Kuehne & Nagel is investing €22 million into building a new warehouse in Contern, covering both lease commitments and also capital investments; Thursday morning saw the ground-breaking ceremony take place at the Spuetestach site.

The investment is a significant boost for the Luxembourg logistics industry which is also currently seeing the redevelopment of the former WSA site in Bettembourg-Dudelange to support the industry which is leveraging the Grand Duchy's central European geographical position from where 500 million people are accessible within hours by road.

Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Etienne Schneider, welcomed the international logistics company's continued investment in Luxembourg which is good for the industry as well as local employment. He stated "Kuehne & Nagel's expansion in Luxembourg is a mark of trust in our country as a prime logistics hub in Europe. This project is also a significant step towards the implementation of the logistics action plan that foresees, among others, to develop the Eurohub Centre site as a logistics park in Contern next to the Eurohub South logistics park in Bettembourg-Dudelange."

Kuehne & Nagel's Managing Director for BeLux, Kevin Nash, presented the global company which is 126 years ago, with its Luxembourg operation starting in 1970; the current building was built in 1995 and has already been extended; the new new building will be primarily for warehousing and storage.

The new 46,000 m2 building is part of an 80,000 m2 lot; it will be 320 m long by 120 m wide and will offer no less than 40 loading bays. The storage space will cater for up to 56,000 pallets, of which 20,000 have already leased to Fanuc Europe Corporation for their work in the robotics industry, as a European Distribution Centre and a Product Customisation Centre for Robots and Robomachines. The new construction will also include a bonded warehouse on part of the warehouse. The remaining space is designed to support customers in their growing demands for integrated end-to-end solutions in Luxembourg, with a main focus on industrial goods and eCommerce activities.

He also stressed that The new warehouse will lead to additional employment; the company currently employs 570 staff in Luxembourg (for both storage and transport / supply chain management) and intends to grow staff numbers by 5% annually for the next 10 years - in Belgium it employs 2,000+ staff.

The first phase is expected to conclude this December, with the second phase (10,000 m2 Pharma Storage) scheduled for completion in 2017 Q1. He added that the location of Contern is ideal for their business, close to the airport and motorways.

The press conference held immediately preceding the ground-breaking ceremony was held in various languages - English, Luxembourgish and German, indicative of Luxembourg's mult-lingual heritage. Those attending were ferried the short 1km distance by bus to the Spuetestach site where the ground-breaking ceremony took place. Interestingly, the blue corporate colours were in evidence throughout, including the carpeting around the ground-breaking.

Photos by Geoff Thompson (below, L-R): Walter Hellmich, CEO at Hellmich construction company; Kevin Nash, Managing Director of Kuehne & Nagel in Luxembourg; Minister Etienne Schneider; Fernand Schiltz, Mayor of Contern municipality