The eco-effective, water-based business Blue Gate in Antwerp has a Belgian first. DHL Express will soon be setting up its largest distribution centre in Belgium. The site – also the very first circular and climate-neutral business park in Flanders – will house a brand new 4,260 m² logistics building from where parcels will be distributed to the city using electric vehicles and cargo bikes. “A logistics out-of-the-box solution for urban distribution that proves that climate ambitions and logistics go hand in hand,” says Jo De Wolf, CEO of Montea that is investing in the development of the building.

In 2020, logistics giant DHL Express will set up its largest distribution centre in Belgium on the eco-effective, water-based business park Blue Gate Antwerp. The unique design of the logistics building ensures that urban distribution can be optimally organized in Antwerp in the future. In concrete terms, on one side of the distribution platform, 15 unloading quays for larger trucks will be constructed to pre-sort the deliveries. On the other side, 90 smaller vehicles and electric cargo bikes will be loaded in order to serve the city's consumers in an environmentally efficient way.

This will change the way DHL Express delivers parcels in the city. For example, the large DHL trucks will disappear from the city centre of Antwerp and the parcels will be delivered by electric vans and electric cargo bikes. Thanks to this system and the type of building, DHL Express handles some 4,500 parcels per day. In total, the building covers 4,260 m² of which 3,360 m² warehouse space and 900 m² office space. The acquisition of this multimodal site and buildings represents a transaction of €10.2 million.

The new distribution centre excels in sustainability. This gives the building a particularly strong BREEAM Excellent score, an international standard in terms of sustainability for buildings. Solar panels will be installed over the entire surface of the roof of the logistics building, supplying electricity to the entire building. The electric vehicles and bicycles will be charged with the energy extracted from the panels.

Jo De Wolf
CEO Montea

Ambitious leadership

The development of the Blue Gate circular business park came about through a partnership between various stakeholders. DEME Environmental Contractors (DEC), for example, is the expert in the remediation and redevelopment of this brownfield. The Flemish Government is contributing to this project through do-and-dare company PMV. The autonomous municipal company for real estate and urban projects (AG Vespa) supports the city of Antwerp as one of the initiators of the total redevelopment of Petroleum South. Bopro is taking on the role of developer. Finally, Montea is a logistics partner at Blue Gate, which will become the new standard when it comes to smart use of scarce space.