Weerts Group : Seamless, Streamlined, and Sustainable Success

Ryan GrayRachel Carr
Ryan Gray - Senior Head of Projects Rachel Carr - Editor

The family-owned Weerts Group enjoys uniquely inherent advantages. Didier Weerts, CEO of Weerts Supply Chain, and Christophe Weerts, Vice President of Business Development at Weerts Logistics Parks, discuss their divisions’ agility, flexibility, accessibility, and continual investment in the future.

SEAMLESS, STREAMLINED, AND SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS

Adjacent to the River Meuse in Belgium is the city of Liège, the economic capital of the Wallonia region and the headquarters of Weerts Supply Chain (WSC). 

One of four different yet complementary business fields of the family-owned Weerts Group, WSC is included in the company’s portfolio alongside motorsport, logistics real estate, and energy. 

As the successor of Transports Weerts & Fils, founded in 1918, WSC grew into one of Belgium’s leading national road transport companies over four generations. In 1989, the company diversified its services by adding contract logistics and began to gain experience in the construction of logistics real estate, which eventually became its focus. 

Since then, Weerts Group has been successful in expanding its divisions, with the addition of Weerts Energy in 2022. This new venture has implemented a comprehensive energy strategy across the group’s entire portfolio, specialising in financing and customised renewable solutions for its properties, actively contributing to the net zero transition. 

Currently, Weerts Group – more specifically Weerts Logistics Parks (WLP) – operates in multiple European countries, including the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Hungary, Romania, and Belgium.  The company is divided into four robust units, each with a different focus, yet they all share the same values of innovation, sustainability, and excellence. 

“Road transport was the origin of the business, which commenced modestly after the First World War.  The road transport division grew into one of Belgium’s leading companies in that sector until it was sold in 2008. Following that, Weerts Group continued to develop its logistics expertise, with a strong emphasis on technological innovation and an end-to-end approach,” introduces Didier Weerts, CEO of WSC. 

Focusing on food, consumer products, household appliances, electronics, and industrial logistics, WSC illustrates its scope with a presence in seven locations, over 350 full-time employees, and a total footprint of approximately 250,000 square metres (sqm).

REDEFINING EUROPEAN LOGISTICS

WLP, which forms an essential component of Weerts Group, is committed to developing cutting-edge logistics parks that cater to the specific requirements of third-party vendors and end-users.  

These facilities display strategic location choices, an unflinching focus on sustainability, and superior operational efficiency. 

“Our local partnerships in the countries we operate in are crucial to our success; they combine global innovation with regional expertise to ensure that solutions are tailored to each market’s unique requirements,” opens Christophe Weerts, Vice President of Business Development at WLP. 

WLP has set out a clear roadmap of strategic site selection, an ongoing commitment to sustainability, and a pioneering approach to technological innovation. 

“Short decision lines are one of WLP’s major strengths, and the company’s quick action is a testament to this. It continues to remain one of our top priorities and aligns with one of our core values – simplicity,” Christophe expands. 

In addition, WLP is dedicated to delivering exceptional services to its customers, both during the construction phase and after the buildings are completed. The company maintains strong relationships with its tenants, seeking to understand their requirements and being their primary point of contact to ensure continued partnerships and support. 

Like the other divisions within Weerts Group, WLP is committed to sustainability and plans to install 274,000 solar panels and four wind turbines by the end of 2025, with a further two to follow by the end of 2027. 

Furthermore, WLP buildings are equipped with first-class insulation, LED lighting, and intelligent sensors to reduce energy waste. WLP has pledged to undertake BREEAM certification for all future logistics real estate developments. 

“WLP prides itself on exercising its responsibilities concerning social stewardship and environmental impact by operating in the most sustainable ways possible.   

“Our aim is to create logistics parks that establish a new benchmark in the industry and incorporate sustainability and efficiency in all aspects of our operations. By capitalising on our strengths, WLP is not only preparing for the future but actively shaping it, ensuring that our legacy continues to redefine the logistics real estate sector in Europe,” declares Christophe.

HARMONIOUS DIVISIONS

Striving for excellence in everything it does, Weerts Group is united by a strategic thread that connects its business units and creates a network of synergistic opportunities and overlaps. 

