Construction has started in the port of Ghent on a new logistics hub to handle the growing traffic related to e-commerce.
The installation within North Sea Port is being built by property management company Heylen Warehouses, and covers quarter of a million square metres – about the size of 950 tennis courts – in the Rieme-Noord industrial zone.
The location of Ghent Logistic Campus is situated at an interchange of four major roads – E17, E40, E34 and R4 – as well as a railway connection to and from China.
With more and more customers expecting rapid delivery of purchases – right down to same-day delivery – greatly shortened supply chains are becoming more and more important.
“Speed, security and shorter delivery times are more important than ever,” said Ralph Caspanni, CEO of Heylen Warehouses. “We are definitely noticing that now, in times of Covid-19, where e-commerce and online shopping are experiencing a huge boost.”
According to the company, e-commerce has “proved to be an important part of the vital infrastructure”.
“Products must be able to be delivered quickly and efficiently from existing stock,” he said.
“The need for more storage space closer to home is increasing. Thanks to more strategically located storage space, we can shorten delivery times and we are also less dependent on international logistics links.”
The new warehouse will bring with it 500 jobs.
“With 14 units, Ghent Logistic Campus provides logistics space, as well as offices for various companies. Naturally, the arrival of these companies also entails employment. The site offers space to create about 500 extra jobs in the Ghent region. We can be proud of this in times of crisis and uncertainty,” said Philippe Deschilder, CEO of Heylen Warehouses Belgium.
“North Sea Port, with Heylen Warehouses, are happy to continue developing e-commerce and sustainable warehousing in the port,” said Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port.
“In these corona times, we want to show that North Sea Port, with approximately 1,000 hectares of space to invest and extensive multimodal connections by sea and inland, is an attractive place to invest and create hundreds of jobs.”