In 2015 Colruyt Group opened its new logistics centre in Ath/Lessines. The site is located in the industrial area Orientis. The logistic centre is pioneering in terms of sustainability. It is also a unique combination between a traditional and automated distribution centre. The site was built with the support of the European Union and the Walloon Region. It is intended for high rotation products and employs 500 people in the initial launch phase.
The logistic centre at Ath/Lessines is a modern and integrated site. It consists of a traditional distribution centre (23,000 m²), an automatic storage and order picking warehouse (5,000 m²) and a return centre (9,000 m²). The combination of those three entities is what makes the logistic centre at Ath/Lessines so unique.
The centre is intended for the reception, storage and picking of high-rotation products, including beverages, milk, toilet and household paper and paper napkins.
Ath/Lessines is a technological masterpiece. The high-rise is 33 m high and works automatically. The cranes receive the pallets, store them and pick them for delivery. The manual picking area can handle about 240,000 packages each day. That's two each second. The automatic storage and order picking warehouse handles about 450 pallets per hour. A total of 30,000 pallets can be stored. Every day 250 lorries leave the site to supply the stores.
This logistics centre was built according to the highest sustainability standards. The building has solar panels, for example, which produce enough green energy to cover the annual consumption of 70 family units. In addition, led lighting is used, there is a rainwater collection system and a heat-recovery ventilation system. The site also has a 32,000 m² flower meadow and an insect hotel. About 16,000 trees and plants are growing at the site.
And large part of the waste is separated in the return centre (including plastic, cardboard and glass). The new centre is also close to another Colruyt Group distribution centre, in Ghislenghien. This significantly reduces the mileage on the road.
The logistics centre of Ath/Lessines is part of the Marshall plan 2. The plan of the Walloon government is aimed at boosting industrial development and employment in the region. This is were the financial support, about 10 million euros, comes from. And another 5 million euros is contributed by the European Union. Colruyt Group already recruited 350 new employees for the logistic centre in Ath/Lessines. We are still looking for quite some new staff in the province of Hainaut, for about forty different jobs.