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IKEA incorporates more autonomous solutions in China

IKEA Retail (Ingka Group) is opening a brand-new customer distribution centre (CDC) in Tiajin, which is located outside Beijing, in China. The distribution centre is approximately 46,240 square meters in size, with a storage capacity of 25,000 cubic metres, and will house more than 9,500 IKEA products, ensuring more products are available to customers in the area.

The company’s objective is to get closer to the northern customers of Beijing, both physically with new customer meeting touchpoints and through online services, with convenient delivery options. The new CDC is designed to handle additional capacity and reinforces IKEA commitment in the region.

A key step towards sustainable distribution centres
Aligning with IKEA’s People and Planet Positive strategy and China’s sustainability development goals, the new CDC is working on deploying many sustainable features. This includes 100% lithium battery forklifts, an energy-efficient LED lighting system, and a roof solar system that is projected to reduce approximately 3312.94 tons of CO2 emissions annually, which is equivalent to planting 184,000 trees per year. Furthermore, the CDC features a rainwater collection pool that will result in annual water savings of around 2,000 tons, and as part of the global shift towards electric vehicles, the CDC also offers 12 charging points for electrical truck delivery vehicles.

Innovative automation solutions
The customer distribution centre will test several automation solutions that look to enhance operational efficiency, picking accuracy, and overall quality. The introduction of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) into warehouse operations is an efficient transportation solution to reduce the need for manual picking and therefore significantly improves the working conditions for coworkers. IKEA is also testing an auto packing system at the Central Parcel Unit (CPU) in Shanghai. This aims to enhance packaging efficiency and further save on consumables filling materials for future parcels, a significant move towards a more environmental future.

The CDC is part of a broader company ambition and goal towards responsible automation. With over 40 different autonomous solutions, the company utilises artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics across its business, including in stores, fulfilment units, and throughout its customer support services. IKEA purposefully invested billions of dollars in over 370 stores worldwide in the last year to modernise and reposition its stores and units to offer increased home furnishing inspiration while ensuring fast, affordable, and sustainable shipments.

More information:
Ingka Group

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