The growth initiated by Bleckmann continues. The expert in Supply Chain Management (SCM) for fashion and lifestyle brands is expanding with 60,000 sq m of warehouse space, at three strategic locations in Belgium, the logistics heart of Europe. The distribution centres in Belsele, Herentals and Grobbendonk support the growth of customers, who also benefit from Bleckmann's growth opportunities and additional logistics flexibility.
The logistics specialist and partner for fashion and lifestyle brands worldwide is investing heavily in expansion in multiple locations. Belgium is both historically and geographically crucial for Bleckmann. In this growth, Bleckmann is also committed to reducing its ecological footprint.
Expansion at 3 locations around Antwerp
Bleckmann is currently expanding in three different locations in Belgium. West of Antwerp in Belsele (Sint-Niklaas), a new fulfilment centre is being set up. East of Antwerp, in Herentals, a new distribution centre was set up specifically for a new customer. Just ten kilometres from there, in Grobbendonk, the largest Bleckmann warehouse in Belgium is also being further expanded.
Belsele: flexible solutions for new customers
In Belsele, Bleckmann opens a completely new distribution centre at a strategic location. By making optimal use of the available surface area and by placing mezzanines, the total operational capacity will be increased to 31,000 sq m.
Via the E17 motorway, the distribution centre has a good connection to the Port of Antwerp and the European hinterland.
Uniquely, the fulfilment centre is entirely focused on rapidly operationalising and serving new customers. "Here, we create the capacity to anticipate customer requests quickly and flexibly. Through our multi-client approach, each new brand immediately benefits fully from the group's expertise and solutions," says Mark Van Onna, General Manager Real Estate at Bleckmann.
Herentals: fast fulfilment solution
The site in Herentals is an example of how quickly Bleckmann responds to a customer's demand. For one of our new customers, we opened this fulfilment centre of 8,500 sq m operational area, fully dedicated to this customer. In a smooth way and in a very short timeframe, Bleckmann took over the e-commerce fulfilment of another service provider to meet the customer's needs.
Reinardt van Oel, Chief Operations Officer Belgium & UK at Bleckmann: "Our customers hire us to relieve them of all their logistics worries. We therefore put everything in place to set up the complete solution even in a very short period of time: our knowledge of setup, our systems and technology. Our customers ask. We solve it."
Grobbendonk: largest campus in Belgium under one roof
The strategic site in Grobbendonk, located directly on the Albert Canal connected to the Port of Antwerp, is further expanded to a total operating area of 120,000 sq m. To the already existing 100,000 sq m, Bleckmann has added an additional unit and equipped the existing ground area with mezzanines. This will make Grobbendonk one of the largest campuses under one roof within Bleckmann.
This site is also at the forefront of innovation, with forward-looking developments. Mark van Onna: "Grobbendonk is a technological pioneer within our group. There, we test logistics possibilities with robots and implement innovations in daily fulfilment. We then roll out successful projects to the other customers and sites."
Sustainable investment in warehouses
Investments are made in each project to improve the sustainability of the sites. Through its CSR strategy, it aims to be part of the solution, rather than a co-creator of the problem.
Among other things, lighting has been looked at, for example, where possible, LED lighting will be installed and combined with motion sensors to further reduce energy consumption.
"Crucially, we make optimal use of the scarce land. We do this through mezzanines and the most optimal rack structures. As a result, we expand our floor space in the existing buildings far more than the land area we occupy," adds Reinardt van Oel.
Bleckmann continues to expand further. The current nearly 300,000 sq m of operational area in Belgium will soon be complemented by operational area of Crosswoods - a brand new distribution centre in Kruisem.