Opening of the BERTSCHI Plastics-Hub in Middlesbrough (UK)

Supply Chain innovations and additional investments in a Plastics-Hub in Middlesbrough offer BERTSCHI customers an outstanding efficiency for the UK-wide distribution of plastics

(PresseBox) ( Dürrenäsch, )
The leading bulk chemical logistics company in Europe, BERTSCHI AG sets focus on a multi functional Hub Concept for the distribution of overseas' plastics. Because of the low-cost of raw materials and production in various Middle Eastern countries, the import of polyolefins from overseas is increasing. The containerised goods arrive at the port of Antwerp or Felixstowe and then travel on feeder ships to Teesport. From there the 20-ft-containers (specially lined and filled with bulk granulates) and the 40-ft-containers (filled with bags on pallets) are transported by truck to the nearby BERTSCHI Plastics-Hub in Middlesbrough and are stored at the new bonded warehouse.

The Plastics-Hub is operated by BERTSCHI UK Ltd., which was founded in 1989. The newly developed additional site of 60'000m2 is an extension of the existing terminal in Middlesbrough, which was opened in 2003. BERTSCHI UK has more then 110 employees and operates a fleet of 100 trucks. The Plastics-Hub was constructed within a very short time span after the signing of a long term cooperation contract with the Saudi Arabian concern SABIC. SABIC is one of the market leaders in plastics production e.g. of PE and PP and already uses a wide network of logistic hubs throughout Europe. The new Plastics-Hub is also available to third parties.

Pallets are stored in the newly built 18'000m2 warehouse with additional outside space if required. The 20-ft-boxes are decanted continuously into BERTSCHI-owned European 30-ftboxes via a special tilting device and the weight is registered at the same time. The 30-ftboxes are specially prepared and lined before every load. After filling they are stored in the container terminal which has capacity for 1'000 containers.

Most of the SABIC customers in the UK expect deliveries in bulk containers or silo road trucks. Therefore many of the customer orders must be sourced from the packed material and slit for deliveries into bulk silos. A fully automated slitting machine handles this heavy work efficiently and allows up to 10 full loads with 27.5 tons in two shifts. The customs process for the outbound deliveries is fully automated in electronic form and all transactions are recorded in the SABIC logistics system.

In contradiction to other distribution concepts, BERTSCHI does not use tower silos for intermediate storage and achieves thereby essential efficiency increases. The Plastics market is subject to a high volatility. The flexible box-concept is the perfect answer to cover these variations. When the product is transferred via tilter, it does not suffer any mechanical stress contrarily to the tower silo filling by blower. The box concept allows small batches to be stored at low prices. The entire supply chain is in the hands of BERTSCHI.

The Managing Director of Bertschi AG, Hans-Jörg Bertschi calls the start of the Plastics-Hub in Middlesbrough a milestone in the further development of the dry bulk business and he named this storage and distribution concept in 30-ft-boxes "Advanced Bulk Container Technology".

This efficient concept for the UK distribution offers SABIC a tailor-made solution and allows their optimal growth in the UK market.

Box "BERTSCHI and their Plastics-Hubs"

The bulk chemical logistics company BERTSCHI AG has 1'800 employees at 45 facilities in 21 European countries, Russia and Turkey. The Swiss family-owned company with headquarters in Dürrenäsch (CH) operates 15 of their own container terminals, 7 tank cleaning stations and repair shops. BERTSCHI's fleet comprises of 14'000 tank and silo containers and 1'100 special trucks for the transport of the containers.

The company, founded in 1956, is considered to be the market leader in European Intermodal transport. In addition to their core business, BERTSCHI provides numerous tailor-made solutions and complementary logistic services.

The build-up of Plastics-Hubs started 2005 with the acquisition of Nordic Bulkers, a Swedish company operating all over Scandinavia. In the middle of 2009 BERTSCHI opened up the Italian market with a Joint Venture with Cogefrin, the leading national company in this market place. Today Bertschi operates next to Middlesbrough another 4 Plastics-Hubs: Rotterdam, Duisburg, Wallhamn (Sweden) and Bologna. An expansion of the Hub concept into Eastern Europe is already planned.


Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world's top six petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

SABIC's businesses are grouped into Chemicals, Polymers, Performance Chemicals, Fertilizers, Metals and Innovative Plastics. SABIC has significant research resources with six dedicated Technology and Innovation Centers in Saudi Arabia, Europe, the USA and India. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world with over 33'000 employees worldwide.

In Europe, SABIC has 13 world-scale production facilities which manufacture innovative plastics, polyethylenes, polypropylenes and chemical products. Throughout Europe, SABIC employs approximately 6'000 people.

The main European offices for three of SABIC's strategic business units are located in The Netherlands - Innovative Plastics (Bergen op Zoom), Polymers (Sittard) and Chemicals (Sittard). They operate an extensive network of local sales offices and logistical hubs throughout Europe which are also responsible for the sales of products manufactured elsewhere in the world.
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