Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) has opened a flagship European vehicle processing center (VPC) in Zeebrugge, Belgium.
The company has invested over €8.5 million to develop two eco-friendly VPCs to serve the world’s motor industry and agricultural and construction equipment makers. The company, a global leader in finished vehicle logistics, has helped to make the Port of Zeebrugge the world’s biggest for the import and export of new vehicles.
The new 7,600 m² state-of-the-art ISO certified technical services complex, which was opened by Joachim Coens, Chairman and Managing Director of the Port of Zeebrugge Authority, has been designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of customer requirements.
These range from cleaning and inspection of vehicles to more complex technical services covering all kinds of repairs, fitting of accessories and modifications to cars, agricultural machinery and construction equipment. Around 90 specialist technicians will work in the center that incorporates a body shop, vehicle modification area, car wash and administrative offices.
The new vehicle VPC is complemented by a dedicated facility for handling high and heavy ro/ro equipment. This recently opened unit, which incorporates a multi-flexible paint booth, conducts pre-delivery inspection (PDI) work on agricultural and construction equipment as well as tailor-made customer modifications to machinery prior to delivery to the end dealer.
Erik Graumann, Chief Operating Officer Terminals, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistic said: “The opening of the new WWL technical services complex in Zeebrugge demonstrates our confidence in the future of the Belgian port as a central hub serving our customers in Continental Europe. The new VPC is the key link in bringing together our ocean services, inland transport, terminal management and technical service to offer our customers a cohesive integrated supply chain management package from factory to dealer. It is the latest of several new VPCs that WWL has opened recently including Guangzhou, China; Baltimore, USA; and North Laverton, Melbourne, Australia.”
Werner van Dessel, Managing Director, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Benelux, said: “WWL is committed to investing in new VPC facilities that help us develop specific solutions for automotive, high and heavy ro/ro equipment customers in Europe. Our new Zeebrugge technical services complex will help us deliver a strong portfolio of value-added integrated services to help our customers bring their products to market in a timely, efficient and cost effective way”
WWL began its operations in Zeebrugge 10 years ago. Today the scope of its services have greatly expanded in range and scale to cover a 47-hectare site that specializes in the shipment and processing of cars of all shapes and sizes and high and heavy rolling equipment such as agricultural and construction machinery.
The company has 400 sailings a year to and from Zeebrugge and more than 300,000 units are handled annually. The port has the added benefit of offering a wide range of intra-European ro/ro services and is at the center of fast and reliable connections into the heart of Europe by road, rail and inland waterways where over 60% of Europe’s consumers are based.
A key attribute of the new technical services complex is its strong environmental focus incorporating as it does a biological water recycling system, extra insulation and other energy service measures to ensure its low ecological footprint. This is important to WWL because it places a high priority on its environmental commitment both at sea and on land.
WWL’s modern and versatile deep-sea ro/ro ships operate a regular service to North America from Zeebrugge as well as number of other key destinations in South Africa and Oceania. Imports come in from North America, South East Asia and the Far East. At present, the focus is on emerging markets such as China and India.