Biologistics, creating employment in Wallonia

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Biolog Europe, which represents players in the biologistics sector, has just completed the first assessment of the sector. To do this, the association surveyed manufacturers with production activities or distribution centres in the region of Wallonia, as well as logistics contractors providing a service dedicated to the life sciences sector, wholesalers distributing to pharmacies or hospitals, and hospitals.

According to this first analysis, carried out at the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, the sector provides over 9,000 jobs linked to biologistics: 5,873 jobs at manufacturers, 510 at wholesalers, 1,100 at logistics contractors and around 1,500 in hospitals (supply and stock management).

Engineers and workers

Among the jobs in biologistics we find, in particular, procurement (buying, reception of goods, testing), production (workers/production engineers, foremen, production director, packaging), warehousing (warehouse workers, dispatch, depot managers) and distribution (chauffeurs).

F. Toussaint“The supply chain is a sector undergoing evolution. It is no longer considered as an area which creates costs, and these days even shows the ability to generate cash to help finance the company”, stresses Franck Toussaint, Director-General of Biolog Europe, member of the Logistics competitiveness cluster in Wallonia.

“70% of manufacturers who filled in the questionnaire are active in production internally, and 78% carry out warehousing activities, prepare orders or carry out distribution internally. 8% of the respondents manage distribution centres. 22% have no production activity, nor warehousing nor distribution, but are just offices for administration, sales and marketing, or R & D”, states Franck Toussaint.

Follow-up of 50 projects

Biolog, who has also surveyed logistic contractors, distributing wholesalers and hospitals, indicated that the number of jobs in biologistics will still grow in Wallonia. “We are tracking around fifty projects for investors looking for new sites and hope to bring 4 or 5 to fruition this year”, says Franck Toussaint. Furthermore, contractors who answered but who are not currently working on contracts in the sector, have shown an interest in developing solutions adapted specifically to biologistics. Others working in the sector, but not yet in Wallonia, do not exclude expanding their operations (StaroTrans, Stef transport, Eutraco logistics, etc.). Liège Airport is also a player in biologistics, because of the airlines operating there who work in the health sector (CAL, LACHS, TNT, etc.).

L’Echo – 06 January 2015

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