Rimi Baltic And HAVI Celebrate The Opening Of The Region’s Most Advanced Distribution Center
Leading retailer Rimi Baltic has partnered with HAVI to open the largest and most advanced distribution centre (DC) in the Baltics. Located in Riga, the capital of Latvia, this 84,000 square meter facility incorporates five temperature zones along with state-of-the-art features and technologies that will enhance productivity, safety, sustainability, and employee wellbeing.
In total, Rimi Baltic invested €82 million in the project, which is its most extensive building upgrade to date. The work involved an extensive renovation of the original 26,500 square meter warehouse, which took almost two years.
Commenting on HAVI’s role in the upgrade, Nerijus Vabolis, Managing Director, HAVI Baltics, says: “Our team was primarily responsible for defining the logistics requirements, setting up the operations, and implementing the processes. What’s more, we were also responsible for relocating the warehouse’s huge inventory not once, but twice. I am very proud of the tremendous contribution that our team has made.
The scope and cost of the project reflects Rimi Baltic’s growing sales in the region. It also reflects the business’s determination to deliver a better service to its customers while providing a better workplace for its employees. The 750 people working at the facility will have access to a restaurant, modern dressing rooms with showers, comfortable rest areas, and subsidized meals during working hours.
The new DC is also designed to be kind to the environment with the focus on sustainability. By centralizing the delivery of goods, for example, it is estimated that the new logistics center will help Rimi Baltic lower its CO2 emissions by 1,400 tons and save up to 500,000 liters of fuel per year. In addition, the facility will use an automated order planning system to minimize product oversupply and reduce food waste. Other planet-friendly features include smart LED lighting, smart cooling systems, and a modern building control system.
Safety was another important factor in the DC’s design. For example, floor markings throughout the facility are designed in line with global best practices. In addition, all the shelves are equipped with a modern sprinkler system that meets fire safety requirements while protecting employees.
The building will enhance productivity in a number of ways. For example, all technical equipment in the small good shelf area is connected to the warehouse control system, which will improve productivity by up to 20%. A voice control system, which will partially replace the use of scanners, will help make the collection process more efficient.
As Kristīne Pojasņikova, Logistic and Supply Chain Director of Rimi Baltic, points out, the new facility will deliver far-reaching benefits. “Not only is this Rimi Baltic’s most extensive project to date, but it also represents a significant contribution to the development of the regional economy,” she comments. “It will eventually become our main logistics hub in the Baltics, acting as central goods collection point for our stores in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.”
Congratulating RIMI and his colleagues on the DC’s launch, Nerijus Vabolis adds: “It has been a privilege for all of us at HAVI to be involved in a project of such importance. By prioritizing areas such as safety, sustainability and people’s wellbeing, the new DC stands as an inspiring expression of the shared values that define our partnership. I am confident that it will take our working relationship to a new level.”