On September 18, 2018, AmCham Belgium, in collaboration with Locate in Limburg, organized a site visit to Nike’s European Logistics Campus, as part of our Year of Logistics.
Nike’s state-of-the-art ‘Wings’ Distribution Center, opened in 2016, has a storage capacity of 15 million pairs of shoes and, at full operation, is able to process 1.2 million units per day. With the growing importance of e-commerce, the company aims to ship shoes to customers within five hours of receiving the order. This operational excellence is complemented by an equally strong commitment to sustainability: most incoming shipments arrive by barge on the Albert Canal, the new facility is powered by on-site solar panels and windmills, and the company is implementing an ambitious waste reduction and recycling program.
The Wings Distribution Center is part of Nike’s European Logistics Campus (ELC), spread between Laakdal and Ham, in Limburg. In addition to shoes, the Logistics Campus also processes apparel and accessories, for retail and wholesale clients. It is an important hub in Nike’s global supply chain, which includes 620 factories in 42 countries.
Kurt Van Donink, General Manager at Nike ELC, explained Nike’s unique strategy and illustrated how this is translated into its business model, factories and distribution centers: “The key is to act simple, flexible and scalable”. He also underscored the importance of agile management, the importance of experimentation and the ability to dream big. “Just do it!”
And Nike has dreamed big in Belgium. The company arrived here in 1994, and with a team of 4,200 people, it is now one of the 10 largest US employers in Belgium. Nike remains committed to Belgium and continues to expand its operations here: a new ‘Courts’ warehouse for apparel is currently under construction and will be operational as from April 2019. This is Nike’s 6th investment project in the country.
Why does Nike say #Yes2Belgium time and time again?
With its central location in Europe’s logistics heartland, strong road, rail and inland waterway networks and link to important seaports, Belgium has attracted the logistics activities of many international companies. Limburg, where Nike is located, in particular has invested heavily in the logistics sector. Nike and other companies in the region benefit from the support of a dedicated agency, Locate in Limburg, as well as the presence of Belgium’s largest inland container terminal and the Logistics Innovation & Training Center.
This events was the first in a series of site visits organized in the context of AmCham Belgium’s Year of Logistics. The following events are planned for the coming weeks:
- October 16, 2018: Skechers
- November 8, 2018 : Katoen Natie
- November 21, 2018 : Brussels Airport Cargo Hub and DHL
We look forward to seeing you at one of these events!
The event “Why Invest in Belgium? Nike’s European Logistics: a Success Story” was made possible by the support of: Aramark, Locate in Limburg and BCTN.