New building provides more storage space for sales partners and sustainable innovations
Utrecht, 16 May 2022 – Today, bol.com officially opens the doors of the expansion of the bol.com fulfilment center in Waalwijk. With the opening of the new connecting building, the total floor space of the bol.com fulfilment center has doubled to 100,000 m². With this, bol.com expects to continue to innovate and grow in a sustainable manner in the future, both for customers and sales partners. The bol.com fulfilment center is one of the most sustainable logistics buildings in the Netherlands and Belgium, with a solar roof of 13,000 solar panels, numerous packaging machines, kilometres of conveyor belt and a huge shuttle system, among other things.
Since 2011, bol.com has been a platform and almost 49,000 Dutch and Belgian entrepreneurs now sell their products via bol.com. A growing number of these entrepreneurs use the company’s logistics services, such as ‘Logistics via bol.com’, in which bol.com takes care of the entire logistics process – from inventory storage and shipping to customer queries – for the sales partner. This development makes the expansion necessary. “In 2017, we commissioned our own bol.com fulfilment center in Waalwijk. The new expansion of this, enables us to continue to provide a good service at increasing volumes, both to customers and to sales partners who sell via bol.com,” says Vincent Weijers, Chief Operating Officer at bol.com. “A larger floor area increases the storage capacity for sales partners who have outsourced their logistics to us. For our customers, this means that they can rely on the bol.com service for a larger part of the assortment, such as delivery on Sundays and in the evening, or delivery at home within a few hours after ordering.”
In addition to more space, the expansion of the fulfilment center offers a lot of innovation. It has been built according to the highest BREEAM certification (Outstanding), a method for assessing the sustainability of building projects. The fulfilment center runs on 100 per cent green energy, generated by the solar roof with 13,000 solar panels on the new section and the wind turbines next to the building. A huge shuttle system brings the many hundreds of transport containers with stock items to the right order picker at the right time. The energy released by the braking of the transport bins is also stored and reused.
In order to be able to pack as many customer orders as possible, bol.com is using 14 new packing machines in the expansion of its fulfilment center. It concerns 5 multi-pack machines for orders which consist of multiple articles and 9 mono-pack machines for orders of one article. With these new machines bol.com can pack almost 10,000 orders per hour. They scan the dimensions of one or more articles and fold a cardboard box around them as precisely as possible. In this way, the air in the boxes is limited, less cardboard is needed and more packages can be packed in one truck. The multi-packing machine, which bol.com has been using since last year, is the first machine in the world that can pack multiple articles of various sizes in one custom-made box. Remarkably, this machine is suitable for almost the entire bol.com assortment of 41 million articles.
The innovations in the new building will help bol.com to further reduce its CO2 emissions per package. Since the beginning of 2022, bol.com has been climate neutral according to the Climate Neutral Certification standard. Together with the international consultancy Climate Neutral Group, bol.com mapped the CO2 emissions of its business processes – from the moment that articles arrive at bol.com in a fulfilment center to their delivery to the customer’s doorstep, and everything in between – and set reduction targets according to the rules and guidelines of the Paris Agreement. The remaining emissions are compensated by bol.com. For its nearly 49,000 sales partners, bol.com also compensates for operational CO2 emissions.
With the commissioning of the expansion, the bol.com fulfilment center now has a ground surface of 100,000 m2, which is comparable to 15 football fields. Including the floors, the total floor area of the fulfilment centre is almost 240,000 m². The expansion was designed by architects and engineering consultants DENC and realised by Bouwbedrijf van de Ven from Veghel. Responsible for the mechanisation and machinery include SSI SCHÄFER and CMC Machinery. CEVA Logistics, as a specialised fulfilment party, is responsible for the personnel and the daily operations at the bol.com fulfilment centre.