Volkswagen has expanded the logistics capacity at its Wolfsburg plant in Germany with a €26m ($33.5m) multimodal logistics centre in nearby Fallersleben. The new facility, which was inaugurated last week, will control the shipment of complete knockdown (CKD) kits to VW plants, as well as the delivery of new and used vehicles to dealers in the regions of Wolfsburg, Hanover, Brunswick, Göttingen and Magdeburg, from one location.

The Wolfsburg plant produces the Golf, Golf Plus, Tiguan, Touran as a well as press shop, chassis and plastic components. Vehicle production hit around 805,000 in 2011.

“The growth strategy of the Volkswagen Group poses steeper challenges for both production and logistics,” explained Thomas Zernechel, head of group logistics and the Volkswagen Logistics subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. “It is our task to ensure the capacities required throughout the world with efficient processes and stable logistics chains. With our new Multimodal Logistics Center, we are adapting our concepts in line with our requirements.”

Construction of the facility, which is 5km from the Wolfsburg plant, began in July 2011 with the CKD logistics hall and ancillary buildings complete by September this year. The centre was designed and implemented by VW Immobilien, the Group’s real estate subsidiary, with more than 60 contractors working on the project.

Volkswagen stated that the facility will act as a “a high performance node”, bringing together both road and rail , as well as inland waterway with an inland port in the planning stage at GVZ Entwicklungsgesellschaft Wolfsburg.

“With the new logistics centre, we have made existing jobs at Wolfsburg more secure and also created new jobs,” said Stephan Wolf, member of the Group Works Council. “Volkswagen Logistics has impressively demonstrated that it is of strategic importance for the group.”
Volkswagen was also keen to stress the environmental credentials of the facility, including the use of recycled materials, solar heating for water used there and LED outdoor lighting.
In an interview in this issue's Finished Vehicle Logistics, the Volkswagen Group's general manager for outbound logistics, Andrea Eck, said that the centre would offer the group tri-modal possibilities. She also said the carmaker was planning on using the centre, together with the future inland port, as a training centre for green logistics. "We want to use the [centre] to grow into a green logistics laboratory where we can pilot new technologies, such as alternative fuel vehicles and equipment," said Eck. "It will be more than a multimodal compound as it will also have a research centre to train and sensitise our colleagues."
Read the full interview with Andrea Eck here.

The company said its logistics division was making a contribution to VW Group aims to reduce energy and water consumption, waste volumes and emissions at all Volkswagen plants, by 25% by 2018.

The company is investing €600m in expanding the use of renewable energies such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power.

Pictured at the inauguration ceremony (from left): Axel Schiffers, Volkswagen Immobilien, Bärbel Weist, Mayor of the Fallersleben district of Wolfsburg, Jens Mösli, project manager, Volkswagen Logistics, Astrid Lühring, Volkswagen Konzernlogistik, Stephan Wolf, member of the Group Works Council.