Barry Callebaut Group plans to build a new, environmentally-friendly Global Distribution Center (GDC) in Lokeren, Belgium.

The new GDC, featuring a low bay and a fully automated high bay warehouse (together more than 60,000 square meters), will serve as a logistics hub for the global distribution of chocolate produced by Barry Callebaut. This includes the majority of products in the Gourmet & Specialties and Decorations segments, as well as solid chocolate for food manufacturer customers. 

The new GDC allows Barry Callebaut to consolidate its activities currently located across several locations in the region of Aalst, Belgium. This will optimize and increase the efficiency of Barry Callebaut’s product distribution.

The warehouse site will be designed and built by Warehouses De Pauw. Barry Callebaut will rent the GDC based on a long-term rental contract. The handover of this new site is expected for the third quarter of 2021. In addition to the 85 people currently employed, Barry Callebaut expects to add employees based on the projected growth for the GDC activities.

“The global expansion of our products has increased rapidly in recent years, and we anticipate that this trend will continue in the future,” said Massimo Garavaglia, Barry Callebaut’s president of EMEA. “The new Global Distribution Center is an adequate solution that responds to our growth, increases efficiency for our customers as well as employees and guarantees improved mobility at the same time. In addition, the development of the GDC is a textbook example of the implementation of our ‘smart growth’ strategy.”

The new site supports Barry Callebaut’s goal to become carbon positive by 2025, as described in the group’s sustainability plan, Forever Chocolate. The logistics hub will be fully energy-neutral by investing in solar panels, use of materials with low life-cycle cost, geothermal energy, charging stations for electric vehicles and extensive facilities for cyclists.