USA – Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the US has opened its new US$86 million sales center in Union City, Georgia.

The facility occupies a 456,000 square foot space an includes a sales and distribution center, warehouse, fleet shop, administrative offices and meeting space.

The center represents one of the largest investments in a sales center in the US Coca-Cola System, which the company says sets a new standard in warehouse systems for the beverage industry.

“This facility is one of the most technologically advanced sales and distribution facilities in the North American beverage industry, and it is one of the largest investments that has been made in a U.S. Coca-Cola sales center,” said Mike Suco, East Region vice president for Coca-Cola Bottling Company United.

The sales center uses a “Vertique” warehousing system, manufactured by System Logistics, which turns the case picking process into an organized, more ergonomic and efficient sequential operation, with less stress on associates and not as labor intensive. 

The design of the facility also accounts for harmony in people movement, truck logistics and product flow with a new Easy Pallet system which provides efficient flow of operations and people.

The South Metro Sales Center will serve more than 10,000 customers throughout Atlanta and 2.8 million consumers, employ approximately 750 people and handle about 36 million cases of beverages.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United acquired the Atlanta territory – which includes 10 sales centers and two production facilities – from The Coca-Cola Company in April 2017.

The company began plans to construct a new larger and technologically advanced sales center to serve parts of metro Atlanta in early 2018 and was complete by the end of 2019. The facility has been operating since the end of 2019.

According to the company, that project utilized sustainable design and resources in the construction of the facility and also incorporates environmentally friendly materials throughout. 

“In both the design and construction of South Metro, we took into account how the facility would impact our local community,” said Stan Ellington, vice president of supply chain and operations for Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED. 

“We wanted the facility to blend in harmony with the community by incorporating benefits such as noise reduction, low level lighting, landscape buffers and plantings and, of course, procedures to assure safe traffic flow.”     

In the past five years, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United has invested more than US$145 million in Georgia, with about 90% of that investment in the Atlanta metro area. 

Atlanta is the largest single market in Coca-Cola United’s six state territory, and recently broke ground on a future US$60 million sales and distribution center in Tifton, which is in South Georgia, and is planned to open by the end of 2021.