Brussels site invests in expansion of pharma segment

Brussels site invests in expansion of pharma segment

For years, H.Essers has relied on its site in Brussels for support in providing pharma services. No wonder, given its strategic location, including close proximity to the Brucargo zone at Brussels Airport. This year, H.Essers has invested heavily to extend the capacity and value-added services on this site to create a large-scale pharma hub. Linde Van Vlasselaer, Global Industry Lead Pharma, tells us how these services have been expanded.

With its many strategic and geographic advantages, H.Essers Brussels is truly positioned at the heart of economic Flanders. “We are keen to take advantage of this central location by continuing to expand our pharma network,” says Linde Van Vlasselaer. “Our warehouses in Brussels were previously used to store the production overflow from the pharma segment, but they will now be deployed mainly for distribution. And that means investments are essential in order to continue providing the best service to our many customers.” Customers such as Kela, a Belgian company that has become a specialist in the well-being of humans and animals. This year, they teamed up with H.Essers in order to optimise their supply chain. “Here in Brussels we take care of the picking and packing of Kela goods, after which we look after distribution directly to end customers, most of whom are pharmacists,” says Linde.

And our value-added services for Kela do not stop there: for example, we also use our warehouses to build displays, which are then installed at pharmacies. By opting for this one-stop-shop arrangement, Kela can count on the qualitative completion of its supply chain. “As an active and motivated Belgian family business within the pharmaceutical industry, we have found our ideal partner in H.Essers to tackle our logistics challenges,” confirms Paul Smets, Purchasing & Supply Chain Manager at Kela. “You can always rely on the best services and solutions thanks to their innovative and optimising approach. Their expertise, project methodology and professional attitude convinced us to join forces.”

Pfizer vaccines

Kela is not the only pharmaceutical customer entrusting its precious goods to our expert team in Brussels. So in an effort to ensure that medical resources are stored and transported under the best conditions, we have acquired the necessary GMP and GDP certificates (Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Distribution Practices). A special area has been set up for labelling too. “This area is part of the passive packaging service arranged for Pfizer. Passive packaging means keeping the goods at the correct temperature with packaging material. For example, gel packs which capture the cold. This method is crucial to guarantee the cold chain and therefore product stability.” This is how H.Essers ensures the proper transport of Pfizer vaccines, flown to the African continent. “In order to work with the utmost care, we use augmented reality during the packaging process. This system projects instructions onto the packaging, showing how it should be configured and where to place the cooling elements and temperature data loggers. As such, the operator is going through the process with the robot. During the process the system validates whether the instructions have been strictly followed.”

Tailor made

How to best describe our added value? “We are literally creating room here for our customers to grow. In fact, we recently installed another refrigerated unit for our customer UCB, in order to store their goods at the perfect temperature in continuous production. A second one will be added in December. Also, if extra services are required, we like to help in thinking things through. Storage, picking, packing, labelling, regional and global distribution – everything’s possible from our site in Brussels.”

Would you like more information about the many opportunities for warehousing and transport at our pharma hub in Brussels? Don’t hesitate to contact Linde Van Vlasselaer (