Bpost opens state-of-the-art e-fulfillment center in Willebroek
Active Ants, a subsidiary of the Belgian bpost group, has opened a brand-new e-fulfillment center in Willebroek. In this new state-of-the-art warehouse, people and robots are working together to pack thousands of parcels for webshops.
The bpost group continues to grow (+3% compared to 2020) and, despite the record year 2020, e-commerce has not reached its highest point yet in Belgium. The group has the ambition to remain the most important operational e-commerce player in the country and wants to support Belgian webshops with a range of services and solutions. That is why bpost’s subsidiary, Active Ants, opened the automated warehouse in Willebroek.
“Bpost wants to become the most sustainable logistics player in Europe,” bpost CEO Dirk Tirez said during the press conference. In an interview, he told the Belga press agency that the warehouse is fully covered with solar panels. The self-charging robots are environmentally friendly and all packaging materials are recyclable.
People and robots are intensively and sustainably working together with a good-to-man system. Thirty Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) carry empty boxes to workers, who fill them with goods. The robots transport the boxes to the packing machines. Once filled, the boxes are closed, labeled, and sorted for the respective transporters, like bpost.
Stocking, order-picking, packing, labeling, and sorting are fully automated, only the flow of returned goods and the reception of the goods remain manual processes.
The warehouse is equipped with a unique sealing machine with a built-in printer. It was specially developed for Active Ants and offers each shipper its own tailor-made printed boxes.
Bpost group will have eleven commercial fulfillment centers in Europe by the end of this year. Active Ants was created in 2010 and has four sites (in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany). The company has more than 250 customers, representing more than five million orders annually. Bpost is the most important postal company in Belgium and a growing partner for e-commerce in Europe, North America, and Asia.