Groupe Robert partners with Dematic to open automated cold storage facility

Groupe Robert needed to store tens of thousands of pallets. Source: Dematic
Groupe Robert needed to store tens of thousands of pallets. Source: Dematic

Groupe Robert has opened a new distribution center in Quebec using an automated storage and retrieval system, or ASRS, from Dematic Holding S.a.r.l. The facility’s ASRS has 130-ft.-tall cranes and is one of the tallest for a third-party logistics provider, or 3PL, in Canada, claimed the companies.

Dematic said its ASRS provides high-density cold storage, making Groupe Robert the first 3PL in Quebec with an automated warehouse for both fresh and frozen foods.

“We are incredibly excited about how this distribution center will serve Quebec’s entire agri-food industry and enhance supply chain efficiency,” said Michel Robert, president and CEO of Groupe Robert, in a release.

“We have a unique opportunity, in partnership with Dematic, to establish the warehouse as a base of operations for manufacturers looking to store and redistribute their products throughout North America,” he added. “This facility is a symbol of our dedication to pushing boundaries, fostering growth and delivering unparalleled service to our customers.”

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Groupe Robert stores up to 60k pallets

Founded in 1946, Groupe Robert said it is a leader in supply chain management in North America. The Rougemont, Quebec-based company has 3,200 employees with experience in logistics, distribution, warehousing, and transportation.

Groupe Robert operates more than 41 distribution centers, including 326,000 sq. m (3.4 million sq. ft.) of warehouse space in Canada. The company said it has expertise in logistics management, particularly in the aerospace manufacturing industry in Mirabel, Quebec. It controls 100,000 sq. m (1 million sq. ft.) of warehouse space in the Mirabel area.

The facility’s ASRS can store up to 60,000 pallets — 30,000 in fresh temperatures and 30,000 in frozen. It also features a high-performance carbon dioxide refrigeration system and a low-oxygen system to manage fire hazards, said Dematic.

The companies successfully rolled out the system in December 2023.

Dematic designs ASRSes for different uses

“We are immensely proud to collaborate with Groupe Robert on such a tremendous project and to help them reach new heights in meeting their customer needs,” stated Mike Larsson, president of Dematic. “Our strategic partnership reinforces our commitment to leading technological innovation in the food and beverage industry at large.”

“Serving as a trusted partner in the opening of this Groupe Robert facility marks a new era of efficiency in service for their community,” he said. Larsson is also an executive board member for parent company KION Group, a leading global supplier of industrial trucks and supply chain technologies.

Atlanta-based Dematic designs, builds, and supports intelligent automation for customers in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution. It said it has research-and-development engineering centers, manufacturing facilities, and service centers in more than 35 countries.

The company said its global network of over 11,000 employees has sucessfully installed systems for some of the world’s leading brands. Dematic recently granted scholarships to five Grand Valley State University (GVSU) students in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Mary Idema Pew Library and the Dematic ASRS installation there.

Students read about the Dematic ASRS for book retrieval at GVSU’s campuses in Allendale and Grand Rapids, Mich. They then answered questions about the technology. Each of the five winners received $1,000 toward their educational needs at the university.

Dematic also recently deployed a goods-to-person (G2P) system with 299 Quicktron automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for omnichannel retailer Radial Europe, plus cold storage and software for Groupo Medero.

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Automated Warehouse staff