PnP Longmeadow DC

The Nerve Centre


Trade Intelligence associate Malcolm Leitch took a tour in November 2009 of Pick n Pay’s new Longmeadow Distribution Centre (DC), guided by Pick n Pay SuppIy Chain Director Bronwen Rohland. Here, he shares some of his impressions and insights.
The tour was hosted by Pick n Pay Supply Chain Director Bronwen Rohland, with the Pick n Pay Financial Director Dennis Cope. Ben van Niekerk, who is the site manager for Unitrans, gave an introduction. He was formerly with Woolworths and latterly with the previous third party logistics company, Costa Logistics, transferring to Unitrans when the Costa contract was terminated. He has spent a total of 19 months on site for both service providers.


Scale of Operations


The DC is very large, currently 75 000m2 on a 273 000m2 site. This is divided as follows:


CHEP (wash plant)


5 000m2


Cold / Perishables

35 000m2



27 000m2



1 000m2


The grocery DC is currently being expanded by an additional 35 000m2. Perishables have 1 176 rack locations and grocery 24 354 rack locations.

The DC provides a service to 294 stores located in the Free State, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Botswana. This includes the former Score stores which have been converted to Pick n Pay Family outlets. Transport company Tanzer has 47 horse and trailers and 101 rigid units (trucks, to the layman). There are 60 managers on site plus 241 full-time staff and a further 369 flexi staff sourced via three permanent labour brokers. Pick n Pay has 63 staff members on site, including management and admin. The site works on three shifts 24/7. They are busy changing their delivery schedules – originally they delivered groceries only once per week per store, but as volumes have increased this is not feasible and they now deliver as often as five times a week depending on the store (perishables and fresh produce are delivered daily).

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