JWD inaugurates Thailands first and biggest public robotic cold storage Featuring vertical storage spaces, reducing labor by half, saving up to 30-50% electricity More than 80% space rented after opening for 4 months

Event Calendar Press Releases Thursday November 21, 2019 11:34
Bangkok--21 Nov--MT Multimedia

JWD InfoLogistics Public Company Limited (JWD) officially became Thailand's first operator to inaugurate a new robotic cold storage in Mahachai area to service the public with the largest storage area of 7,000 square meters and utilizing the Automated Storage and Retrieval System ASRS to convey, sort and arrange the consignments. This helps to reduce manpower by 30-50 percent when compared to the conventional cold storage, while the consignments can be stacked up to 14 levels high, or a total of 15,000 pallets. The acceptance from the customers has been phenomenal as after the facility was opened for business from July to October, the rented space totalled more than 80 percent. More investment will be allocated to adding more robotic cold storages. The management is confident that the cold storage business will not be affected by the United States' GSP privilege revocation because the customers' export to that country is minimal.

Mr. Jitchai Nimitpanya, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of JWD InfoLogistics Public Company Limited (JWD), an ASEAN top logistics and supply chain solution, revealed that the Company has inaugurated the new robotic cold storage (Building 8) and opened for service to the public for the first time with the largest storage area in Thailand. The new facility is located in Mahachai District of Samut Sakhon Province to fulfill the needs for temperature-controlled storage for the food industry that is still growing well. Therefore, the opportunity existed for investment in the new cold storage facility as at the end of Q3/2019, JWD's cold storage performance showed a 73-percent occupancy rate of the total 70,327 square meters.

The investment in the new robotic cold storage facility was about 500 million baht covering the cost of land and construction. The 7,000-square-meter storage was opened for service in July installed with the latest operational technology Automated Storage Retrieval System (ASRS) that can sort the consignment quickly with high accuracy and safety. Moreover, it can stack consignments as high as 14 levels totalling about 15,000 pallets on the same warehouse footprint.

"The distinctive point of the new cold storage is the installation of the ASRS that is in full control from moving the consignment to storage, to the vertical placement all the way to the distribution from the storage. Therefore, the manpower can be reduced by up to 50 percent and the saving on electricity can be from 30 percent to 50 percent when compared to the more traditional cold storage facilities that utilize manual sorting that can also use up more space," Mr. Jitchai said.

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of JWD elaborated that since the Company introduced the robotic cold storage in July up until October, the response has been quite good with more than 80 percent of the space rented out and the break-even point has been achieved. This is considered to be much faster than the former target of profit making within 12-18 months from launch of operation. Most of the consignments have been seafood that needed strict temperature control. It is expected that the number of robotic cold storage facilities will increase next year.

From the good response beyond expectations, the Company has a plan to expand investment in robotic cold storage with new buildings at the Mahachai facilities to support the storage capability that is trending to increase in the future. At present, a feasibility study is underway on the possibility of the investment as well as the design works for the various systems by leveraging the experience and knowledge derived from the installation of the first robotic cold storage. As such, it is expected that the cost controlling aspect of the investment will even be more efficient and positively impact the faster return on investment.

Mr. Jitchai also said that the Company is confident that the revocation of the Generalized System of preference (GSP) by the United States will not impact JWD's cold storage business as very low percentage of the Company's customers have export commitments with the United States and the seafood products in storage are mostly canned seafood which are not affected by GSP revocation.

"We have been receiving enquiries from the operators in the food processing industry who need dependable cold storage for their products. JWD's cold storage division has been in this business for more than 20 years and is one of the biggest cold storage operators that has been certified as sustainable fishery operator and being the holder of other related permits. In addition, Mahachai is considered to be a strategically important location for the fishing and seafood industries. Therefore, the Company is confident of the continued need for storage space well into the future," Mr. Jitchai concluded.

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