Palmer and Harvey, the UK’s largest wholesaler, today announced the opening of its 14th distribution centre. The £6.5m multi-temperature distribution centre at Hemel Hempstead – the third serving the south east region – is opening due to increased demand from the convenience sector. It is described as the company’s most technologically advanced and the most environmentally friendly.

It will serve 5,200 customers and employ 300 staff, and when fully operational will stock 12,000 ambient, frozen and chilled lines.

All orders will be voice-picked ensuring that errors are kept to a minimum and pick times is reduced (compared to traditional methods).

Julian Streeter, managing director, operations, Palmer and Harvey, said: “Palmer and Harvey now has 14 distribution centres. Hemel Hempstead is not only our most efficient but also our most technologically advanced and the greenest. We will now have three distribution centres serving London and the South East.

Hemel Hempstead will allow us to continue to offer our customers an excellent service, and it allows us to continue to reduce our environmental impact by reducing the number of road miles to service this area. Adding Hemel improves our capability and gives us capacity for growth. The need for a third distribution centre in the region was driven by growth in the convenience sector.”

Customers include Shell, Esso, Pace, Roadchef, Welcome Break, Moto, Tesco, Sainsburys and Londis.

Key Facts on the new P&H distribution centre at Hemel Hempstead:

£6.5 million investment

Serving 5,200 customers

300 employees

168,000 sq ft

40,000 sq ft chiller and freezer

12,000 lines

All orders voice-picked

16 loading bays

70 vehicles leaving daily