Utrecht, 16 May 2022 – Today bol.com officially opens the doors of the expansion of the bol.com fulfilment centre in Waalwijk. With the opening of the new connecting premises, the total floor area of the bol.com fulfilment centre has doubled to 100,000 m². With this, bol.com expects to continue to innovate and grow in a sustainable way in the future, both for customers and for sales partners. The bol.com fulfillment center is one of the most sustainable logistics buildings in the Netherlands and Belgium, including a solar roof of 13,000 solar panels, numerous packing machines, kilometers of conveyor belt and a huge shuttle system.
Bol.com has been an e-commerce platform since 2011 and now has nearly 49,000 Dutch and Belgian entrepreneurs selling their items via bol.com. A growing number of these entrepreneurs purchase logistics services from the company, such as 'Logistics via bol.com', in which bol.com takes care of the entire logistics process – from inventory storage and shipping to customer requests – for the sales partners. This development makes the expansion of the fulfillment center necessary. " In 2017, we put our own bol.com fulfillment center in Waalwijk into operation. The new expansion of this, allows us to continue to provide a good service at increasing volumes, both to customers and to sales partners who sell through bol.com," says Vincent Weijers, Director of Logistics (Chief Operating Officer/COO) at bol.com. "A larger floor space increases storage capacity for sales partners who have outsourced their logistics to us. For our customers, this means that they can count on bol.com's service for a larger part of the assortment, such as delivery on Sundays and in the evening, or delivery within a few hours after ordering."
In addition to more space, the expansion of the fulfillment center offers much innovation. It was built to the highest BREEAM certification (Outstanding), a method for assessing sustainability of building projects. The fulfillment center runs on 100% 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 bins 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 implementing 14 new packing machines in the expansion of its fulfillment center. This includes five multi-pack machines for orders which consist of multiple articles and nine mono-pack machines for orders of one article. With these new packing 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 carried in a 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 items of various sizes in one customized box. What is special is that 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 early 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 fulfillment center to the delivery to the customer's door, and everything in between - and set reduction targets according to the rules and guidelines of the Paris Agreement. The emissions that remain are offset 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 fulfillment center now has a floor area of 100,000 m2, which is comparable to 15 soccer fields. Including the floors, the total floor area of the fulfillment center is almost 240,000 m². The expansion was designed by architects and engineering firm DENC and realized by Bouwbedrijf van de Ven from Veghel. Responsible for the mechanization and machinery include SSI Schäfer and CMC Machinery. CEVA Logistics, as a specialized fulfillment party, takes care of the staff and the daily operations at the bol.com fulfillment center.