High-rise and full mechanization at Coenen in Haps
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High-rise and full mechanization at Coenen in Haps

  • 14 June 2021
  • Door: Hans Reichart

It is the middle of May 2021. There are storms and heavy rainfall on the Laarakker industrial estate in Haps. There, right next to the A73 motorway, transport company Coenen Boxmeer and its subsidiary Districenter Cuijk are building a large, ultramodern cold storage facility. The bad weather caused some inconvenience, but the construction work is progressing steadily. An interview with two cold store experts involved.

In July, Coenen Boxmeer Green Warehouse is being taken into use: 35 metres high, 27,000 pallet spaces, fully mechanised and automated. Sustainable, flexible and prepared for the future. Director Theo Coenen talks enthusiastically about the new warehouse. He is the third generation in the family business and likes to point out that the cold store is being built close to where his grandfather started the company almost 90 years ago in Sint Agatha aan de Maas. The link is more than nostalgia. In 2021, Coenen Boxmeer has the same attention for the individual customer as previous generations, now helped by IT. "We are not in the contract business, but in the agreement business. I invest heavily in automation, not to do the work with fewer people, but so that our people can give more time and attention to our customers." 

Flexible

It is the approach that distinguishes the company in a market with increasingly larger, international logistics companies, who have less room for customisation. "Many customers have their own trucks. They can bring, store and collect their products here. We have chosen racks that fit several pallet sizes and a part -3,000 pallet spaces- for cold storage. If the market demands it, we can also adapt part of the cold storage by installing a partition wall in the cold store. We often take over part of the transport because we do it more efficiently. In that way, we complement each other well. Because Coenen does more than just storage: "We can take on the complete handling of refrigerated and frozen batches," says Theo. "When it comes to accepting rides, we are very flexible. Sometimes a journey does not seem profitable at first sight. However, if you include return shipments or other rides in the calculation, then it is. We serve food entrepreneurs in a customised way. And Coenen does so sustainably.

Theo Coenen (l) and Elbert-Jan Drieënhuizen

Solar panels and extremely quiet

The 40 refrigerated trailers used by Coenen to transport fresh and frozen food are green and extremely quiet, thanks to smart technology that makes use of the energy released when the trucks brake. The energy for the tailgate comes from solar panels on the roof of the trailer. The new warehouse is also green. The cold is carefully kept inside, the heat outside. Each passageway between inside and outside, for example, is equipped with a lock. The energy from the cooling and freezing installations is reused. The roof of the warehouse is full of solar panels.

Districenter Cuijk is currently still renting cold stores. Building their own cold store requires a substantial investment. Coenen did not take any chances. "I have looked into the matter, also because I enjoy such technical issues. I also sought extensive advice, including from Ted Langen, known from Blokland Coldstores, someone with 38 years of experience in refrigerated logistics. Coenen is convinced that the coldstore is the right choice, even though it is not yet fully booked. "When we started renting space, it filled up quickly."

Optimal insulation

Elbert-Jan Drieënhuizen, Managing Director of K.I.M. Nederland, believes that Coenen was right to choose high-rise and full mechanisation: "Coenen is ready for the future. In the cold store, hardly any people are involved; the work is done by automated cranes. This allows you to make optimal use of the available surface area, which is not possible if you have to work with reach trucks and forklifts. Coenen: "You will also hardly find any people to work in the freezer storage. In total, 8 people will soon be working in the warehouse and another 8 in the office, that we are also housing in the building."

K.I.M. Nederland, also a family business, specialises in insulation system construction and has been involved in the construction of the CB Green Warehouse from the ground up. Literally, because K.I.M. also laid the insulating floor on which the warehouse rests. Drieënhuizen: "After that, it was the rack builders' turn until we could get back to work installing the insulating panels. The material we use is a novelty, 200 mm QuadCore, which provides optimal insulation and thus reduces energy costs."

'Coenen ready for the future'

Coenen is pleased that everything went according to plan, despite corona and bad weather. He concludes with satisfaction: "The finish by K.I.M. is food safe, the material they use is fire safe and they have their own assembly people. In this niche market, that is important. Not everyone can do that. They also prove to be very flexible, which is sometimes necessary when many parties are working at a construction site." 

www.coenenboxmeer.nl
www.kim-nederland.nl

Photos: © Studio 38c

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2021