World’s biggest chocolate distribution centre opens in Lokeren

Franco-Belgian chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut has just opened its new distribution centre in Lokeren (East Flanders).  Equal in size to six soccer pitches and standing 40 metres tall this is the largest distribution centre for chocolate in the world.   From here the company will distribute its chocolate to 140 different countries.

“This new centre will allow us to supply the world with chocolate faster than before” spokesman Korneel Warlop told VRT.  “It’s good news for everybody!”

The new distribution centre has been given the appropriate name ‘Chocolate Box’.  Chocolate produced by Barry Callebaut will arrive here already packaged.  Some 75 million kilograms is expected to pass through the centre every year.

The choice of Lokeren as the site of the new distribution centre isn’t a coincidence.  It is close to the company’s plants at Halle and Wieze, where half a million tons of chocolate are produced each year, but also near to the Port of Antwerp.

65% of the company’s clients are within a 500 km radius of Lokeren and they can get their deliveries by truck.

“Chocolate is a fresh product” says Warlop.  “It’s important it reaches our customers quickly.”

The spokesman adds that the new distribution centre is a sustainable building that can stand as an example for the entire Benelux. As much as possible of the energy used is self-generated. “Even the heat lifts generate when the breaks come on during a descent is recuperated.  Even the outside lighting can be adjusted to ensure we don’t scare off the bats.”

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