Temperature-controlled warehousing and distribution specialist Norfrost is investing €66 million to expand its cold storage logistics terminal at the Wilhelmshaven container port. The facility has been in operation since mid-2012, when the Shortens, Germany-headquartered company opened for business as the first enterprise in the logistics zone of the JadeWeser Port on the bay of the North Sea coast.
Over the past seven years the original 23,000-square-meter logistics center, which stores fresh and dry goods as well as frozen products, has grown three times. The current phase of expansion will feature a fully automated 40-meter high-bay warehouse at the existing facility, along with an 8,000-square-meter, three-aisle heavy-load platform with overhead cranes capable of handling weights of up to 125 tons.
Construction of the heavy-load halls, now underway, should take about eleven months. Shortly thereafter a train connection will be completed. The high-bay warehouse is scheduled to come on line in May of 2021. Attached large-scale food processing hygiene areas, used for customer orders, are scheduled to be operational by November of 2020.
Prior to this expansion, Nordfrost had already invested €104 million in the container port’s logistics zone. Following completion of the latest phase, 11 hectares of the 33-hectare plot will remain available for additional development. There is already intensive work on planning for further projects at the terminal.
More than 100 clients across the food industry – from meat and poultry to fish, dairy, confectionery, ice cream, fruit and potato sectors – are presently utilizing the facility. All three storage areas are largely exhausted, as is the labor-intensive processing area.
Together with container trucking and the forwarding department, over 350 employees work in three shifts at the complex. The warehouses have a current total capacity of 105,000 pallet spaces, or the equivalent of 3,500 truck/container loads.
Founded in 1975 by Horst Bartels, Nordfrost today employs approximately 2,500 people and operates 40 frozen food warehouses with combined storage capacity of 3,500,000 cubic meters and 760,000 pallet positions in Europe, most of them in Germany. The family-owned company’s annual turnover is approximately €400 million.