Volkswagen has opened its new Group Consolidation Centre (KCC) at Malacky near Bratislava, Slovakia, home to a large assembly plant that makes multiple group models.

"KCC Bratislava is a further building brick of Volkswagen group logistics with a view to optimising material transport. A sustained reduction in truck traffic of about 10% between KCC and the European plants and a reduction of about one third in the energy requirements of the building are two aspects that make KCC efficient and environmentally compatible," said Thomas Zernechel, head of VW group logistics.

KCC will provide a new trans-shipment point for full and empty containers within the group's transport network and flows of goods between suppliers and group plants, considerable distances apart, will be consolidated. About 540 suppliers from Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria will supply components to 28 European plants via this consolidation centre.

In comparison with the former logistics building, which was leased, the new KCC building in Malacky, with floor space of 19,000 square metres, 24 loading and unloading stations and 50 truck parking spaces, "offers very good structural conditions", VW said. A hall area of about three soccer pitches means that it will be possible to handle material flows from the region for all brands within the group efficiently and to leverage synergy effects.

"The new building will open up further possibilities of slimming down processes, boosting capacity and making material handling even more efficient and cost-effective," said Astrid Lühring, head of material logistics. KCC is operated by Duvenbeck under a contract with VW. About 1,200 tonnes of materials and 6,000 containers are moved every day.

VW claims KCC is also "exemplary in terms of environmental protection measures". Optimum thermal insulation will reduce heating expenses, the use of double gates in loading and unloading areas will minimise heat losses and LED lighting will cut power consumption by about 50%.

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Meanwhile, cargo consolidation will reduce traffic from an average of 90 trucks on the incoming side to 65 on the outgoing side.

The building has also laid a foundation for implementing alternative transport concepts which will further reduce carbon dioxide emissions. For example, further volume consolidation within Europe and supply and disposal using low-emission long trucks are conceivable in the future. If a decision in favour of the use of long trucks throughout the EU is taken, this transport approach will prove to be a future-oriented alternative, VW claimed.