New building in Inwil - geared up for the future

The history of the family-run company Blättler AG in Littau is featured by steady growth. Ever since its beginnings in 1959, the company, which, counting some 50 employees, is now active in two business segments: transport and cold chain logistics, has been adapting itself to market demands. The construction of a new cold chain logistics centre in Inwil is a response to developments in the deep-freeze market, which require fast processes with closed cold chains and high supply capacity.

VERMO Tiefkühlpool AG based in Lucerne is going to be included in the development project: it will rent individual spaces in the building, bundle and relocate both its current sites into the new building and thus strengthen cooperation with Blättler Kühllogistik AG. ‘There is still room for further tenant alliances in the building complex,‘ comments Managing Director Reto Blättler, ‘Win-win situations due to alliances are and have always been a cornerstone of Blättler’s corporate philosophy.’

Traditionally innovative

Like Blättler AG, VERMO AG is also an organically grown family firm. It specialises in the storage and transport of deep-freeze and ice cream products, including a comprehensive range of everyday staples for the catering industry. VERMO’s core business involves order-picking of even the smallest quantities for end users. Blättler AG main business focus includes temperature-controlled order-picking and transport processes for the food, pharmaceutical and non-food sectors. Both companies use the synergies created in the new building as their competitive edge, but they remain independent and faithful to their respective business models.

Construction project

In spring of 2016 the starting gun was fired for the construction of a logistics centre to be optimally located near the A14 motorway between Lucerne and Zurich. The completion of the new building at Industriestrasse is scheduled for the end of 2017. Approximately 700m² of space and commercial space and a warehouse with a capacity of 10,000 pallet slots are being built in the non-developed construction zone of Inwil’s Industrie Dorf area. The logistics complex is divided into four interrelated areas: fully automated deep-freeze high-rack warehouse; order-picking warehouse; cargo handling area; and office premises.

The energy-optimised high-rack warehouse has three double-deep aisles operated by rack robots. This area is adjoined by the order-picking warehouse, which makes sure that any shortages reported in the high-rack warehouse are automatically retrieved and replenishments released within specified time limits. In the cargo handling area there are eight loading bays, including various storage rooms for deep-freeze, refrigerated and fresh products as well as rooms where dry food is stored. The spacious office premises provide enough space for approx. 30 workstations. The plans are that also other interested parties will move their business operations into the new logistics centre. In any case, a lot of new jobs will be available in the prospective logistics building.

Blättler AG’s new building is a modern development complex designed to provide high flexibility and, depending on market needs, possibilities of expansion in diverse directions. The central location of the prospective logistics centre is also advantageous from the ecological point of view: middle in Central Switzerland, with short quick routes to all Switzerland and neighbouring countries.

Investment in future

Future needs space. And successful future requires not only space but it also makes far-reaching plans and distinguishes itself by high adaptability: Both its high supply capacity and lean internal processes let Blättler AG respond to increasingly shorter production cycles on the market. Thus timely delivery of shipments to customers all across Switzerland within 24 hours can be guaranteed. ‘Besides, we find satellite monitoring of our vehicles to be an imperative of innovative technology and an additional safety measure for our customers. With its lorry fleet, infrastructure and new building, Blättler AG is geared up for the future,’ says Project Manager Pius Eiholzer wholeheartedly.