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Dennis Shea, Director Logistics and Supply Management BFE, said buying the warehouse was a logical but important step in the tire manufacturer’s logistics strategy. “The acquisition of the warehouse and surrounding concessions provides a firm base for the expansion of the facility, to permit efficient distribution of the full range of imported products,” he said.
“It has been an important decision by BFE and signals our long-term commitment. The expansion will be phased over the next several years, in conjunction with BFE’s manufacturing plan. Throughout the acquisition, the process has been very well supported and facilitated by Joachim Coens, Chairman of the Port Authority, and his team – as well as Guy Gillis of Sea Ro Terminal. We look forward to continuing a good relationship with both.”
In 1998, BFE decided to centralize the distribution of truck and bus tires from Japan and some other countries, generating savings in both time and money. The Flanders port of Zeebrugge was chosen because of its central location in Europe, and because the company’s European headquarters was in Brussels.
The 28,000 m2 warehouse, together with its 12,000 m2 parking area, is located some two kilometers from the port terminal. It employs 22 people, who will remain as Seapark staff. Additional BFE personnel will also soon be located at the site.
Some 1.8 million tires per year are handled, representing 10,000 TEU in and 3,000 trucks out. The majority of this stock is delivered to local warehouses in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Spain and Italy.
The current land concession is 59,000 m2, with a further 79,000 m2 available for expansion. BFE is currently studying plans to concentrate future redistribution of passenger car, commercial van, agricultural and off-the-road tires in Zeebrugge.