In 2006, American pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson set up the European Distribution Centre for its Medical Device and Diagnostics branch in Courcelles. On a surface area of 47,000 m², this centre distributes 54,000 products to 21 European countries. It also supplies depots across the whole world with products manufactured in Europe.
The site has a preparation platform which directs the parcels according to their weight and volume to one of eight sorting lines, identified according to destination country or transporter.
«Wallonia», explains Jean-Michel Colnot, Operations Director, «is ideally located for shipping by road to our two major markets, France and Germany, and is close to the freight airports at Liège and Brussels. The region has the support of the public authorities and all of the workforce we need is available. Our teams work 7 days a week, which enables us to handle an average of 4,000 orders a day.»
Johnson & Johnson has also decided to set up a second storage and distribution centre for medical items at Garocentre (La Louvière). It will be operational in 2012, will employ over 100 persons and extend to 25,000 m².