06 October 2012

Johnson & Johnson group opens new European distribution centre in La Louvière, Belgium

La Louvière - 03 October 2012 - Today, Janssen Pharmaceutica is opening the new European distribution center for pharmaceutical drugs in La Louvière. The Center is part of the distribution network of the worldwide Johnson & Johnson group, and will be the major hub in the distribution of innovative Janssen medicines to patients throughout Europe. Janssen has invested € 49 million in the new center, which will employ 115 people. 

The European distribution center centralizes the activities of 15 logistics centers, enabling medicines from the different European production sites to be shipped directly to a single, central distribution center. From there, the pharmaceutical drugs are shipped to the Janssen companies in 11 European countries and to Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries throughout the world. 

“The European distribution center in La Louvière will enable us to more efficiently deliver medicines that respond to the real needs of patients. Thanks to the new structure, some of the logistical burden and administrative costs that hospitals are faced with will also disappear”, says Tom Heyman, CEO of Janssen Pharmaceutica. “In addition, the management team of the three distribution centers in Belgium (Beerse, Courcelles and La Louvière) will be centralized. The relative proximity of these three European distribution centers makes it possible to use synergies to the maximum extent, and to exchange best practices and know how.” 

The inauguration of the new center once again strengthens Janssen’s integration into Wallonia and Belgium. The choice of La Louvière was mainly inspired by the logistical options, the intersection of a number of major highways and the proximity of the airport of Charleroi. The well-developed infrastructure and the central position within Europe also played an important role, of course. “Moreover, we have an excellent relationship with the Walloon Government, on whose support we have always been able to count throughout this entire project”, adds Tom Heyman. 

Jean-Claude Marcourt, Walloon Vice President and Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, also welcomes J&J’s investment. “Johnson & Johnson already opted in favor of Wallonia with the establishment of its first distribution center for medical products in 2005”. According to the Minister, the group’s new European distribution center – which is dedicated to the distribution of pharmaceutical products – not only confirms that Wallonia is the perfect location when it comes to logistical activities with major added-value, but also the quality and productivity of the local workforce. In time, this center will become an important partner for the Walloon “bio-logistics” chain. 

The new investment also confirms the firm choice that Janssen has made in favor of Belgium. Janssen hopes to develop its long-term vision further in a stable fiscal and economic environment. “We aim to continue our investments in Belgium”, confirms Janssen’s top management. “In recent years, Belgium has made considerable efforts to create an attractive investment climate for the pharmaceutical industry, which is, incidentally, one of the strongholds of the Belgian economy. We have therefore quite deliberately continued to invest in Belgium, because we are able to compensate the high payroll costs with sound scientific knowledge and a stimulating tax climate here.” 

The new distribution center was built on a 70,000 m² site. The building itself has a surface area of 21,500 m². 385,000 orders will be processed annually in the center, roughly corresponding to 160 million pharmaceutical drug packages. 

Source: Janssen Pharmaceutica