Truebell’s new distribution centre in Dubai Industrial Park

Truebell’s new distribution centre in Dubai Industrial Park

Trubell opens new distribution centre

The centre will not only provide state-of-the-art services to its existing customers, but it will also significantly expand the company’s operational capabilities throughout the region, writes ABDULAZIZ KHATTAK

January 2019

Boasting cutting-edge technology in warehouse and fleet management systems and introducing regional- and world-first facilities, Truebell’s 25,000-sq-m purpose-built facility at the Dubai Industrial Park (DIP) is set to capitalise on Dubai’s position as a favourable place for international trade and logistics.

The centre, equipped with more than 20 specialised material-handling equipment, has 21 multi-purpose loading bays and the capacity to receive over 7,000 containers annually. It has multi-temperature storage and can accommodate up to 21,000 storage locations, comprising frozen, chilled and dry food as well as non-food retail items.

It also houses a test kitchen and bakery stocked with equipment suitable for creating new products, said a top official at Truebell, a leading GCC importer, wholesaler, distributor and exporter, of FMCG goods.

Outlining the aims and objectives behind the project, Jitendra Gandhi, director, Truebell, told Gulf Industry magazine: “In recent years, we have felt the rising need for a sustainability-driven operation and our new distribution centre is our first major step towards realising that vision. The centre will not only provide state-of-the-art services to our existing customers in the region, but it will also significantly expand operational capabilities throughout the region.”

Truebell’s new distribution centre boasts a dedicated area for third-party logistics

Truebell’s new distribution centre boasts a dedicated area for third-party logistics

He said the concept was to have a meticulously planned distribution centre that incorporates design and technology to offer the highest efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint for an operation of this magnitude.

Truebell’s distribution centre has various stand-out features – resources and processes that helps derive maximum efficiency in terms of inventory accuracy, delivery accuracy, housekeeping and resource utilisation. Some of these include:

• Storage solution: The main storage solution features aisles with a width (pallet to pallet) of 1.660 m – the narrowest in the world and which requires high levels of precision to operate;

• High-speed doors: Controlled through machine sensitive sensors with separate doors for man entry, these high-speed panelled doors are used for the freezer department. This again is a regional first and helps improve insulation and increase efficiency;

• Materials handling equipment (MHE): For the first time in this part of the world, man-up order pickers with 1.2 m lift height have been used in a distribution centre. Also used for the first time are insulated cabin VNA reach trucks. This type of equipment helps ensure optimum productivity by facilitating non-stop operations in the freezer department; and

• Check-out counters for dispatching: All deliveries will be made through touchscreen check-out counters – another first in the industry. Items will be scanned to confirm propriety, quantity and shelf life. Orders will be pre-packed and barcoded to ensure delivery accuracy.

Amongst other notable features at the distribution centre is the flooring. The smooth flooring has been laid as per the rack layout with no joints in the aisles. This ensures longevity of the MHEs and minimal interruptions in operations due to a faulty floor design.

Racking has been built using SS540 grade steel and galvanised uprights. This design offers the best specifications for the food industry.

As for lighting, the centre is fitted with LED lighting to conserve energy. A minimum lux level of 350 is maintained across the entire facility. Meanwhile, tailor-made luminaires in the aisles ensure light is not spilled over to the racks and is evenly spread. During the day, ample sunlight is available using sky lights.

According to Gandhi, the warehouse will be managed by systems, applications and products in data processing (SAP) using wi-fi enabled and operated through hand-held devices. “SAP provides flexible, automated support in processing the movement of all our goods and in managing current stock inventories in our warehouse. The system also supports efficient processing of all
logistics processes.”

Part of Truebell’s green measures in the design of the distribution centre is a huge 700-sq-m “green space” that surrounds the warehouse. Gandhi says this space mainly consists of 150 avenue trees and various shrubs. To irrigate the green space, the centre’s refrigeration plant condenses water from the atmosphere and the same is collected and used for irrigation, he adds.

The warehouse uses a 50 per cent more-efficient ammonia-based refrigerant, which can condense 6,000 litres of water a-day during peak operations. This water is then used for irrigation and for the maintenance of the facility.

Gandhi said these environmentally-friendly aspects help the company to reduce its overall carbon footprint.

Although the distribution centre is primarily for Truebell’s own goods, it has enough storage area in the centre which can be dedicated for third-party logistics (3PL), operations for which are expected to begin by May 2019.

“By implementing the best business practices and resources to ensure first-class solutions, we are confident that we can successfully utilise the distribution centre’s space capacity for 3PL services,” said Gandhi.

Commenting on Dubai’s logistics market, Gandhi said the emirate has well-established and modern facilities including free trade zones and a local marine terminal operation that is considered one of the largest in the world makes, thus making Dubai a favourable place for international trade and logistics.

“The UAE’s geographical location and infrastructure make the country an ideal supply and re-distribution gateway and offer huge growth potential to logistics companies in the country and the industry in general,” he added.

Looking ahead, Gandhi expects exciting times for the logistics industry in the Middle East. “With the rapid pace of urbanisation under way as a result of all the development and infrastructure projects, coupled with strong support from the authorities, logistics will surely play an important role in facilitating that.”

Truebell’s expertise can be found across all five of the company’s business divisions: food, beverage, hospitality, supplies and retail duty free. The company is a leading importer of over 10,000 specialty products from around the globe, including Blue Dragon, San Miguel Foods, Nissin, Müller, Yakult, Kikkoman, Highland Spring, Riedel Glassware and 3M, as well as the world’s best-selling soft drinks and licensed beverage brands. 

The company employs over 1,000 people from culturally diverse backgrounds, whose passion and experience have played an integral role in Truebell’s growth and positioned it as one of the best and reliable companies in the industry, concludes Gandhi.

More Stories