Advanced specialty building: new hazardous substances warehouse put into operation

The new hazardous substances warehouse at Industriepark Höchst features state-of-the-art safety equipment and efficient processes. Extensively automated with 16,500 square meters of space, around 21,500 pallet positions and separate warehouse and cooled storage sections, it demands the very best in facility management services. It all began with a well-crafted design and solid agreements with the customer.

The new hazardous substances warehouse for Infraserv Logistics went into operation at Industriepark Höchst on December 16, 2022. The warehouse was presented by Jürgen Vormann, Managing Director of Infraserv Höchst, and Klaus Alberti and Andreas Brockmeyer, Managing Directors of Infraserv Logistics GmbH. Infraserv Höchst invested around EUR 35 million and 18 months of construction time in the warehouse and thus in the improvement of the site’s infrastructure.

This presented a big challenge for Infraserv Höchst’s Facilities Services team. It started providing hard FM services for the hazardous substances warehouse even as the customer, Infraserv Logistics , started using the building. The advanced specialty building presents a lot of special challenges with regard to inspections, agreements with the customer and the actual facility management process. This is largely because Infraserv Logistics’ primary processes are tightly interwoven with the facility manager’s processes. That means, for example, that the failure of just one of the 24 roll-up doors where the trucks park would bring a slew of logistics processes to a shuddering halt.

Alexander Wagner and Jürgen Vormann, Managing Directors of Infraserv Höchst, were joined by Klaus Alberti and Andreas Brockmeyer, Managing Directors of Infraserv Logistics GmbH (from left), in the symbolic commissioning of the new hazardous substances warehouse at Industriepark Höchst. © Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG, 2022

The ventilation, refrigeration and fire-suppression systems demanded precision and reliability, too. “This huge building with enormous air vents is on an entirely different scale, even when compared to other hazardous substances warehouses,” said Christina Sommer, Head of Infraserv Höchst’s Facilities Services team that is in charge of hard FM services. “Our job is to keep the building fully available for all the complex warehousing processes involving hazardous substances.”

16,500 square meters of storage space, 15 meter high ceiling

The new hazardous substances warehouse is 220 meters long, 75 meters wide and 15 meters high. All told, it covers around 16,500 square meters of floor space and contains roughly 21,500 pallet positions. That translates into plenty of space for storing products and raw materials for chemical and pharmaceutical companies based at Industriepark Höchst and for Infraserv Logistics’ outside customers – and a host of challenges for Infraserv Höchst’s FM experts.

“Our customers can count on having an extremely safe, efficient storage facility,” said Andreas Brockmeyer, Managing Director of Infraserv Logistics. Klaus Alberti, the other Managing Director, stressed, “The new warehouse is broadly licensed to handle a very wide range of hazardous substances at Industriepark Höchst. That means we can offer even more services to our customers, who mainly come from the chemical, pharmaceutical and health care industries.”

Our customers can count on having an extremely safe, efficient storage facility.

Andreas Brockmeyer, Managing Director of Infraserv Logistics

The new hazardous substances warehouse meets stringent safety standards. It has nine sections for storage classes 2-6 and 8-13. The entire building is designed for the highest water hazard class, WGK 3. Highly sensitive chemical, pharmaceutical and health care products can be held in sections designed specifically for temperature-controlled storage. Hazardous substances and other products can be safely stored in temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 °C and 15 to 25 °C.

The racking in Infraserv Logistics’ new hazardous substances warehouse contains around 21,500 pallet positions.

Process optimization and digitalization are key

The new building partially replaces and augments Infraserv Logistics’ hazardous substance storage capacity at the park. Faster processes, extensive automation and a new warehouse management system (WMS) being simultaneously rolled out at all Infraserv Logistics sites will drive efficiency in warehouse operations. That puts the hazardous substances warehouse right at the cutting edge of warehousing technology. Processes between production, warehousing and distribution have been optimized to make the interfaces to the customers even more efficient and transparent.

Due to changes in the supply chain, the new warehouse satisfies a growing demand for broadly licensed hazardous substances storage space and combines safe storage with agility and rapid cargo handling. The park’s safety infrastructure, which includes Infraserv Höchst’s well-equipped industrial fire brigade, plays as pivotal a role as efficient processes and advanced technology. “We are constantly communicating with all the organizational units that are involved in this process. We have so many interfaces to manage and have to keep the information flowing at all times,” explained Sommer.

The good location with direct access to the public railway system, central highway junctions and very close proximity to Frankfurt Airport help to integrate the dangerous substances warehouse into international supply chains. It makes the site attractive to chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers and drives its evolution as a European logistics hub.