When Jeroen Fabry moved to Romania in 2007 to expand our logistics operations there, he was well aware that it was going to be a challenge. But the Business Unit Manager would never have guessed that things were going to happen quite this fast. In Romania, the demand for a certified logistics partner for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries is extremely high. A role that we are happy to take on, but also requires substantial investments. In May, for example, we completed an expansion of 10,000 m² of warehousing for high-Seveso goods in Bucharest.
‘When H.Essers erected the first building in Bucharest in 2013, we were only one of the few players in the area with a warehouse complex for chemical and pharmaceutical products,’ explains Jeroen. ‘In fact, we were also one of the few logistics service providers in Romania to offer Seveso-certified facilities. In Romania, many chemical products are still stored in standard warehouses even today. In view of our broad expertise, we can completely live up to our specialist role in this area.’
The gap in the market offered plenty of opportunities, and the demand for our services was high from the start. ‘Fortunately, we have plenty of capacity,’ says Jeroen. ‘Up until now, we’ve had to expand roughly every two years to meet demand. It’s not a matter of building more and then taking on new clients later; the client chooses us and we expand based on their needs.’ In October, H.Essers started building an additional 10,000 m2 warehouse to add to the existing 50,000 m2 of buildings in Bucharest. H.Essers also expanded its warehousing capacity in Oradea, Romania with an additional 8,000 m2 in 2017-2018 and renovated its 2,000 m2 office complex at the same site last year.
The expansions in Bucharest are beneficial on many levels. ‘Expansion creates new job opportunities,’ explains Jeroen, ‘and even more importantly, it allows us to support more pharmaceutical and chemical clients and offer them a safe environment to store their products. Like all of our other buildings, this new building meets the strictest requirements. Thanks to the state-of-the-art fire extinguishing system, this building is fully equipped to store hazardous goods.’ H.Essers deliberately chose to adhere to more than just the local legislation governing the warehousing of highly flammable goods. ‘The bare minimum isn’t good enough for us,’ says Jeroen. ‘We are committed to achieving the highest level of safety for our clients and our employees. We won’t settle for anything less.’
More than 900 people are currently employed at the Romanian branches of H.Essers. Despite being relatively new locations, Jeroen sees plenty of opportunities for success. ‘By continuing to invest in high-quality warehousing and transport in this segment, we can solidify our position as the leading partner for major companies and multinationals looking for safe and custom solutions. Brainstorming and facilitating is the name of the game. In a region where services like these are hard to come by, we stand out head and shoulders above the rest.’