The construction and implementation of the T-Port Logistic Campus has started at XL Businesspark Twente. Investor Heylen Warehouses, part of Heylen Group, is currently working in phases on developing the biggest logistics complex of the Netherlands. The T-Port Logistics Campus has a total size of 180,000 m2 and is located directly adjacent to the new Combi Terminal Twente (CTT) in Almelo.
Heylen Warehouses is erecting the sustainable, large-scale T-Port Logistic Campus on the 120-hectare (net) XL Businesspark Twente, half of which is now occupied. The modern, (inter)nationally oriented business park is located between the Twente Canal and the A35 motorway. The two multi-client buildings on the campus, crossed by an access road, are expected to provide 1,000 or more new jobs for the Twente region in the short term.
’Launching customer’ is Bleckmann, who will take on the European distribution for toy giant VTech Electronics Europe from the T-Port Logistic Campus. “This will immediately provide 250 new jobs for the region,” Bob Loohuis announces. “Bleckmann is set up in phase South. Goods supply will soon come directly from the Port of Rotterdam by inland shipping.” Bob Loohuis is business development manager at Heylen Warehouses, a specialist in logistics real estate in the Netherlands and beyond.
CTT decisive factor
“The presence of the CTT Almelo was a decisive factor for us when developing the T-Port Logistic Campus on the XL Businesspark Twente, situated in the heart of the TEN-T Corridor 2,” Bob Loohuis states. “Apart from the new inland shipping container terminal by the Twente Canal, this location also provides multimodality, with an excellent motorway, rail and air connections. Twente Airport, with access for larger aircrafts, is located nearby and is evolving into an international development, demonstration and production hub for ‘Advanced Materials and Manufacturing’. The strategic location and excellent accessibility of the business park are paired with the availability of very spacious plots. The T-Port Logistic Campus stands on a plot of almost 30 hectares. We have a lot to offer our customers. More and more market players are looking for large-scale DCs.”
In addition, the availability of suitable personnel is also of great importance for the online and offline logistics processes of Heylen Warehouses’ customers, according to Loohuis. “E-commerce, and especially the return logistics, still require a workforce, despite advancing automation,” he says. “Twente has sufficient space on the job market and we are generating
widespread attention. Our state-of-the-art warehouses provide a pleasant working climate. Thanks to the proactive attitude of the authorities, the business community and the educational institutions, parties are now able to optimise their synergy. For example the ‘Logistics Week’ was organised, through introductory programmes, to bring in students and people on social security benefits. Working in logistics is strongly promoted and integrated in practical courses at the actively involved regional training centre. The fact that the authorities, the business community, the educational and research institutions have established collaboration in Twente has pleasantly surprised us, as we develop our multifunctional buildings for our own portfolio. So we remain involved in this region in the long term, and we reinforce our relationships with the supportive municipality of Almelo. Newcomers will experience an excellent business climate here in addition to every possibility for an expanding, environmentally friendly inland navigation with the benefit of a solid ‘local’ container terminal.”
In return, with the T-Port Logistic Campus, Heylen Warehouses offers added value to CTT. “The companies that set up here boost each other,” André Pluimers, board member of Bolk Transport Almelo and chairman of Port of Twente, states. “The sheer scale of the campus contributes to the ambition to take fully loaded ships to and from other inland terminals and seaports. CTT has been in existence for over 17 years. CTT Almelo has been operational for a year now. CTT is one of the largest container terminals in the Netherlands, with a transshipment of approximately 300,000 TEUs in 2017. CTT provides connection to all possible IT-systems. We are currently working not only on the development of electrically powered inland ships, but also electrified trucks. With a number of safety adjustments, we also consider the business park suitable as a test site for unmanned vehicles.”
The Twente logistics cluster has plenty of room for growth. André Pluimers: “This is not only due to the available space, good (inter)national connections and justified ambitions, but also due to the well-motivated job market, the available knowledge, the application of technological innovations and all the possibilities for synchromodal solutions.”
The four O’s: ‘Ondernemers (Entrepreneurs), Overheid (Authorities), Onderwijs- en Onderzoekinstellingen’ (Educational and Research institutions) are all working hard on boosting the regional economy in Twente, with the logistics sector as a spearhead. “Port of Twente aims at attracting logistics companies,” André Pluimers confirms. “For this purpose we also want to acknowledge infrastructural bottlenecks early on and help to remove them in order to optimise usage. We always communicate with clear messages and actively stimulate linking the job market and education to industry needs. We not only collect information, but also share it to stimulate its use. In the field of innovation and research, we are even able to create distinctive strength.”
The T-Port Logistic Campus is distinctive, and not only in terms of size. “In the field of architecture alone, we have done everything we possibly could.,” Koen De Meyer, project manager at Heylen Warehouses, states. “With abundant daylight, yards, mezzanines, façade models and 'living' green walls, the extraordinary design offers a link with the historic Twente textile weaving mills and the nearby nature reserve along the meandering Doorbraak stream. Heylen Warehouses considers aesthetics and working pleasure essential for the end users, their employees and their customers. Interesting detail: during bird migration, cranes have been known to perch briefly on the green embankment here.” The high number of loading bays on the campus is also impressive. Koen De Meyer estimates its number soon to be 175.
The Phase South building, that Bleckmann will soon be occupying, is erected consecutively with Phase South 2, for the next potential logistics service provider. Koen De Meyer: “The total area of the South building, spanning 66,000 m2 , is expected to be completed in 2018. We have planned the construction start of the even larger subsequent phase North, with a size of about 120,000 m2, for the summer of 2019. As soon as a suitable party applies, we can create this tailor-made section.” Koen De Meyer also provides a local maintenance and expansion team. “We keep a close eye on certain processes and security, so that we can recognise on time maintenance issues and possible malfunctions, and solve them where needed,” he explains. “We are constantly keeping a finger on the pulse for this location, which is the northernmost location for Heylen Warehouses.”
Excellent living environment
Koen De Meyer and Bob Loohuis express their satisfaction with the adjacent, newly created nature reserve DeDoorbraak. “Employees can enjoy their lunch break here,” they explain. “Those who wish to visit a supermarket or specialty stores during their break, or who just want to buy a delicious sandwich at the bakery, can go to the village centre of Bornerbroek. It is located at walking distance from T-Port Logistic Campus.”
Almelo has been reinventing itself for more than a decade and is swiftly evolving into a modern city with an excellent living environment . “Various infill sites are provided in strikingly beautiful, varied newly built neighbourhoods,” André Pluimers confirms. “The city is developing and its attraction has already been proven. Combined with Hengelo and Enschede, there are plenty of shopping areas, as well as cultural activities.”
With the T-Port Logistic Campus, Heylen Warehouses once again applies its successful campus model to a strategic location, partly based on scalability and flexibility. Bob Loohuis: “The economy is picking up, and customers’ decision-making processes are becoming increasingly short. So we wish to have space available as soon as possible, in order to meet the growing market demand. We provide a swift occupation of ultra-modern, flexible buildings. It gives us and our customers a clear lead.”