In greater detail 01/17
The e-commerce business is booming. Rhenus can now offer a new logistics centre with high-quality warehouse services to its customers in the border triangle where Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic meet. Logistics People spoke to Piotr Hoch, Contract Logistics, Sales & Business Development Director at Rhenus Logistics in Poland, and Dominik Karczewski, the authorised signatory at Rex-Bud, which completed the construction work on the modern facility in Western Poland for Rhenus.
"We want to gradually establish a high-performance team in Bolesławiec, where career opportunities are available at all levels."
Mr Hoch, what happened first at Rhenus once the decision had been made to build the logistics centre in Bolesławiec?
Piotr Hoch: We first spoke to Rhenus managers, who had already handled the building work for logistics centres or are now using them. This enabled us to include the experience gained at other Rhenus business sites in our plans. At the same time, we identified our own requirements at the end of 2015 – that’s to say, what we needed to enable successful operations at the facility in Bolesławiec. We were then able to arrange a date for the start of building work in April 2016 with our main contractor. We also received outstanding support from the local and regional authorities once we had made our decision in favour of Bolesławiec.
"Ideal from a Logistical Perspective"
Mr Karczewski, what role did the issue of sustainability play in the plans?
Dominik Karczewski: Weighing up the economic and ecological interests is always a tough balancing act. Working with Rhenus, we looked for solutions, which aimed at preserving resources in our dealings with the environment. This not only affected the building itself, but naturally the energy balance in the future use of the logistics centre too. For example, the thermal insulation has been planned in such a way that heating in winter and cooling in summer are less expensive. The window system on the building’s façade has also been designed to direct light to the working areas inside the warehouse and this restricts the use of artificial light sources to a minimum with the help of automatic controls. But from a logistics perspective too, Rhenus now has an ideal facility to meet its customers’ needs.
Piotr Hoch: In addition to handling customer wishes in a sustainable and professional manner at a strategically favourable geographical location, we’d naturally like to offer our employees excellent conditions for their work as an attractive employer. We’re pursuing a long-term goal to recruit qualified workers.
The building is one side of the coin – the people, who fill it with life, are the other.
Piotr Hoch: Exactly. We want motivated workers who aim to do their very best for our customers and enjoy personal development too. That’s naturally much easier in a pleasant working environment. Using the most experienced managers from other Rhenus e-commerce operations in Poland, we want to gradually establish a high-performance team in Bolesławiec, where career opportunities are available at all levels. Particularly in this booming sector of the economy with its high volumes and short-term fluctuations, we need colleagues who work quickly and reliably and can improve procedures with their own ideas. But it’s just as important for them to understand that we’re the last point of contact with the final customers of those we’re working for and therefore we have to use a great deal of care in putting together the consignments.
Mr Karczewski, can the planned growth at this Rhenus business site be accommodated quickly in terms of the building work?
Dominik Karczewski: This scenario played a significant role in the preparation work. The warehousing space constructed during the initial building phase only represents an intermediate stage at the Bolesławiec site. It will be possible to expand the current space, almost 40,000 square metres, to 60,000 square metres in the existing building and to about 100,000 square metres by means of a second warehouse. All the plans needed for this already exist.
Piotr Hoch: In the light of the welcome developments in the e-commerce sector, it’s highly probable that we’ll be able to quickly tackle the second stage of the building work. We’re well equipped for all eventualities at the Bolesławiec site and we’re looking forward to future developments with a great deal of optimism.
100,000 square metres
Rhenus in Bolesławiec
The modern Rhenus logistics centre is located in Lower Silesia on Polish soil. The connection to the A 4 motorway and direct proximity to the German border (54 kilometres away) and the Czech frontier (60 kilometres away) enable Rhenus to quickly supply final customers across the borders with the products stored here. The facility, which was completed in just 150 days, is one of about 120 multi-user logistics centres that the Rhenus Group operates in Europe and Asia.
Rex-Bud: Experienced main contractor
Stanislaw Karczewski, the father of the interview partner Dominik, founded Rex-Bud in 1995. The company, which, like Rhenus, is still a family-managed business and has its headquarters in Łód´z, has developed and built more than one million square metres of space in the form of factories and warehouses, shopping centres and fruit & vegetable sorting facilities during the last two decades.