Janssen has opened a new distribution centre in Belgium this week, creating a major new European hub for the firm. 

The European distribution centre centralises the activities of 15 logistics centres, enabling medicines from the different European production sites to be shipped directly to a single site.

From there, the firm’s drugs are then shipped to 11 European countries and to other Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries throughout the world. Janssen has invested €49 million in the new centre, which will employ 115 people.

Tom Heyman, chief executive of Janssen Pharmaceutica, said: “The European distribution centre in La Louvière will enable us to more efficiently deliver medicines that respond to the real needs of patients. Thanks to the new structure, some of the logistical burden and administrative costs that hospitals are faced with will also disappear

“In addition, the management team of the three distribution centres in Belgium (Beerse, Courcelles and La Louvière) will be centralised. The relative proximity of these three European distribution centres makes it possible to use synergies to the maximum extent, and to exchange best practices and know how.”

The new distribution centre was built on a 70,000 m² site and the building itself has a surface area of 21,500 m². Janssen says it expects 385,000 orders to be processed each year at the centre, roughly corresponding to 160 million packs of medicine it produces.

The company has four sites in Belgium (Beerse I and II, Geel and Olen), which together employ nearly 4,000 people and the new investment confirms Janssen’s choice in favouring Belgium as its main distribution site in Europe.

In a statement, the firm’s management said: “We aim to continue our investments in Belgium. In recent years, Belgium has made considerable efforts to create an attractive investment climate for the pharmaceutical industry, which is, incidentally, one of the strongholds of the Belgian economy.