasting impact on our residents, and this positive impact is compounded by the additional diversification of our tax base, which will spur further interest in DeKalb for many years to come.”

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