June 18, 2018 5:45 PM, EDT

XPO, Nestle Team on UK Distribution Center

Robotic arm at an XPO Logistics facilityRobotic arms such as this one will be featured at the UK distribution center. (XPO Logistics)

XPO Logistics has joined with food and drink giant Nestle to create a 638,000-square foot distribution center that will feature robotics and state of the art automation in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. The center is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

XPO will own the completed center that will feature advanced sorting systems with robotics and a digital ecosystem with predictive data and intelligent machines co-developed with Swisslog Logistics Automation.

“Our partnership with XPO will encourage innovation and experimentation in our U.K. Logistics operations and help futureproof our business,” said David Hix, Nestle director of supply chain.

The center is located in the East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park with direct access to the M1 motorway and the East Midlands Airport, and will include an on-site rail freight terminal with access to Southampton, London Gateway and the Channel Tunnel.

XPO, based in Greenwich. Conn., in February announced it would expand its movement of heavy goods to Europe, providing last-mile delivery service to such new markets as France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Nestle markets more than 2,000 brands in 191 countries, and its brands include Nescafe, Kit Kat and Haagen-Dazs.

XPO Logistics ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America, and No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of largest for-hire carriers in North America.