“Although each of the four divisions operates with its own expertise and market focus, they all contribute to a collective strength that is greater than the sum of its parts,” Didier observes. 

For example, WSC and its distribution networks support the racing division’s need for the precise and timely transport of equipment and parts. WLP, meanwhile, demonstrates its logistics expertise by providing integrated solutions to customers and ensuring that projects are strategically located for optimal efficiency. 

In parallel, WLP provides the foundation for the energy division to utilise sustainable solutions. These not only power the properties but also provide renewable energy systems for motorsport and logistics operations, further reducing Weerts Group’s environmental footprint. 

“Collaboration between different departments can lead to innovation, with breakthroughs in one area driving progress in others. This creates a cycle of continuous improvement and growth, which strengthens each individual division and opens up new opportunities in various markets. This diversified approach ensures a dynamic and sustainable future,” insights Didier. 

Weerts Group aims to achieve sustainable growth while creating value across its entire portfolio for the benefit of all stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders, business partners, and society. 

“Our most important social contribution is to generate jobs and stimulate economic activity in the regions where we operate. Our efforts to facilitate a positive working environment for our employees were recognised in 2020 with the Logistics Employer of the Year award,” Didier prides.   

Furthermore, WSC collaborates with adapted labour companies that provide meaningful employment for around 100 people at various locations in its Belgium warehouses. Similarly, WLP cultivates a holistic approach, which demonstrates its belief that businesses can be financially successful while also having a positive impact on society. 

“In addition to promoting energy efficiency, WLP’s strategy is to construct spaces that help businesses thrive while strengthening the local economy through job creation and community support,” Christophe explains.

“At WSC, we don’t just offer standard storage services; we go above and beyond to provide a wide range of value-added services”

Didier Weerts, CEO, Weerts Supply Chain

INVESTMENTS AND DEVELOPMENTS

WSC invests in artificial intelligence (AI) and various automation initiatives, as well as smart applications for training, communication, and reporting purposes.  

It also prioritises the well-being of the workforce by investing in ergonomic workstations and equipment that enables safer and more efficient warehouse operations.   

Current projects include assessing the possibility of turning forklifts into automated guided vehicles (AGVs), enlarging the use of AI in the division’s warehouses, and making administrative processes more scalable.  

Additionally, WSC is developing new pricing algorithms which will allow detailed, complex, and customer-specific analyses. 

“At WSC, we don’t just offer standard storage services; we go above and beyond to provide a wide range of value-added services. In the logistics industry, where competition is fierce and margins are narrow, we continuously strive for improvement. That’s why we finance engineering capacity, automation, and AI to keep up with the rapidly evolving landscape,” shares Didier. 

Currently, WSC is managing more than 100 projects, from continuous improvement initiatives and automation to onboarding new clients and operational excellence programmes. Furthermore, to advance its productivity, the division insourced its warehouse management system (WMS) supplier a few years ago. 

“We have an in-house development team that writes the code for our WMS. The system is really at the heart of our activities; it steers all movements in our distribution centres,” Didier informs. 

WLP heavily invests in many new warehouses, enabling WSC to grow and provide new opportunities for its customers. 

“WLP has several projects in the pipeline in France, particularly near Dunkirk, Metz, Sarreguemines, and Châteauroux, to further strengthen its presence and ecological commitment in the country,” Christophe confirms. 

Together, WSC and WLP have a number of strategic projects across Europe, and both divisions are committed to sustainable construction, targeting BREEAM Excellent certification or higher for all new logistics properties. 

“We continue to plant trees around our warehouses and invest in environmentally-friendly vehicles to align with our logistics and sustainability goals,” Didier concludes.

WEERTS GROUP PARTNER

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REPUBLISHED ON:Supply Chain Outlook
PUBLISHED BY:Outlook Publishing
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By Ryan Gray Senior Head of Projects
Ryan Gray is a Senior Head of Projects for Outlook Publishing. Ryan is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Ryan is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Ryan to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.
By Rachel Carr Editor
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Rachel Carr is an in-house writer for EME Outlook Magazine, where she is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.