Step inside Ocado's next generation warehouses

Ocado’s latest Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Andover opened its doors to press on the first day of May this year. This was a key moment in the history of Ocado, as the software and hardware found inside is the culmination of years of hard work and innovation for Ocado Technology and Ocado Engineering.

By far the most differentiating feature of the Andover CFC is its revolutionary goods-to-person system; within the highly automated warehouse is a three storey high aluminium grid containing stacks of white storage crates of grocery items. Whizzing on top of the grid is a fleet of 1,100 robots that pick up crates from each stack and deliver them to pick stations where personal shoppers assemble the customer orders. The robots have been designed in-house by Ocado and embody the most efficient warehouse logistics solution ever designed, with the potential to revolutionise the way we think about online retail.

The final product has not only outdone itself in terms of performance, but has also acted as an elegant proof of concept for the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP), Ocado’s end-to-end solution designed to power all aspects of an online retail business. Given the recent signing of Ocado Solutions’ fourth international deal with leading Swedish retailer ICA, this now bears even more significance, as we enter the construction stage of our OSP journey for retailers in France, Canada, and Sweden.

To find out more about the hardware and software found inside the latest CFC in Andover, and for a behind the scenes tour of the systems in action, we have put together this 360 degree video:

Fun facts about the Andover CFC:

  • An average order of 50 items takes just 5 mins to pick and pack.

  • The warehouse itself spans an area equivalent in size to three football pitches.

  • The grid uses more steel than the Wembley arch (1089 tonnes).

  • If you were to lay the tracks the robots travel on in a straight line, they could get all the way from London to Cambridge (112 km).

  • Each robot travels between 50 km and 60 km per day.

  • Each day the Andover robot fleet travels a distance that equates to 4.5 times around the planet!

Holly Godwin, PR Executive

george smith