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Logistics from commodity to gamechanger

written by Norbert Padt
Published on:
Sustainable growth

Logistics is a game changer for e‑commerce.

According to Joost Uwents, WDP’s CEO, who specialises in the development and renting of logistics real estate. 

In recent years logistics has moved from being commodity-driven towards a strategic dimension, where an e‑tailer can make all the difference.” 

WDP is now busy in four countries simultaneously building new centres and the aspirations speak for themselves. An interview with Joost Uwents.

Stock nowadays is only part of a bigger pictures in the case of logistics centres, whereas it was the only driving force 10 years ago, says Uwents. 

Logistics is much more than just storage. Retailers committed to fresh products, for example (in line with the present trend) need a logical process that is completely different to the usual one Conventional clothing shops now require not just two collections a year but often six or seven and, in the most extreme cases, even a new collection every month. That calls for a different kind of logistics. Logistics is therefore becoming increasingly important. That also implies making a difference.”

More extensive infrastructure coverage

The legislator’s increasingly stringent requirements for food, pharmaceuticals, hazardous products,… also affect the warehouse building and installation process. 

The warehouse’s infrastructure coverage has been extended owing to such things as the pressure of tougher regulations. We therefore listen attentively to our customers and adjust buildings to the new standards in the light of the appropriate solution. This ranges from food refrigeration to liquid-tight floors and even clean rooms for pharmaceuticals. The total cost of ownership (TCO) factor also plays a key role. We were the first ever semi-industrial real estate developer with the BREEAM certificate for a logistics site in Europe. BREEAM is the standard applied for the design, construction and use of non-residential buildings according to sustainable principles. It is one of the most commonly used and generally recognised methods for measuring a building’s environmental performance. Our customers expect our warehouses to meet and even exceed the environmental criteria if possible.”

WDPort of Ghent


WDP is now involved in construction activities in four countries at the same time. 

This exceptional achievement also reflects the tremendous need for modern warehouses,” 

according to Uwents.

We are now involved in construction activities in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Romania simultaneously. We recently brought a highly sustainable warehouse into service in the Netherlands for wehkamp. It is now operating at full capacity. Another development for which we have high hopes is the construction of multimodal sites we have made a start on, among others, in Meerhout, Ghent and Liege. The Kluizendok site in Ghent is where we are tapping into the Port of Ghent’s unique assets as a multimodal harbour. The immediate proximity of seaward water and the inland waterways, road (E17 and E40) and rail systems ensure easy access to all corners of Europe. The completion of the newly-built 20,000 m² warehouse for Distrilog Group is the first project to be developed on a total surface area of 315,000 m². We have also launched a similar project in Liege, with building work already underway on the first warehouse.”

Published ealier in OnlineRetailer.

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