Cargill opens US$50 million distribution center at its Dodge City beef processing facility, which houses more than 9,000 feet of conveyor belts weaving throughout the building, connecting to a row of towering shelves that stretch the entire height of the building. The shelving holds approximately 133,000, 60-pound, boxes of beef — the equivalent of 17,000 head of cattle.
Crane-like devices can be seen in the background, moving boxes in and out of the shelves.
Each day, the system stores an average of 40,000 boxes, while simultaneously shipping another 40,000 worldwide.
This new automated system, increases capacity of the former system by 70,000 boxes, and will improve the facility’s ability to keep highly perishable fresh meat products safe while awaiting distribution to Cargill’s foodservice and retail customers in hundreds of destinations.
The project was announced in 2013, with construction beginning the fourth quarter of the same year.
It replaces a distribution system more than three decades old and brings increased efficiency and better reliability for the operations that serve Cargill’s food service, retail and processed foods customers.
In addition to lower operating and maintenance costs, the system is also more environmentally sustainable due to its improved energy use.
The facility “employs more than 2,300 people from the local community”, says senator Jerry Moran.
The Dodge City facility is the largest of six Cargill beef processing plants in the US.
It was opened in 1979 and currently processes more than 5,400 cattle each day, distributing products across the nation and to seven countries.