Global pork processor and hog producer Smithfield Foods debuted its new 500,000-square-foot distribution center—roughly the size of eight football fields—in Tar Heel, North Carolina, last week. After investing more than $100 million into the facility, which boasts blast cell cold storage capabilities and more, the meat operations giant is making strides toward better serving its customers all around the world.
“We are experiencing an exciting time of growth, and this new distribution center will help us continue to optimize our footprint,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth M. Sullivan. “More than 10,000 Smithfield Family members already call North Carolina home, and we’re proud that our investment in this project will create even more jobs. We look forward to welcoming new employees into our family.”
The new facility will create approximately 250 new jobs in the state, joining more than 5,000 employees at the Tar Heel facility. According to a press release, the new distribution center features nearly 50,000 pallet positions, has an annual capacity of more than one billion pounds, and will optimize its transportation and distribution network to lower fuel usage, cut transportation costs, and improve delivery times.
“This new distribution center exemplifies Smithfield’s unwavering commitment to continuously improving its operations,” said Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Dennis Organ. “While providing best-in-class customer service, we’re reducing the distance our products travel, which shrinks our carbon footprint and positions us to achieve our long-term sustainability goals.”
Located adjacent to one of Smithfield’s largest pork plants in the world, the Tar Heel facility has already begun making shipments of fresh pork products to those in the U.S. and across the globe—with the facility slated to be fully operational by January 2019.
For more on expansions in the deli, dairy, bakery, and specialty foods space, stay tuned to Deli Market News.