Matthew Toth Lebanon Daily News
New jobs are expected to come to Lebanon County as Walmart officials announced their new “high-tech consolidation center” warehouse in North Lebanon Township has started to open, and will be fully operational by the end of the month.
Walmart spokesperson Lindsey Coulter said the facility has already begun operations, and “plans to be operating at 100% by later this month.” Workers and trucks were seen entering the consolidation center Wednesday afternoon.
The new 412,000 square-foot facility will bring nearly 1,000 additional jobs to the area, 500 of which were hired in advance, according to officials. The 1625 Heilmandale Road warehouse will be the second of its kind in Walmart’s supply chain, the first being located in Colton, California.
“We’ve made continued investments in our people, facilities and technology to ensure we have the right product, in the right place, at the right time,” Mike Gray, senior vice president, supply chain operations at Walmart, said in a statement. “As part of these investments, the Lebanon facility will provide even more opportunities for small to medium sized suppliers who do not ship nationwide, the ability to provide product to all 4,700 Walmart stores.”
The Lebanon consolidation center will service all 42 regional distribution centers across the U.S. Officials said the facility’s automated technology can enable three times more volume to flow throughout the center. Suppliers will be able to deliver merchandise to one singular location for consolidation versus shipping separate orders for each of the 42 regional distribution centers.
“Walmart is creating the future of supply chain — a modern system that pairs the latest in software and automation technologies, with a highly trained and specialized workforce of Walmart associates — to disrupt the industry as we know it,” David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation & automation, said in the release.
The warehouse, developed by Transwestern Development Company, brought mixed opinions from residents when it was first proposed to the the North Lebanon Township Board of Supervisors in 2020.
While local business owners and managers said the project would be positive for the economic impact, residents said a new warehouse would bring all sorts of problems. Homeowners at the time said the project would lower property values, create more traffic on Route 72 and impact the visual landscape.
Large containers of consumer goods will be delivered to the warehouse, where they will be repackaged and then shipped out to distribution centers. Walmart representatives have said the project will see approximately 150 trucks entering and 140 exiting the site throughout the day.
The consolidation center have the ability to receive general merchandise items from suppliers in smaller freight loads and consolidate them into larger freight loads, according to officials. Suppliers will now be able to deliver merchandise to one singular location for consolidation versus shipping separate orders for each of the 42 regional distribution centers.
“It’s an exciting time to join our second high tech consolidation center in Lebanon. At this facility, we’re implementing the technologies Walmart will continue to roll out throughout our supply chain network,” Guggina said.
The new center is currently hiring, according to officials. Residents wishing to learn more can visit careers.walmart.com
Matthew Toth is a reporter for the Lebanon Daily News. Reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DAMattToth.