The 50 modular factory units of around 1,130 square metres at the JTC Food Hub @ Senoko will be opened in the next three months, though companies will also have the option of taking up adjacent units at the seven-storey complex to form larger spaces of up to 4,500 square metres each.
The Singapore Manufacturing Federation has joined with JTC Corporation and Singapore Food Manufacturers' Association to develop the hub, the first of its kind in the country.
It will offer an integrated cold room and warehouse facility that tenants will share on a pay-per-use basis, while shared distribution and delivery services will also be available through StorBest, a third-party operator.
Png Cheong Boon, chief executive of JTC, a government-backed industrial development agency, said the hub will help firms lower operating costs and so enhance competitiveness.
"With these features, companies can reduce their investments in cold room, warehouse and delivery operations, and optimise their space take-up as they only need to rent the space they really need,” said Png.
JTC has now signed agreements with three companies: Tenderfresh Fried & BBQ Chicken, Deli Asia and Kemin Industries.
"At our current premises, the cold room is at a different location from our factory unit," Tenderfresh managing director Jimmy Soh said. The company will have a cold room and warehouse facility located directly under its factory units.
"The capital and operating cost savings we will gain will allow us to further invest in technologies that can streamline our processes," said Alex Ong, managing director of Deli Asia.
Referring to StorBest’s role in the project, Koh Poh Koon, minister for national development, said: "With warehousing and logistics functions taken care of by a third-party operator, the Food Hub's tenants will be able to focus on their core functions and undertake activities to enhance their competitive advantage."
JTC is currently developing customised financing solutions for firms taking up 20-year leases at the hub.
Png said such packages, coupled with a new loan and support package for SMEs announced in the recent Budget, will "provide comprehensive support for small and medium-sized food companies to transform and grow their businesses".