SPAR Austria opens Europe’s most modern logistics centre

July 12, 2016 IN THE CATEGORY: Supply Chain

The existing SPAR warehouse located in the town of St. Polten had become too small to efficiently supply the growing number of SPAR stores in Vienna. Recognising that this would only become more difficult over time, SPAR Austria invested in a new state-of-the-art logistics centre in the area of Ebergassing (Lower Austria) in co-operation with the Austrian logistics supplier Knapp.

The construction of the most modern logistics centre in Europe took two years to realise and an investment of €85 million. On 11 June 2016, the official opening of the new distribution centre was celebrated in the presence of Federal Minister Dr. Hans Jörg Schelling and 500 guests. The population of Ebergassing and surroundings will be invited to visit the centre in spring 2017, when it will be fully operational. This investment has resulted in the creation of 150 new jobs in the area.

SPAR Austria Board Member, Friedrich Poppmeier, who is in charge of logistics, explains the objectives behind the new centre: “To achieve local supply at the highest level, perfect processes have to be applied. SPAR is a leader in innovation and has always invested in new technologies in the area of logistics. Innovation supporting the security of supply and the support of our SPAR retailers in their day-to-day work is an ongoing investment within SPAR Austria. The SPAR logistics centre Ebergassing has become a model operation!”

Unique worldwide innovations
The new facility is currently one of the most innovative and sustainable logistics centres in the world. Some of the technologies which have been incorporated are being used for the first time. They were developed in co-operation with logistics supplier Knapp.

Gerald Hofer, CEO of Knapp AG, explains: “Based on SPAR’s industry knowledge and Knapp’s technology know-how, we jointly developed a completely new picking method, improving management of peaks, the reduction of investment and offering employees an ergonomic working environment. We are particularly proud of specially developed workplaces and the initial use of ‘swarm intelligence’ in the form of freely navigating shuttles. This innovation will set new standards worldwide and create jobs in Austria.”

Sustainability & Social Responsibility
Right at the start of construction in May 2015, it was clear that this logistics centre is a great example of the inclusion of many elements focused on sustainability. The centre has already been pre-certified with the ÖGNI certificate in platinum by the Austrian Society for Sustainable Real Estate (ÖGNI). The official ceremony recognising this achievement will take place in the autumn of 2016.

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