Canadian Packaging

Picnic selects TGW as partner for highly-automated fulfillment center

By TGW Systems Inc.   


(Marchtrenk, Austria, July 7, 2020) TGW is the key partner for the fully robotized fulfillment center for Picnic in the Netherlands. The online supermarket will use a FlashPick® system, which is powerful but flexible at the same time, with three temperature zones and a shuttle system at the core of the solution.

Picnic was founded in Amersfoort in 2015 and has expanded rapidly in the Netherlands and Germany. Operating from eight distribution centers, the company delivers groceries to more than 130 cities to an ever growing number of customers. The only way to place an order is through an intuitive app. Those who order before 10 p.m. will receive their fresh, chilled and frozen food the next day. Fruit, vegetables, meat and dry goods are delivered by small eco-friendly electric vans without emissions.

Groceries for more than 150,000 families per week

The new distribution center has 40,000 m² of floor space and uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver groceries to more than 150,000 families per week. With TGW FlashPick®, Picnic lays the foundation for the next year`s growth. The core automation element is a shuttle warehouse comprising almost 40 aisles and more than 200,000 storage locations. The system also includes an energy-efficient KingDrive® conveyor network, as well as highly ergonomic PickCenter One picking workstations.

To ensure the best product quality, Picnic’s fulfillment center is divided into several temperature zones: ambient, chilled and frozen. This makes the planning and realization of this project particularly demanding. Most of the goods received will be stored in the shuttle. Customer orders start either in the Zone-Picking area or at one of the PickCenter One picking workstations. Then, orders are stored in the shuttle for consolidation. Thanks to the new solution, food waste as well as the use of packaging material can be reduced significantly. 20,000 m² of solar panels will be used as power source. With this initiative, Picnic takes a big step in making the food chain more sustainable.

Picnic co-founder Frederik Nieuwenhuys underscores: “The robot-assisted distribution center in Utrecht, in combination with our electric cars, is the foundation of our unique “farm to fork” strategy where proprietary Picnic technology is used to provide consumers with ultra-fresh products and deliver groceries to their homes free of charge. The partnership with TGW as a global leader in automated fulfillment solutions brings together two teams with knowledge of the latest technology and software.”

Robot-assisted loading

To further improve ergonomics, Picnic and TGW Robotics are jointly developing an unique, robotized loading system for the Picnic delivery frames. “A challenging but also very exciting project is now becoming reality. The logistics center is a milestone and marks a new level of strategic collaboration between Picnic and TGW”, says David Hibbett, CEO of TGW Northern Europe.

About TGW Logistics Group:
TGW Logistics Group is one of the leading, international suppliers of material handling solutions. For more than 50 years, the Austrian specialist has implemented automated systems for its international customers, including brands from A as in Adidas to Z as in Zalando. As systems integrator, TGW plans, produces and implements complex logistics centers, from mechatronic products and robots to control systems and software.

TGW Logistics Group has subsidiaries in Europe, China and the US and more than 3,700 employees worldwide. In the 2018/2019 business year, the company generated a total turnover of 720 million euros.

About Picnic:
Before the launch at the end of 2015, Picnic has been silently working on delivering groceries without unnecessary intermediaries together with a team of 30 specialists. Customers can choose which ride is most convenient and track, via the Picnic shopping radar, when the delivery will take place. Because of this new way, costs are so little that Picnic can deliver for free and is able to offer the groceries for the lowest price.


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