Automated warehouse for equipment supports Nike’s performance
The Antwerp sub-urb of Laakdal is home to Nike’s Logistics Centre of Excellence, the heart of Nike’s distribution operations for the EMEA region. At this site, Nike operates an automated warehouse for apparel (opened in 1994) and footwear (opened in 1995). Vanderlande built the material handling systems, as well as the 2 fully automated high bay warehouses for pallets and cartons (opened in 1998). Systems were extended by Vanderlande several times to accommodate Nike’s strong growth.
Nike needed to expand its distribution capacity, especially for sports equipment and apparel. The company decided to build a separate distribution centre to free up capacity in its existing apparel and take advantage of synergies.
The material handling system handles the entire carton flow inside the DC (except for the high-bay pallet warehouse). The total assortment is 25,000 SKUs and 43 million items are handled per year. The heart of the system is a 280 m long loop sorter, which will handle both automated inbound and outbound sortation of cartons. The sortation capacity is 6,000 items per hour. The new facility, built over 3 levels and covering 30,000m2 of floor space, distributes equipment, such as footballs and sports bags, to sales outlets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.