Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG


Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG has been running a new logistics centre in Biberach since October 2008. This was preceded by more than two years of planning in which the diverse corporate goals for the concept "Central Logistics Biberach" were united. The logistics manager at Biberach was a chief influence in logistics matters in his role as project manager of the users. The strategic choice of location was made under due consideration of security on-site, grouping of delivery traffic and regional highway systems.


Service storage
Service storage
Internal transport
Internal transport

Initial concept in 2005
Beginning of planning from 2006
Beginning of construction in late 2007
Commissioning in 2008

The choice of location for the central logistics in the northern part of the approximately 67 ha large site considered the planned highway system of the region as well as the site structure with its focus on research, development, medicine, bio-pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical production.

Initial concept studies were carried out in 2005. The main focus was on centralising the delivery and goods transport including grouping and optimisation of all dispatch activities.

Any decentrally located warehouse units were integrated in the concept. The important warehouse and material areas were consolidated here in the final level.

Positioning the logistics at the edge of the site was part of the safety concept. External transport on the site premises should be avoided. Suppliers take the shortest route through the newly created North Gate to the loading areas and also directly leave the site. Site-internal transport movements from and to the ZLB is done using an internal transport fleet.

The processes are based on legal requirements and international norms, and are clearly defined according to Good Manufacture Practice (GMP) and the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new Central Logistics Biberach (ZLB) extends these standards for the internal supply chain as well. Good Storage Practice (GSP) and Good Distribution Practice (GDP) are consequently practised.


Truck-loading area with second loading-dock level and load locks
Truck-loading area with second loading-dock level and load locks
Sampling area
Sampling area
Cold warehouse
Cold warehouse

Non-GMP relevant
Consumable material from office articles to machine parts are delivered here, checked and registered. This is followed by the direct delivery to production or storage in the service warehouse until required.

Service warehouse
Internal material requirement is ordered in this manually used warehouse, then accordingly picked and packed. Internal transport handles transport movements.

Transport of GMP goods
Several trucks are available for internal transport. All vehicles have insulated box bodies and can be regulated based on the material-specific temperature requirements.

Post handling
All incoming and outgoing post and packages are processed in the ZLB. Distribution is also taken care of by internal transport.

Goods-receipt GMP
Incoming goods are registered in a first preparation zone. As per test specifications, the goods are repacked, random samples are taken and detailed sample checks are carried out.

An important module in the ZLB is the three differently equipped sampling cabins of "Zone D". Articles are transported through air locks to the test stations  via pallet conveyors. Turntables turn the pallet into the desired ergonomic position. The samples are taken through integrated Laminar Flow (LF) units.

Handling of cold goods
Cold goods (2°C to 8°C) can be stored in a new cold warehouse immediately after delivery. The warehouse was constructed as a narrow-aisle warehouse with a manual VNA truck in use. It has a capacity of approximately 750 pallet spaces; additional shelf storage is available for smaller articles.

Deep-frozen storage
In additional to the cold-storage warehouse, four deep-frozen rooms are installed in the basement of the logistics building. Each room can be individually controlled and cooled according to the product or client requirements. The current temperature used ranges between -20°C and -40°C.

Dispatch of room-temperature goods takes place at classical packing stations.
A ca. 130 m² large cold cell is available for cold goods; it is used to pack air-cargo containers as well as client-specific containers.

Building services
The new logistics centre ensures controlled operations thanks to highly modern air-flow systems within the defined and required limits for room-temperature storage and within the spectrum for cold and deep-frozen areas. All areas have replacement and redundancy concepts in place.

Fire protection
All function areas in the ZLB have sprinkler protection. The cold warehouse is equipped according to the newest rules of the VdS (Verband der Sachversicherer) for highbay warehouses. The complete building is equipped with fire detectors that ensure quick reaction times of the site's fire department.

Object security
The logistics centre can only be entered with access authorisation. Trucks are inspected at the North Gate. They then receive permission to enter after confirmation from the goods-receipt or dispatch office so that structured processing is ensured.

Office area
The adjoining, three-storeyed office building has all the required administrative departments. Meeting, training and staff rooms make the ZLB a largely self-sufficient functional unit.

Benefit and potential

Boehringer Ingelheim laid the foundation for a new structuring of their site logistics with the decision for the ZLB project. The potential of the new location within the site creates the scope to gradually restructure areas currently used by logistics. With the centralisation of the logistics, the concentration and optimisation of internal transport was initiated.

The location and surroundings of the ZLB offer further potential based on the planned site development. A complete warehouse unit in the same size can be constructed adjacent to the cold warehouse. An additional aisle is optionally planned for articles in the service warehouse as an automatic miniload warehouse. The functional areas of ZLB as well as number of loading ramps including the loading area can be expanded in the eastern direction.

IWL's services
General planning and support during realisation of Central Logistics Biberach.

Cold-goods packaging
Cold-goods packaging

Office rooms
Office rooms