Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has unveiled new details on a planned 2.2 million-square-foot, next-generation fulfillment center in McCordsville. The retail giant says the project will bring more than 1,000 jobs to Hancock County and also feature state-of-the-art automation technology.
The facility is being built at 5258 W. 500 N. in McCordsville and is expected to open in the spring of 2023. Walmart is not disclosing how much it is investing in each of the new centers.
Our partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal reported on plans for the facility in June 2020. According to public filings, the center is set to include 146 docks, and parking for 1,985 cars and up to 916 trailers.
The facility is one of four new fulfillment centers planned by Walmart with the goal of providing next-day or two-day shipping to most of the country.
The centers, which feature robotics and machine learning, will double the capacity and number of orders allowed to be fulfilled in a day, according to Walmart.
“We continue to modernize our supply chain network and prepare for growth in our digital business, and this new facility will play an integral role in helping us serve even more customers and Walmart+ members with access to fast shipping on millions of items,” Karisa Sprague, senior vice president of supply chain e-commerce fulfillment at Walmart, said in written remarks.
A spokesperson for Walmart tells Inside INdiana Business hiring for the McCordsville location will begin next spring. The company will be hiring for full-time positions including control technicians, quality audit analysts, and flow managers.
Walmart says its first next-gen fulfillment center will open this summer in Joliet, Illinois, followed by the McCordsville location next spring. The third will open in Lancaster, Texas in fall 2023 with the final one set to open in 2024 in Greencastle, Pennsylvania.
The announcement comes at a time when consumers are relying on packages being shipped to their homes more than ever before. While online ordering has continued to increase over the years, the pandemic saw a huge surge in such orders as Americans stayed home during lockdowns and had essential items and other goods delivered to their doors. While coronavirus restrictions have eased, many consumers’ online ordering habits remain.
Aside from a growth in online orders, Walmart and other retailers are trying to make sure that their shipping speed keeps pace with rival Amazon, which offers same-day, one-day and two-day delivery options for those who pay for its Prime membership.
The announcement comes nearly three months after a Walmart fulfillment center in Plainfield was destroyed in a massive fire. The company said in late April it did not plan to reopen the facility.