The question will be whether or not Oompa Loompas and golden-tickets will be found in the municipality of Lokeren by the end of 2021. One thing is for sure, Barry Callebaut, the world's largest manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, will build a new Global Distribution Centre (GDC) at the new E17/4 business park in Lokeren. And WDP will develop it. The building will be delivered during the third quarter of 2021 and rented on a long-term lease.
Centralisation in Lokeren
The new GDC will serve as the Belgian logistics hub for the global distribution of Barry Callebaut chocolate. Up until now, distribution was carried out at various locations in the Aalst region. To further anchor activities in Belgium, the company made a conscious decision to make use of the new business park E17/4 in Lokeren. The direct connection with the E17 motorway and the port of Antwerp will make the flow of goods even more efficient.
Sustainable logistics hub
The unique, sustainable logistics hub of Barry Callebaut will have 60,000 m² of floor space and will be entirely energy-neutral in line with Barry Callebaut's sustainable Forever Chocolate Strategy. For example, there is the BREEAM Outstanding certificate, solar panels, materials with a low life-cycle cost, geothermal energy, charging stations for electric vehicles, and extensive facilities for cyclists. The warehouse site will consist of a low bay and a fully-automated high bay. WDP has made about 100 million euros available for the entire site.
Better service, more growth
Barry Callebaut wants to optimise the traffic flows using adjusted inbound and outbound flows for the Wieze production site. From now on, both finished and raw products will be bundled through the logistics process. The current 85 employees do not need to worry as they will continue to be employed.