Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED will invest $48 million in its Mobile, Ala., campus to grow its business along the Gulf Coast. The project will expand the Birmingham-based company's existing warehouse, optimize distribution operations and install a modern warehousing system.
Construction on the expansion is scheduled to begin mid-2021 and should be complete by the end of 2022.
"With this larger and more innovative facility, we will create an enhanced working environment for our associates and provide a higher level of service for our customers and communities along the Gulf Coast for decades to come," said Coca-Cola UNITED President and CEO John Sherman.
Coca-Cola UNITED will expand the existing warehouse by 120,000 sq. ft. and install a Vertique case picking system that is leading edge technology in the beverage industry. The system turns the case picking process into a more organized and efficient operation and puts less stress on associates, according to the company.
Once the construction project is complete, the company expects an increase in jobs at the Mobile facility, which will continue to serve as a hub to distribute products and services to customers and other Coca-Cola UNITED sales centers along the Gulf Coast.
"This investment is another illustration of Coca-Cola UNITED's long-term commitment to the Mobile community and the State of Alabama," said Keith Watson, Mobile Coca-Cola Sales Center Manager. "We appreciate the great support from our state and local officials."
"It's always special to see a company with deep Alabama roots reinvest in its operations in the state, creating new jobs and strengthen long-standing ties in their communities," said Gov. Kay Ivey. "I'm very happy that Coca-Cola Bottling UNITED is launching a growth project in Mobile and know that the company will continue to thrive in ‘Sweet Home Alabama.'"
The expansion is the latest chapter in the long history of Coca-Cola UNITED and the city of Mobile. The territory, first owned by Coca-Cola UNITED founder Crawford Johnson Sr. of Birmingham, was purchased by brothers Walter and Will Bellingrath in 1903. More than a century later, in 2017, Coca-Cola UNITED again acquired the Mobile territory as part of a transformation that saw the company more than triple in size.
The Mobile facility now has more than 300 employees, produces more than 13 million cases annually and serves some 3,300 customers.
"We are excited about the significant investment Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED is making in Mobile," said Mayor Sandy Stimpson. "This expansion is a strong signal of their commitment to our local economy, and I look forward to seeing their continued success here in Mobile."
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