Foto van Kuehne + Nagel

Kuehne+Nagel’s playing field extends worldwide. But the Swiss multinational found an ideal base from which to score internationally close to home. As such, the company already operates sites in a dozen cities and municipalities in Flanders. "Actually, we sell Flanders to our customers first and the expertise of Kuehne+Nagel after,” says managing director Tobias Jerschke.  

Over the years, the logistics giant has increasingly anchored its business in Flanders – and there seems to be no end in sight. In 2020, Kuehne+Nagel opened a new logistics hub for pharmaceutical and health products at Brucargo in the town of Machelen. And just about a year later, the company began constructing a new European distribution center in Tessenderlo, representing an investment of no less than EUR 75 million and creating some 500 new jobs in the region. 

In essence

  • From its headquarters in Schindellegi, Switzerland, Kuehne+Nagel manages operations in more than 100 countries. 

  • The logistics services provider is a loyal investor in Flanders and sees the region as an ideal location for e-commerce and distribution. 

  • For the construction of an advanced pharma logistics hub and a state-of-the-art European distribution center, the choice fell on Machelen (Brucargo) and Tessenderlo in 2020 and 2021, respectively. 

Ambitious since 1890

The international success of Kuehne+Nagel, global number two in end-to-end logistics, does not come out of the blue. What began in 1890 with local sea freight transport between the German cities of Bremen and Hamburg grew into a global network for sea, air, road and contract logistics. Today, the Swiss group has more than 1,300 offices in over 100 countries.  

The common thread running through the story? “The entrepreneurial spirit of the early days is still strongly present today within the corporate culture of the entire group," Tobias explains. “As such, we combine fast flexibility with a sustainable strategic vision to optimally meet the needs of our customers.” 

At the heart of Europe

In Flanders as well, the multinational lives up to its longstanding entrepreneurial reputation. “In Tessenderlo, for instance, we have already invested several times in our European distribution center, among other things to offer complex e-fulfilment solutions for both B2C and B2B players,” says Gerry Bosmans, director of contract logistics at Kuehne+Nagel Benelux.  “As a logistics partner, we always try to think along with our customers to create value together.” 

“At our logistics center in Machelen, the magic is in the site itself,” Tobias adds. “Pharmaceutical and healthcare products are becoming increasingly temperature sensitive. That’s why we have invested heavily in a particularly extensive and complex logistics hub. The total storage capacity adds up to no less than 16,000 square meters. Moreover, the site features different temperature zones as well as an extensive training center with the latest connectivity tools. In this building, we are exactly where we want to be – right next to a leading airport, in the heart of Europe and ready for the future.” 

When it all just fits 

Kuehne+Nagel is no stranger to Flanders or Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) – far from it! Throughout the decades, the Swiss group has become a firm fixture in Flanders’ top-notch logistics ecosystem. 

“With continuous investments in European Distribution Centers in Flanders,” says Sultan Demir, Deputy Director Inward Investment at FIT, “Kuehne+Nagel not only reaffirms the traditional assets of the logistics industry but also ensures to stay on the cutting-edge in Flanders and to keep pace with changing logistics needs.” 

Logistics prowess

Whether the future holds additional investment projects on Flanders’ soil is beyond doubt. Gerry: “We will keep on expanding both the site in Machelen and the one in Tessenderlo, all while continuing to invest in our logistics hub in Kampenhout.” 

Confidence in Flanders’ logistics prowess reigns supreme. “Flanders is in an ideal position for e-commerce and distribution,” says Gerry. “Particularly thanks to the region’s ports and well-connected network of highways for road freight. Flanders’ potential is sometimes overlooked, but in terms of e-commerce, our international customers are always pleasantly surprised when they discover the region’s assets.” 

Our international customers are always pleasantly surprised when they discover Flanders' assets.
Gerry Bosmans
director of contract logistics at Kuehne+Nagel Benelux

Flanders as a selling point

Tobias agrees wholeheartedly: “Actually, we sell Flanders to our customers first and only then the expertise of Kuehne+Nagel. We have also considered other locations in Europe for our investment projects in Tessenderlo and Machelen, but consciously chose to continue investing mainly in Flanders. In terms of logistics, we can find everything we need here. And there is still room to grow, so why stop now?” 

In terms of logistics, we can find everything we need in Flanders.
Tobias Jerschke
managing director at Kuehne+Nagel

Inspiratie troef

Internationaal ondernemen heeft de kracht om grenzeloos te verbinden. Met alle voordelen, innovatieve kansen en zakelijke opportuniteiten van dien.