Berner Group is sticking to its ambitious investment plans despite Covid-19, with the wholesaler once again spending several million euros in order to put in place further important building blocks as part of its group-wide European logistics offensive.
Berner Group has already invested almost €60 million over the past two years in the course of its European logistics offensive, with a groundbreaking ceremony in the Austrian town of Braunau am Inn marking the start of construction work on a fully automatic high-bay warehouse, which is set to be completed by the end of the year.
The new high-bay warehouse (1,000m² of useful space, 5,500 pallet spaces) will include fully automatic storage, retrieval and order picking. The investment package also includes an extension for the after sales department, with its own goods receiving section; the renewal of the fire alarm systems; and the expansion of the WLAN network to fully digitalise the logistics processes. Furthermore, new car parking spaces will be created for the roughly 500 employees and a forward-looking infrastructure for charging electric cars will be built.
Meanwhile, a second major project is underway, with a European import warehouse currently being commissioned in the Dutch town of Kerkrade. Berner points out that the new goods hub in the Netherlands will be part of the headquarters for the Region West, which opened a few months ago and will serve the Benelux countries.
“We have organised the site in a way that allows as many of our customers as possible to benefit from it, because we want to deliver their orders within one working day in the metropolitan areas,” says Robert Kühl, chief supply chain officer for logistics at the Berner Group. “Besides a state of the art infrastructure, with a total useful area covering around 25,000m2, we now have sufficient capacity in Kerkrade to integrate the import warehouse.”
This will play a strategically important role in the future for Berner, which operates in 23 European countries. The huge building complex with space for almost 18,000 pallets will serve as a supply depot, centrally storing stock for the subsidiaries stretching from Norway to Portugal. This includes deliveries of goods from the EU as well as most of the products originating from Asia for automotive and construction professionals. In operative terms, this means all national subsidiaries under the core Berner brand, alongside the construction trade specialist BTI, will be supplied with materials such as screws and other DIN/standard parts, gloves, or tools by the Kerkrade site.
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