Woodruff, South Carolina – Michelin North America Inc. has put into operation a 3 million-sq.-ft. distribution centre in Woodruff that the tire maker claims is capable of processing over 200,000 tires a day.
The $270 million (€240 million), five-building complex, under construction since November 2016, is capable of warehousing up to 4 million tires, Michelin said.
Thanks to a proprietary automated tire handling system — which includes 16 robots and 29 cranes — the facility is designed to handle up to 120 trucks per day, operating 24/7.
The system uses barcodes, scanners, RFID chips and computers, making the facility a paper-free site.
The centre's location puts it close to critical transportation hubs, such as the South Carolina Inland Port (rail) and the Port of Charleston, as well as to its seven tire plants in upstate South Carolina.
The buildings are LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certified for meeting the North American standard for high quality environmental buildings created by the US Green Building Council.
Forklifts used in the centre are powered by hydrogen, a "reliable and efficient alternative" to regular fuel that is emission-free, Michelin said.