Walmart adds automated fulfillment in Cornwall

by Emily Atkins

Walmart Canada has opened an automated order fulfillment system at one of its four distribution centres in Cornwall, Ontario. 

The $20-million ASRS system, which has been installed in a 40,000-square-foot space, is being used to fulfill orders of general merchandise, including health and beauty products, apparel, stationery, and electronics for 136 Walmart stores from Kingston, Ontario, to the East Coast. The Vanderlande system can move 60,000 goods in 16 hours.

Walmart says the system is omni-capable, meaning it will also be able to fulfill e-commerce orders.

Breaking ground at the Vaughan, Ontario, facility. (CNW Group/Walmart Canada)

The new system is similar to what will be used in two distribution centres currently under construction in Surrey, British Columbia (expected to open in 2022) and Vaughan, Ontario (expected to open in 2024). The Cornwall renovation and the two new DCs will cos the retailer $1.1 billion according to estimates released in 2020.

It is part of Walmart Canada’s $3.5-billion investment in upgrading e-commerce and in-store shopping technology.

“We’re incredibly excited to be modernizing our supply chain – in Cornwall and across the country,” said Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO, Walmart Canada.

Cornwall is an integral part of our supply-chain network and we’re committed to providing jobs and opportunities to this valuable community that we’ve proudly called home for 27 years.”

A little perspective—the Harmony facility is big enough that the CN Tower could fit, on its side, within the building. (Jason McNamara photo)

Cornwall is home to four Walmart distribution centres, covering 2.9 million square feet. Across Eastern Ontario, Walmart Canada’s four distribution centres and 27 stores employ more than 10,000 associates.

Read our feature on Walmart’s Harmony DC in Cornwall, Ontario: Yes! We have bananas

The build created more than 150 engineering jobs in Cornwall. Walmart Canada is hiring for 80 positions inside the Cornwall regional distribution centre.

“We are very pleased to see Walmart Canada continue to invest in Cornwall,” said Cornwall mayor Glen Grant.

“This investment in technology reinforces Walmart’s position as a world leader in the supply-chain sector, and supports the 2,000-plus workforce in Cornwall that work hard every day to bring much needed goods to Canadian families.”