A new high-bay warehouse, a longer conveyor line and significantly increased handling capacity – Arvato Supply Chain Solutions has successfully completed the expansion of its distribution center in Stryków, Poland. The internationally operating e-commerce service provider manages the online business of the H&M brand in Eastern Europe out of this location. "The expansion became necessary in order to handle our customer's continuous volume growth faster and more flexibly," emphasized Lidia Ratajczak-Kluck, Managing Director of Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Poland, during the commissioning of the new hall.
As part of the expansion, floor space was increased by an additional 15,000 m² to a new total of 55,000 m². Total storage area of 75,000 m² is now available, extending over two levels. The high-bay warehouse in the new hall has space for 240,000 cartons and total storage capacity now amounts to a total of approximately 420,000 cartons. In order to pick cartons from the racks which include 8.7 meter high shelves, the use of self-propelled reach trucks is necessary. These move along a 4,400 meter long induction track through the high-bay warehouse.
The new hall is equipped with a 123 meter long conveyor belt which transports cartons to the older part of the hall for further processing and is also directly connected to the existing conveyor system in this part of the warehouse. In total, the conveyor line is around 3.5 kilometers long. Other important building blocks for automation are for example special sorting systems, dynamic warehouse replenishment, and the implementation of the SAP S4/HANA ERP system.
Thanks to the expansion of the distribution center, the handling volume will increase by around 30 percent. "With the expansion of the distribution center and the cooperation with Arvato Supply Chain Solutions as a strategic partner – which we extended at the end of last year – the logistical foundations to support future demand have been laid," said Michael Schulz, Regional Logistics Manager East Europe of the H&M Group, during the commissioning of the additional space. The two companies have been cooperating since 2018, and Michael Schulz is convinced that "the higher level of automation associated with the expansion will help to noticeably enhance the customer experience." The fashion brand's customers in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Slovakia are supplied from Stryków.
"Poland is and remains a strong growth market for Arvato Supply Chain Solutions. Since 2015, we have opened new logistics centers there every year for a whole range of customers, mainly benefiting from online retailing. As a central logistics hub with short delivery times for national distribution, but also for the entire Central and Eastern European region as well as the high-volume sales markets in Western Europe, Poland is an important location to strengthen our and our customers' international presence," emphasizes Lidia Ratajczak-Kluck. The expansion of the distribution center in Stryków is therefore logical and at the same time it will be responsible for creating further 300 jobs in this area. To handle order peaks, the plan is to employ significantly more staff, so that there will be up to 1,300 employees.