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Monday, 22 February 2021

LKQ Strengthens its European Logistics and Customer Centricity with a Central Distribution Center in the Netherlands

After a construction time of just one year, contractor Heembouw handed over the state-of-the-art distribution center in Berkel en Rodenrijs near Rotterdam to LKQ Fource at the end of 2020. The modern, 50,000 m2 warehouse will play an important role as a part of LKQ’s European logistics footprint.

“Our principle regarding parts availability is 'Logistics without Borders' to seamlessly serve our customers. Digitalisation gives us the opportunity to virtually integrate the current national logistics centers into one logistics platform that is available to all our European customers. The central distribution center will strengthen our position in the Benelux countries, and accelerate our development in a number of business areas including cross-border logistics”, says Arnd Franz, CEO of LKQ Europe.

The central distribution center in Berkel en Rodenrijs will combine the activities of so far four different distribution centers of LKQ Fource. The building has an area of more than 50,000 m2, of which 2,500 m2 will be used for offices and 49,000 m2 will serve as warehouse space. More than 130,000 articles can be stored, 56 docks are available. A fully automated shuttle system provided by Austrian based TGW Systems will be used for order picking. This latest technology in the field of automation is combined with traditional warehousing. Together this ensures that LKQ Fource can take its services to an even higher level. This fits seamlessly with the mission of LKQ: a partner for now and in the future, for both customers and employees.

“In the short term, the new distribution center is a boost for our strategy of building an efficient and more consistent base for our customer deliveries. Bringing together all our products under the same roof makes it a lot easier. And in the long term, this is an example of the European logistic footprint that will build a strong network focused on a logistics delivery range beyond borders. The central distribution center is a key enabler to further improving our service level for our customers”, says Alex Gelbcke, CEO of LKQ Fource.

LKQ has already invested more than 100 million Euros into two state-of-the-art distribution centers in the U.K. and the Netherlands and the investment into the central distribution center near Rotterdam continued as planned despite Covid-19 thereby ensuring that LKQ Europe further strengthened its logistics network in the Benelux region.

On October 18, 2019, LKQ Fource announced the construction of the central distribution center for its entire Dutch operations. The ground-breaking ceremony took place in the first week of 2020. Construction on the warehouse was completed by the end of 2020. Heembouw Architects created a unique design for the new building, which includes an access to the main entrance via a footbridge to reach the offices, meeting rooms, canteen and changing rooms.

The logistical layout, which is also being implemented by TGW Systems, is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2021, after which LKQ Fource will enter the testing phase. At the end of this year, LKQ Fource will start using the shuttle system and the new software. From then on, the activities in the current distribution centers will be gradually transferred to the CDC and it will be completely operational by 2023.

As part of LKQ’s sustainability agenda the roof of the building will be fully equipped with photovoltaic panels, making the building completely energy self-sufficient. Partly because of this, the distribution center has received the BREEAM Excellent certification. The large number of windows in the building provides plenty of daylight, creating a pleasant working environment. Additionally, the building is completely gas-free and provides sufficient charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

LKQ monitors the CO2 emissions of its operations including distribution centers, buildings, branches, products and the delivery fleet to ensure continuous progress on the conversion to a carbon-neutral economy and viability for future growth.

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