To design and build a meat processing and distribution facility like Detroit’s Wolverine Packing Co., Ti not only had to have a rock-solid understanding of fundamentals, but also required a “crystal-ball” to see into the future.
The facility had to meet the client’s needs today, but also had to be ready for supply chain changes formed by people who have grown up with expectations created by Amazon, where speed and quality of delivery are demanded. Ti’s success in meeting these challenging requirements was recognized by the company being honored with the CEBA Built by the Best Award.
The award, created by the Controlled Environment Building Association (CEBA), acknowledges association members around the globe for their expertise and innovation in constructing, renovating and/or modernizing controlled environment buildings across the world. The award is judged and awarded by peers, specialists who understand the industry.
With ecommerce and online grocery sales placing increasing pressures for the demand for temperature-controlled products, project Wolverine was developed with flexibility in mind. “The growth of ecommerce coupled with consumer expectations of a quick response are really driving an evolution within cold chain,” said Rob Adams, Principal at Ti, “planning for market demand trends was definitely within our strategy for Wolverine.”
With people staying close to home during the current pandemic, the shift to ordering groceries over the internet and having them delivered has increased. These people still demand fresh, local food products, the type of products that can represent a high margin for providers. This new structure may lead to a need for new distribution centers throughout the country rather than the traditional large national and regional distribution locations. Ti is ready to help clients meet this need.
Developing a project like Wolverine from the ground up allowed Ti to build to best practice specifications overcoming some of the functionality issues that may be present in older dated facilities. “With nearly 48% of all active refrigerated American warehouse facilities being built prior to 1980 you see a variety of challenges these facilities have keeping up with changes in the market,” said Adams. “The world of cold chain is changing and we simply can’t plan looking backwards. With project Wolverine it is gratifying to know that we developed not only a state-of-the-art facility but one that is flexible enough to stay ahead of the demand curve.”
Wolverine has a combination of processing, freezing and distribution all under one roof making the facility up to the task of changing market demands. With 20,000 pallet positions of storage space, a 50,000 sq. ft. food processing room and the QuickFreeze In-Rack Freezing System (QF+), considered to be the most innovative and energy efficient freezing system on the market, we definitely feel this facility is the best.