Cargill Inc. is spending $48 million on a new automated order distribution system at its Dodge City, Kan., processing facility. Construction will begin during the fourth quarter of this year, with the new system scheduled to be operational by spring 2015.
The new order distribution system, capable of holding approximately 155,000 boxes of beef, will be housed in a new 62,000-sq.-ft. building specifically constructed for that purpose. This will increase boxed beef capacity at Dodge City by 130,000 boxes. The new system uses Retrotech automation and Viastore equipment, and replaces a system that has served the plant since the 1980s.
The Dodge City plant supplies beef products to retail, foodservice and processed foods customers throughout the U.S. and internationally.
"This new distribution system will benefit our customers by improving order accuracy and on-time delivery, in addition to providing better capability to handle the ever-increasing complexity of product offerings shipped to domestic and international markets," said John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, based in Wichita, Kan. "Installation of this new system will help us better meet our customers' expectations, something we have demonstrated as a core competency through similar investments made in recent years at our Schuyler, Neb.; Friona, Texas; and High River, Alberta, Canada, beef processing plants."
Cargill has invested more than $760 million in capital expenditures in its North American beef processing plants over the past 10 years.
Cargill's Dodge City beef processing facility opened for business in 1979, is located on 1,400 acres, employs nearly 2,700 people and harvests 6,000 head of cattle daily.