DB Schenker has invested €9m ($12.3m) in a 12,000 sq.m logistics centre in Vila do Conde, near Porto in Portugal. The centre, which opened at the beginning of May, will offer dedicated contract logistics and transport management to vertical markets including automotive and centralise logistics operations in the northern part of the country.

Vile do Condo is an important industrial location with direct access to the main highways and is just 14km from the main airport in the region – Francisco Sá Carneiro. It is also only 22km from the port of Leixoes.

 “We have a clear focus on profitable growth, this is why we invest here in Portugal,” said Dr. Thomas C. Lieb, chairman of the Board of Schenker and responsible for Contract Logistics and Supply Chain Management. “The new facility will be an integral part of our dense global organisation, also part of our unique pan-European network, offering our clients fast and secure connections to all important economic zones throughout the world.”

A spokesperson for DB Schenker said that contract logistics for automotive tier one suppliers is expected to account for 50% of activity at the centre and that it will be enlarging its vendor management inventory services for those tier ones at the facility, as well as attracting new customers.

While unable to name any customers specifically DB Schenker revealed that it was handling collection from 72 suppliers for delivery to 72 automotive plants in Europe, which involved 1,500 shipments per month, as well as coordinating reverse flows of empty packaging.

The new facility has a total storage capacity of 14,000 pallet positions, has 39 loading docks and is compliant to TAPA FSR standards.

Logistics operations will be supported by a warehouse management system (WMS), which the company said will allow it to offer more dedicated logistics solutions for the special needs of customers, including its automotive tier one suppliers.