Around Rhenus 02/17
Biesterfeld Spezialchemie has a reputation for being one of the leading international distributors of products and solutions in the world of specialty chemicals. These substances are needed for paints and printing inks – but also for adhesives and electronics or even in the fields of foodstuffs, health care and personal care. As the previous warehouse in Hilden had become too small, the company decided in December 2016 to move into business premises in neighbouring Solingen. However, it set very high standards: the company was aiming to do more than just move into a new warehouse. Logistics needs intelligent management to ensure that goods reach the right place at the right time anywhere in the world.
Rhenus Freight Logistics in Hilden shares the same outlook; it supports the special service company and was delighted to be able to extend its logistics agreement with the firm in the spring. It was necessary to transport almost 240 truckloads during the move to the new European central warehouse, which has 14,000 square metres of space – an increase of 25 percent over the old building; and this all had to take place within just one week.
A transparent flow of information and goods formed the basis for success. This not only applied to the move. The new warehouse itself and its latest technology are designed to meet this requirement too: electronic process integration along the complete value-added chain and dynamic materials management in the roomy high-shelf warehouse now enable goods to be handled in a very flexible manner.
The chemical products stored here are used in many industrial sectors: health care, medical engineering, personal care and cleaning, foodstuffs, paints and printing inks, polyurethane, polymer additives, building materials, adhesives and lubricants, composite and tooling materials as well as products for the electrical industry.
New logistics concept
Rhenus is responsible for the new logistics concept. This involves the multimodal distribution of groupage freight and complete loads by truck, ship or plane across Europe. About half the consignments are transported within Germany; the other half are shipped to many countries in Europe. Rhenus is responsible for incoming deliveries, picking and packing and even shipping the supplies to customers – including the returns management. However, good planning is not everything.
There are special requirements for certain products – e.g. for hygiene management. “The warehouse enjoys HACCP food certification, for example. And the warehousing logistics is audited by our suppliers in the health care sector several times a year,” Andre Neddermann, Head of Logistics at Biesterfeld Spezialchemie, explains. “This demonstrates that the warehouse management scheme is geared towards the high material and quality requirements for up-market products.
In addition to HACCP, the business site in Solingen is certified in line with ISO and the SQAS safety and quality standard. It is only possible to obtain these kinds of certification if a building has access checks, camera monitoring, temperature measuring equipment and regular employee training courses. After all, some of the sensitive products, for which there are two special cold storage cells in the warehouse, are used in electronics for making circuit boards or in aircraft manufacturing.
Guaranteed cold chain
Transporting temperature-controlled goods presents many challenges. Rhenus handles the refrigerated items with the help of cool pads and appropriate packaging so that the cool chain is not interrupted. “Using our special service, we can guarantee that the high-quality goods reach their recipient without suffering any damage. Consignments can also be monitored using our Track&Trace shipment tracking system,” says Christian Seis, Head of Logistics at Rhenus Freight Logistics in Hilden.
One special feature in Solingen is the use of a version of Rhenus’ own Warehouse Management System (WMS); it has been specially tailored to the customer’s requirements. “As a result of the customer’s complex needs, high-quality technical equipment like devices for the mobile logging of data and the capacity to operate with WiFi were necessary and they’re used to scan barcodes,” says Seis. In the chemical sector, the item number and the item name are important – but data on hazardous substances, uninterrupted batch tracking and the maximum storage life is essential too.
However, this software can do even more. As an exchange of data permanently takes place between Biesterfeld Spezialchemie and Rhenus Freight Logistics, constant stocktaking can be completed, in addition to handling the goods. This provides benefits for the company and its customers, for they can always rely on the highest degree of transparency and precise deliveries.
European central warehouse in Solingen
The new European central warehouse offers 14,000 square metres of space and consists of two buildings. The premises have 22 gates and ramps and an area for small parts – as well as a bonded warehouse and refrigerated space. The equipment also includes fire and smoke alarms, a burglar alarm system and ceiling sprinklers. It is certified in line with ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO50001, SQAS and HACCP. WiFi is available anywhere in the warehouse.