Jan 06, 2020

New highly automated pharma warehouse in Antwerp to further support Yusen Logistics Benelux customers

Pharmaceutical companies in Benelux will have access to expanded logistics facilities as Yusen Logistics, specialist in worldwide logistics for pharmaceutical products, adds a 13,000 pallet highly automated warehouse to its Antwerp operation. This is an extension of the Yusen Antwerp Logistics Campus, located at the heart of Europe's Pharma Valley.


In 2018, Yusen Logistics Benelux opened its Antwerp Healthcare Center on Yusen’s Antwerp Logistics Campus. With growing demand from customers, this 8,000m2 GDP-certified pharma warehouse, equipped with both cold store (2-8 °C) and ambient storage (15-25°C) sections, soon reached its maximum storage capacity.


To continue to meet the demand, Yusen Logistics is now further expanding its pharma facilities. Adjacent to the existing warehouse, Yusen will construct an efficient, sustainable and semi-automated 17-meter-high warehouse. This new warehouse will have an ambient temperature level (15-25 °C) and a storage capacity of more than 13,000 pallets, and it will fully comply with the European GDP regulations for storage and handling of pharmaceutical products.


The new 'smart warehouse' will operate almost completely autonomously: it will feature a ‘narrow aisle racking’ installation with induction-driven, unmanned trucks that locate the correct pallet through sensor-controlled positioning. This automation brings the great advantage that the warehouse will be operational 24/7, and it can be deployed extremely flexibly. It also allows maximum thoughput speed of pallets with minimum human error, reducing the risk of damage and accidents.


The construction of the new warehouse will be directed by Takenaka Europe GmbH, Belgium Branch, in collaboration with local construction companies and suppliers. This complex project will take more than a year to realize. Preparations have already started: delivery and commissioning of the warehouse are planned for December 2020. The daily logistics operations on the Yusen Antwerp Logistics Campus will continue as normal. In order to support growth in the interim, Yusen has secured additional temporary warehouse capacity of approximately 10,000m2 in the city of Bornem.


Strategic choice

With the new warehouse included, Yusen Logistics has approximately 65,000 m2 of warehouse capacity on its Antwerp Logistics Campus, where about 295 people are employed. The various warehouses on the Campus are specifically designed for the storage of products from customers in the automotive, hi-tech, retail & fashion and pharma & healthcare industries. For the latter in particular, the Yusen Campus offers extensive GDP-certified facilities, including conditioned storage facilities at various temperature levels, freezer units, narcotics units and spaces for value-added services such as quality control.


Bruno Jacques, Managing Director of Yusen Logistics Benelux, commented: "This new project underlines our strategy to further develop the pharma and healthcare activities in Europe. We offer our customers extra value in their logistics chain through an increased focus on quality, lead times, service offering and cost efficiency. We are grateful to our customers for their confidence in our services and for trusting us with their products. I look forward to working with all the parties involved to make this new project a huge success!"


The Antwerp Logistics Campus is a strategic hotspot for Yusen Logistics – at the Benelux and European levels – for import and export flows, worldwide air and sea freight in combination with extensive road network connections for transit to destinations throughout Europe. The Yusen Antwerp Logistics Campus is also the central hub on the Yusen Logistics pharmaceutical superhighway, a Control Tower-driven Pan-European network, in which more than two million pallets of pharmaceutical products are transported every year. The expansion will further strengthen the function of the Yusen Logistics Antwerp Campus as a strategic healthcare hub within the European and global Yusen Logistics network.