Stories

Innovation and new centres

In 2016, the PHOENIX group launched the largest investment programme in its history in order to further improve the supply of pharmaceuticals throughout Europe. Current projects include the biggest logistics centre in Northern Europe, a super hub, the conversion of a warehouse into an innovative logistics system, and a new distribution centre.

Project ONE: the most advanced logistics centre in Northern Europe

  • Country: Denmark
  • Start of construction: October 2016
  • Commissioning: expected June 2018
  • Investment volume: €75 million
Project ONE

In Koge, our Danish subsidiary Nomeco is currently building the largest and most advanced logistics centre for pharmaceutical products in Northern Europe. The ground-breaking ceremony for Project ONE took place on 4 November 2016.

ONE impresses through its many superlatives: a 30-metre-high logistics centre, the size of three football stadiums, is being developed on a building site to the south of Copenhagen that covers 100,000 square metres. The fully automated warehouse has space for over 50,000 Euro pallets.

The new construction is Nomeco’s response to the increasing size of shipping units transported at any one time in Northern Europe. The location is also especially appropriate for this purpose – and will be even better when the tunnel under the Fehmarn Belt is complete, because deliveries can then be made directly from Koge to the whole of Northern Europe.

“Important considerations during the construction of this logistics centre are safety, quality, and efficiency. This will enable us to further reduce the risk of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the supply chain and make medicines rapidly available to patients,” says Henrik Kaastrup, Managing Director of Nomeco.

Aside from the warehouse, the new head office of Nomeco HealthCare Logistics, the pre-wholesale division of Nomeco, will also be built at the site. In this way, all customers can receive the best support from one location, and Nomeco will be able to offer extensive pre-wholesale services for national and international customers in the pharmaceutical industry.

Project Skårer: Optimised warehouse logistics

  • Country: Norway
  • Start of construction: January 2016
  • Commissioning: September 2016
  • Final completion: March 2017
  • Investment volume:approx. €11 million

Increased productivity, better storage. Recognising where there is optimisation potential and which elements can be automated. This is state-of-the-art warehouse logistics, as we understand it.

Our site in Skårer, Norway, had reached maximum capacity, largely owing to additional pharmacy customers and a new, central tendering procedure for pharmaceuticals. Our objective was therefore to optimise storage and increase productivity through improved automation.

A success: the new system now offers 70,000 storage areas, and employees can process 1,400 orders per hour. The OSR picking system – an extremely efficient and safe, semi-automatic picking and warehouse system – was commissioned for this purpose. Only high-volume items, refrigerated products, acids, and chemicals are still processed outside the OSR system and picked as before.

The innovative system has already been successfully put into operation at several PHOENIX group locations; it is one of the leading and most technically advanced solutions for warehouse logistics.

New distribution centre

  • Location: Gotha, Germany
  • Start of construction: October 2016
  • Commissioning: expected autumn 2017
  • Investment volume: €22 million

Action was urgently needed: not only had the distribution centre in Gotha seen better days, but it was also unable to meet the demands placed on a modern logistics centre. The whole site was divided between two separate halls, resulting in long walking distances, and the total warehouse volume was too low.

The PHOENIX group is now building a completely new distribution centre in Gotha. Occupying a total of 10,000 square metres, the new building will be the most advanced of its type in the German subsidiary. The official ground-breaking ceremony took place on 22 November 2016.

Of course, business still has to continue in Gotha during the construction phase. The interim solution has been planned in detail – with new access roads for delivery vehicles and a 2,000-square-metre tent serving as a large-volume warehouse. Pharmaceuticals are now primarily stored in one of the older halls, following the demolition of two other buildings. Narcotics are stored in a strongroom that has been built and secured specifically for this purpose.

A temporary solution has also been found for the offices: the management team for the eastern region and transmed has been moved to a container (which is nevertheless still comfortable).

New super hub

  • Place: Runcorn, Great Britain
  • Start of redevelopment: July 2015
  • Commissioning: March 2016
  • Completion: February 2017
  • Investment volume: €11 million

Since February 2017, Great Britain has two “super hubs”. There is the Birmingham site in central England, which was already converted in 2014/2015 while operations continued. The warehouse capacity and picking performance were almost doubled at this site: The area for technical innovations was created using a platform structure.

The logistics centre in Runcorn – in the north of England, not far from Liverpool – has been converted as well. A platform structure is also helping here: it extends the 10,000-square-metre area in the three fully redeveloped halls by a further 3,000 square metres. All halls have been completed by February 2017 – logistics technology in particular was yet to be installed at the end of 2016.

As a result of the conversion, the quantity of products stored is increasing disproportionately: Prior to the conversion there were 7,500 products; this number will soon rise to 18,000.

by early March 2016, we were able to commission the first hall with the new automated picking systems. The Runcorn warehouse now picks 115,000 lines each day – seven times as many as before. To make use of this effective technology centrally, item ranges are now continually being transferred from other sites to Runcorn. This enables us to supply our customers throughout the north of Great Britain reliably and securely.

Press contacts
PHOENIX group Ingo Schnaitmann
Ingo SchnaitmannHead of Corporate Communications+49 621 8505 8593i.schnaitmann(at)phoenixgroup.eu
PHOENIX group Jacob-Nicolas Sprengel
Jacob-Nicolas SprengelSenior Manager Corporate Communications+49 621 8505 8502j.sprengel(at)phoenixgroup.eu