Robots will be used to handle wool bales in a world-first operation being planned by Elders at two hubs in Australia.
Elders is announcing its automated wool handling business plans today with the hubs expected to be operational by this time next year.
Those two centralised hubs to employ the autonomous or self-guided vehicles will be located at Melbourne and Perth.
The machines will use cameras and various sensors to act like a robotic forklift to manage the enormous quantity and different types of wool stored in warehouses by the biggest wool-growing country in the world.
Elders says these hubs will be supported by an network of receival centres.
The existing three major selling centres at Yennora at Sydney, Brooklyn in Melbourne and Spearwood at Perth WA will remain in operation.
Elders said the new wool hubs would complement its existing wool offering which would improve efficiency and outcomes for customers.
Elders said the use of robot vehicles and "supply chain optimisation" would provide long-term operational and safety benefits for both Elders and its clients.
The company is also developing its own software to deliver a more efficient end-to-end selling process for customers.
The wool handling plans would cost the company $25 million.
Elders managing director and chief executive officer Mark Allison said the new business would revolutionise wool handling.
"Elders is committed to providing exceptional customer service and contributing to the future success of our growers and the wool industry," Mr Allison said.
"We are demonstrating this commitment by continual investment in supply chain optimisation, including the logistics, sampling, sales and storage of wool through automated warehouse operations," he said.
"Elders recognises that the landscape of the Australian wool industry has changed dramatically in the last three decades and it is critical to adapt and change for Australian fibre to remain some of the best in the world.
"To this end, in making the largest single supply chain investment in the Australian wool industry this century, we stand with our customers to deliver the best sustainable wool supply globally."
He said Elders planned to lower greenhouse gas emissions from its hubs through the use of solar power, LED lighting and energy efficient equipment.
The Melbourne greenfield facility will be located adjacent the Western Freeway at Ravenhall in Melbourne's west.
Elders said it has consulted wool network experts and partnered with global companies to design and structure the new business.
Elders handled about 350,000 wool bales in the previous financial year.
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