News | Arvato | Gütersloh, 01/17/2022

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions Builds Large Warehouse In Gütersloh

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions is currently building an enormous new warehouse near the highway in Gütersloh. The new facility will provide space for 32,000 pallets and, at 140 meters long, 63 meters wide and 21 meters high, will be Arvato’s second-largest warehouse worldwide after the company’s nearby high-bay warehouse. Commissioning is scheduled for the beginning of fall.

The enormous dimensions of the new facility can already be guessed at from the towering concrete pillars: Arvato Supply Chain Solutions is currently building a new warehouse on its premises next to the A2 motorway in Gütersloh, at a cost of more than ten million euros. At 140 meters long, 63 meters wide and 21 meters high, it will provide space for 32,000 pallets. This corresponds to the capacity of around 1,000 LCVs (road trains). Lined up end to end, the pallets would form a chain more than 38 kilometers (24 miles) long. This makes the new hall Arvato’s second-largest warehouse – worldwide – after the neighboring high-bay warehouse with its approximately 60,000 storage spaces.

The background to this significant expansion is the growth that Vereinigte Verlagsauslieferung (VVA), part of Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, recorded last year – despite the Covid-19 pandemic, advancing digitization and e-books. In the second half of 2021, for example, record quantities of books were delivered from Gütersloh in four consecutive months, primarily to retailers, the company reports. After Taschen Verlag was acquired as a new major customer in 2020, even more customers switched their book and toy logistics to VVA. As a result, the Arvato subsidiary reached its capacity limits despite expansion investments of more than 20 million euros in recent years. The lack of space for goods should soon be a thing of the past with the new building: The new hall is scheduled to go into operation at the beginning of fall, just in time for the start of the seasonal business. Its planned hall number, 24, suggests that Arvato Supply Chain Solutions still has further reserve space at the Reinhard-Mohn-Strasse site. Because in fact this is “only” the 22nd hall on the vast grounds, so there is still room for two more buildings between halls 21 and 24.

Increase in minimum wage strengthens competitive position

“The physical book has proven very robust in the Covid-19 pandemic, despite store closures,” comments Stephan Schierke, Managing Director of VVA/Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, pleased with the strong demand for his company’s services. Besides, he notes, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions focused on automation at its various sites around the world at an early stage. As recently as June, VVA had modernized and expanded its distribution center in Gütersloh during ongoing operations. An automated shuttle warehouse with picking system was built in a limited space In the existing facility, expanding its capacity of immediately available bins to a total of more than 60,000 slots. “In view of the ever-worsening shortage of skilled workers, our automation strategy is fully paying off,” affirms Schierke. The increase in the statutory minimum wage in Germany will also further strengthen Arvato Supply Chain Solutions’ competitive position, he is certain. “For one thing, unlike some competitors, we are already paying significantly more than the minimum wage. And for another, our high level of automation tends to make us more independent of personnel cost developments.” Nevertheless, even VVA, which recently recruited staff again, cannot escape the noticeable cost increases, especially for personnel, packaging, and energy. After years of stable to declining prices, these are now largely being passed along to customers.