A huge empty warehouse

My family lives in the area north of the province of Alicante, so I travel a lot over there by the interior highway. Every time I pass near the town of Alberic there is a thing that catches my attention. A huge and unfinished building next to the road, empty and without any activity.

The warehouse. Source: http://www.compreahora.eu/news_story/1577511/top-recambios-compra-la-central-logistica-de-alberic

This colossal building was destined to be the largest logistics center in Europe, but perhaps due its own gigantic dimensions were which prevented it was finished. Juan Vidal, owner of Vidal Stores (nowadays the chain doesn’t belong to him) started the construction of the logistics warehouse in 2008, just when the economic crisis began to have its worst effects.

The logistics warehouse of Vidal group would create 300 jobs in its more than 140,000 square meters. It had been projected 110 loading docks. The mechanized and self supporting warehouse reaches 30 meters high. Tens of millions of euros were spent on its creation. Vidal could not continue with the work and eventually sold its supermarkets to several groups of competition.

Aerial View of the warehouse where the enormous structural shelving system is appreciated. Source: http://www.ingenieriabaseidea.com/es/estructuras/86-nave-industrial-para-centro-logistico.html

The system self-supporting construction of the warehouse with racks that are part of the structure of the building, is one of the best ways to maximize the use of space when combined with an automation system like the one in the video. This allows full control over the stock and to greatly reduce the labor force.

As established one of the most specialized present companies in this kind of constructions, clad-rack warehouses have different advantages:

  • Self-supporting warehouses can be extremely tall, enabling maximum use of available surface area
  • High storage capacity and excellent productivity
  • Allows a wide range of goods to be stored
  • Storage can be manual, semi-automated or fully automated

But the initial investment required to carry out a project like this is very high, plus the need for the best systems of information management, with the high cost of put into operation and maintenance that entails. Perhaps the Vidal Group did not choose the best time to start the project.

It appears that recently the building was purchased by a major chain stores of spare parts for cars. They plan to turn this warehouse on its logistics distribution center for Europe.

Perhaps now it is time to carry out this project that puts technology at the service of logistics.

BONO, F., Un elefante blanco junto a la autovía | Comunidad Valenciana | EL PAÍS, 4/23/2015. Available in: http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2013/07/21/valencia/1374436154_156029.html

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