Home News Article Significant expansion of H.Essers’ Brussels healthcare logistics site

Significant expansion of H.Essers’ Brussels healthcare logistics site

In June 2023, H.Essers began the refurbishment and expansion of its healthcare logistics site near Brussels Airport. An additional 12,000 square meters of warehousing space is being constructed next to the existing 21,000 square meters, with the potential for a future extension by another 10,000 square meters. All of the facilities are temperature-controlled. Moreover, the original warehouse is being refurbished and expanded to include 10,000 square meters of cold storage specifically for vaccines. Through a range of value-added services, H.Essers continues to provide its healthcare clients with one-stop-shop supply chain solutions in the middle of a key life sciences hub in Europe.

H.Essers’ Brussels site is dedicated to healthcare clients and currently encompasses 21,000 square meters of warehousing space. “As our clients continue to grow their business, the available storage space on this site is nearing capacity. In addition, we are developing a new packaging platform for one of our clients. Here, we will store and pack vaccines for air shipment under temperature-controlled and GDP certified conditions. We do all of this as a regulated agent for air freight, which means that shipments bypass additional security checks at the airport,” explains Linde Van Vlasselaer, Global Industry Lead Healthcare.

Temperature-controlled and GDP certified warehouse for vaccines

The packaging platform is being built within the existing warehouse, which will be expanded to accommodate 10,000 square meters of temperature-controlled storage. In this area, vaccines will be stored and handled at temperatures ranging from 2 to 8°C. Van Vlasselaer: “This facility will be one of the largest cooled warehouses dedicated to vaccines in Belgium. We will also be providing value-added services to our client. This includes new packaging rooms, a GMP area for labeling, conveyors and automated packaging lines to ship vaccines in passively cooled shell packs. Moreover, the entire building will be refurbished and upgraded to meet the latest standards in insulation and energy efficiency.”

Sustainable warehouses for healthcare logistics

Because of the construction of cold storage facilities for this client, other clients’ operations will be relocated to a new warehouse on the Brussels site. “We’re currently building a warehouse of 12,000 square meters, with the possibility of expanding by an additional 10,000 square meters in the future. The facility has been designed with sustainability in mind. The building will be carbon neutral and have a BREEAM good certification. In addition, we’re investing in the electrification of transports by installing charging stations. Next year, we expect electric trucks to be driving on the site”, says Linde Van Vlasselaer.

Comprehensive logistics and distribution services

The expansion and further development of the Brussels site are expected to be completed by mid-2024. It marks another step in H.Essers’ ambition to provide its clients with complete supply chain solutions. The site facilitates the worldwide distribution of healthcare products via air freight as a regulated agent, but also direct-to-market distribution of parcels in the Benelux area through temperature-controlled road transport. Manufacturing logistics – shipping raw materials and finished products to and from healthcare companies in the region – constitutes a third pillar of the activities on this site.

Given the nature of the (hazardous) products stored and handled at H.Essers’ Brussels site, the facilities adhere to strict safety and security regulations. Where necessary, storage compartments are equipped with light foam extinguishing systems. More generally, the entire facility is classified as a low Seveso site. “Clients can rest assured that their pharmaceutical products are stored and handled with the highest care, in compliance with all required standards,” Van Vlasselaer adds.

Healthcare master plan

The developments in Brussels are part of H.Essers’ healthcare master plan for Belgium. In 2022, a pharma cross-dock became operational in Genk. Following Brussels, the dedicated healthcare site in Genk will also see expansions. “With these larger facilities, we are not just increasing capacity and improving service levels for our clients. We are also creating additional job opportunities at these locations,” concludes Van Vlasselaer.

Want to grow your business at the heart of the European life sciences industry? Discover everything H.Essers has to offer to healthcare companies. Get in touch with Linde Van Vlasselaer, Global Industry Lead Healthcare, Linde.VanVlasselaer@essers.com.

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