GSK, Yusen Logistics, and MG Real Estate Unveil the Largest Pharmaceutical Warehouse in Wallonia, Confirming Belgium’s Strategic Position in the Biopharmaceutical Sector

Update : 2nd July, 2024

GSK, MG Real Estate, and Yusen Logistics Benelux inaugurated a new pharmaceutical warehouse in Gembloux, Wallonia. This 40,000 m² facility – the largest biopharmaceutical logistics center in Wallonia – is equipped with innovative technologies such as autonomous mobile robots, automated packaging systems, and sorting equipment.

Belgium's largest pharmaceutical company will store and export millions of vaccines and raw materials to over 160 countries from this site. The warehouse is powered entirely by green energy and certified to the BREEAM "Very Good" standard. The opening ceremony was attended by Willy Borsus, Vice-President of the Walloon Government and Minister of Economy & Research.

Image: Yusen Logistics

The new logistics center, named Yusen Logistics Distribution Centre, is the largest in Wallonia and within GSK’s global network. Following a successful audit by Belgian health authorities, the center will become operational in the first week of July. Valued at €50 million, the center can house up to 42,000 pallets, stored at various temperatures thanks to a 7,000 m² cold storage area and a 700 m² freezer compartment. Advanced technologies like autonomous mobile robots, self-driving vehicles, and sorting equipment will help GSK efficiently manage raw materials and distribute vaccines to over 160 countries, exporting 1 million doses daily.

While loading and unloading of goods will remain manual, the workers' tasks will be facilitated by a "goods-to-person" process, where robots gather goods automatically. High-capacity shuttles, automatic packaging systems, and sorting machines will also be used.

Designed to meet the highest environmental sustainability standards, the center will be certified to the BREEAM "Excellent" standard. It will be powered by 100% green energy, including solar panels covering the entire building and an intelligent energy management system. These sustainable choices contribute to GSK's goal of operating entirely on renewable electricity by 2025 and achieving a net positive impact on nature by 2030.

Automated processes for road and sea transport, along with semi-automated preparations for air transport, will ensure shorter delivery times and greater flexibility to meet patient needs worldwide.

Emmanuel Amory, Managing Director of GSK Belgium, emphasized the importance of this project for GSK: "This new logistics center will revolutionize our ability to store and export millions of vaccines globally. It will enable us to distribute vaccines more quickly to over 160 countries while reducing our emissions by nearly 10,000 tons of CO2 simply by centralizing various activities in one location. This significant project also demonstrates our commitment to strengthening the biopharmaceutical ecosystem in Belgium and positioning Wallonia as a logistics leader."
Ignace De Paepe, Chairman of MG Real Estate: "This will become the largest pharmaceutical warehouse in the country and one of Europe's key hubs for the distribution of vaccines worldwide. This is an important step in our development in Wallonia, of which we are rightly proud. Our goal is to transform more vacant lands in Wallonia into state-of-the-art warehouses, creating sustainable quality in a beautiful and pleasant environment. In this way, we will take a leading role in Seraing in revitalizing three polluted sites on the former Arcelor Mittal steelworks."
Bruno Jacques, Managing Director of Yusen Logistics Benelux-Germany-Northern Countries & Switzerland: "This state-of-the-art, multi-user pharmaceutical warehouse will be industry-leading. It will also be the new flagship for pharmaceutical and medical logistics for Yusen in Europe. The facility is designed to meet a wide range of safety requirements for the pharmaceutical supply chain. It will provide storage and handling of products under various temperature conditions, from ambient temperature to frozen solutions. Additionally, an on-site 'Packaging Solutions Centre' will ensure the integrity of products during transport with a range of passive packaging solutions suitable for all types of transport. By leveraging our expertise and knowledge, we aim to offer GSK and other customers unparalleled service in the global distribution of their products."
Willy Borsus, Vice-President of the Walloon Government and Minister of Economy & Research: "We welcome the establishment of this state-of-the-art logistics hub by GSK. With 9,000 employees, GSK is the largest employer in its sector and, with its three major sites, one of the largest vaccine producers in the world. With this new logistics center, GSK strengthens the biopharmaceutical ecosystem in Wallonia and reinforces the Region's logistical position."


About GSK

GSK is a global biopharmaceutical company combining science, technology, and talent to defeat diseases. GSK is the largest pharmaceutical company in Belgium with 9,000 employees. With its three major vaccine sites in Rixensart (vaccine research and development), Wavre, the world's largest vaccine production site, and Gembloux, Belgium lies at the heart of its global vaccine activities. GSK is one of the largest exporters from Wallonia.

About MG Real Estate

MG Real Estate is a rapidly growing European developer of logistics, office, retail, and residential real estate. Solid architectural designs come to life according to the highest standards. This is also thanks to its origins. From earthworks, rail and dredging works, concrete works, and remediation, to brownfields to today's MG Real Estate: an experienced developer who knows the market like no other. MG Real Estate builds both nationally and internationally.

About Yusen Logistics

Yusen Logistics (Benelux) is a logistics company that offers global services in sea and air freight forwarding, warehouse management, distribution, and end-to-end supply chain management with Kaizen-based performance improvement. Through a network of 650 offices in 46 countries and regions worldwide, over 25,000 employees provide optimal solutions for diverse customer needs. Yusen Logistics Benelux encompasses 16 sites and a total of 200,000 m² of storage space in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Sweden, employing over 800 people.

Source : Yusen Logistics

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