Fully in control

With over 90 years of experience at its disposal, Kloosterboer provides a sustainable and innovative logistics service package to the supply chain for temperature controlled food products

To say that Kloosterboer, a Netherlands-based provider of innovative and sustainable solutions to the supply chain for temperature controlled food products, is a company with a rich history is something of an understatement. Founded in Sint Pancras in 1925 by Klaas Kloosterboer Senior, it began life as a commercial enterprise dealing in seed potatoes and potatoes, as well as exporting fruit and vegetables. It was not until 1960, based on strong market demand, that the company first decided to store food products in cold stores, but in the time since its operations have grown exponentially.

“A financially strong and independent family business, with more than 4.7 million cubic metres of refrigerated capacity, Kloosterboer is today a front-runner in logistics services in Western Europe for temperature controlled products, such as, fish, meat, fruit, fruit juices and concentrates, dairy and potato products,” begins Chief Executive Officer, Alex Kloosterboer. “With more than 600 employees, nine locations in the Netherlands and six others abroad, we are able to address every logistic demand by specialising in storage, stevedoring, handling customs formalities and devising logistical IT solutions.”

Kloosterboer’s core specialism, as you would have by now gathered, is temperature controlled storage, with its storage capacity consisting of conventional cold stores and fully automated high-rise cold stores where it is able to hold more than 700,000 pallets of products at a temperature range from -25°C to +15°C. The annual throughput for the business presently stands at four million pallets.

“The fact that we are a family business sets us apart from other players in our core markets, with most being large private equity firms,” Alex continues. “At Kloosterboer, we are committed to the customer and to granting them the right solution for whatever the request. It is because of this that our customer portfolio consists of a large number of Triple A/Business-to-Business companies.”

Driven, in part, by a strong economic climate in Western Europe, 2018 was a good year for the company. It was also one where it saw a continued trend from large producers wishing to outsource their storage and transport activities to players like Kloosterboer that can offer something of a ‘hub position’ for customers’ goods and produce. The company responded accordingly to this demand by starting up two newly-built cold stores.

“Our network of cold stores is not only built to offer the highest quality and efficiency to our clients, but also the most sustainable solutions,” Alex states. “We believe it to be incredibly important that we remain proactive in delivering these qualities, and on a daily basis we strive to find ways of further reducing the impact of our activities on the environment. There are many examples of our efforts in this field, including the development of our high-bay cold stores that use between 37 per cent and 45 per cent less energy compared to conventional units. These fully automated facilities also don’t just allow us to handle large volumes of goods at the same time, but also allow for 100 per cent tracking and tracing capabilities, and a complete/real-time overview of all shipments and stock.”

As a cold storage company, Kloosterboer is well aware that its operations require the use of a lot of energy, so one of its primary goals in this regard is to use and reuse this energy in the smartest way possible. This philosophy has seen the company become closely affiliated with the Lean & Green network, and be the first cold store company to be awarded the Lean & Green Award in recognition of its ambition to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 per cent within five years.

Greener approach
Sustainability initiatives can be seen across the company’s various sites. For example, at its site in Vlissingen you will find four wind turbines in operation, each with the capacity to produce 4000MwH per year – which is equal to the consumption of approximately 1250 homes. The company has calculated that each turbine helps Kloosterboer to save 7320 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, with a total lifetime saving of an estimated 34,900 tonnes. Accompanying these turbines Kloosterboer has – divided over multiple sites – a total of 15,300 solar panels, which together help to save an additional 2072 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

“We have made it so that our sustainability efforts are in accordance with the Dutch Green Building Council (DGRC) standards,” Alex says. “For instance, we have made it a priority to obtain the highest possible BREEAM-NL certification when the DGRC came to assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of our buildings. In order to achieve this, we have implemented a series of measures, including the installation of energy efficient LED lighting both inside and outside, introducing charging points for electric vehicles at every site, putting in extra windows and skylights, building internal ventilation systems, and collecting and storing rainwater in underground tanks for toilet usage.”

With its two newest cold stores, in Lelystad and at the Kloosterboer Delta Terminal on the Maasvlakte respectively, now operational and with new projects due to be announced in the coming weeks, 2019 promises to be an exciting year for the company and one that could usher in a more sustained period of growth. “In the next three-to-five years we intend to bring forth a minimum of two new developments or projects per year, which we believe will help Kloosterboer to double in size in that time frame,” Alex concludes. “At the same time, we will continue to contemplate expansion outside of Europe, should the concept and type of customer we encounter in the future fit our own strategy.”