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Faced with chronic difficulties, Logistics Nivelles is forced to consider closing its Nivelles site

Nivelles, September 22, 2021. Since its acquisition by the Kuehne+Nagel Group in 2005, the situation at Logistics Nivelles has been particularly worrying.

From a financial point of view, after several reorganizations, the site continues to generate significant losses. Efforts to address this situation are not sufficient to return to break-even. In 2021, a new capital increase was necessary to compensate for these losses. Without the prospect of profitability, the company can no longer continue to serve its sole customer in the retail sector.

Furthermore, the site is unable to provide a satisfactory level of service at a competitive cost. Productivity levels are below standard and process changes are proving very difficult to implement.

Considering these major problems, and in order to be able to continue serving the customer, Kuehne+Nagel conducted an analysis to define a configuration that would improve the level of service, restore profitability to the business, while providing sufficient polyvalence to address future market variations and changes.

This analysis shows that moving from the current regional configuration of Dry (non-perishable) and Fresh products to a national configuration would meet all these objectives.

In the case of Dry products, the service would be strengthened with a single national warehouse, both in terms of quality and cost management, with fewer stocks, therefore less warehouse space required and less administration. The Kontich site has the best assets (quality of service, productivity, geographical location) to manage all this activity at national level.

At the Fresh products, a national organisation would mean taking over the delivery of high-volume warehouses and changing the infrastructure. As the current site in Nivelles is not suitable for handling more volumes of fresh products and has disadvantages in terms of productivity, employment costs and location, the new building in Kampenhout would have many advantages for hosting this new Fresh activity. This site would be multi-customer, which is a strength in the face of possible market fluctuations.

As the Nivelles site cannot meet the challenges of the distribution of Dry and Fresh products, the management is forced to announce its intention to close the Nivelles site by the autumn of 2022, and as a result, is also forced to consider the possibility of a collective dismissal for all staff, i.e. 549 people.

The management is now undertaking the information and consultation process with the social partners on collective dismissal. It will do its utmost to ensure that this phase takes place in the best possible way, in a spirit of dialogue.