Walmart plans to increase its investment in supply chain logistics in China by about $1.2 billion, building or upgrading more than 10 logistics distribution centers, over the next 10 to 20 years.
“Walmart continues to increase investment in supply-chain logistics in order to enable our omnichannel development, continue to provide our Chinese customers with great fresh products, and improve our service,” said Ryan McDaniel, senior vice president of Walmart China supply chain.
Some of Walmart’s investment will go toward building the first customized perishable food distribution center, which follows the March opening of the South China Fresh Food Distribution Center. The Fresh Food Distribution Center currently serves more than 100 Walmart stores in Guangdong and Guangxi, with daily distributing capacity of up to 165,000 cases of products.
Efforts to improve its supply chain have been ongoing for Walmart, particularly as the retailer battles Amazon for mind—and market share.
Walmart’s China supply chain enhances data storage and analytics using the internationally advanced, cutting-edge big data platform, Data Lake, and new mobile applications, McDaniel noted. Applying a digital management platform allows supply chain managers to mobilize and visualize performance management in a more intuitive, convenient manner. In addition, the company’s China’s supply chain develops standard operating procedures and employee training programs based on international standards.
In 2018, Walmart China’s dry warehouses and fresh food distribution centers dispatched more than 300,000 vehicles to its stores, resulting in an annual distribution mileage of more than 80 million kilometers and daily delivery of more than 1 million boxes of goods.
Walmart entered the Chinese market in 1996 and opened its first store in Shenzhen. The Walmart Global Procurement Office was established in Shenzhen in 2002. Walmart currently operates a variety of formats in China, including shopping malls, Sam’s Club stores and Huisafe supermarkets.
Under those banners, Walmart operates more than 400 retail units covering more than 180 cities in China, as well as running some 20 distribution centers.