$70M Overhaul Spotlights High-Tech Logistics

2 min read

Inside the project that turned Henkel’s Kentucky campus into a cutting-edge hub.

Henkel logistics center in Bowling Green, Ky.
Henkel logistics center in Bowling Green, Ky. Image courtesy of Henkel

Global manufacturer Henkel has completed a three-year $70 million expansion and automation upgrade at its 1.4 million-square-foot Bowling Green, Ky., logistics hub, creating its largest and most technologically advanced logistics operations center in North America.

The upgrade at the logistics hub integrated Industry 4.0 innovations to help optimize storage space, enhance efficiency and drive digital automation. The logistics center now has the capability to store 200,000 pallets, up from 88,000, and enable up to 1,000 trucks per day throughput, compared to 200 before the upgrade. The new digital automation capabilities strengthen Henkel’s supply chain resiliency and will help the manufacturer proactively respond to dynamic market conditions.

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The state-of-the-art facility supports Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care production, storage and distribution of such brands as Persil, Purex and all laundry detergents, Snuggle fabric softeners, Schwarzkopf hair care and Dial soaps.

Mark Fratamico, vice president, laundry supply chain operations, North America, said in a prepared statement the increased automation will allow the company to provide efficiencies and superior customer service. He said it will also help retailers meet consumer demand and increase operational agility so the company can continue to respond to a rapidly changing business environment.

Dirk Holbach, corporate senior vice president, global supply chain, said in prepared remarks Henkel will use the data from the digital transformation to gain additional insights and help improve decision-making across its supply chain.

Henkel operates the logistics hub and a 2.3 million-square-foot manufacturing facility from the same campus at 385 Southwood Court in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park in Bowling Green. In August 2019, Henkel partnered with packaging supplier ALPLA to invest more than $130 million in infrastructure and equipment for a new bottle production area totaling more than 170,000 square feet at the manufacturing plant. Those investments were made to increase efficiency, create capacity for growth and drive energy savings at the plant, which was then 25 years old. Prior to the 2019 investment, Henkel had spent more than $100 million in upgrades to the plant.

North American presence

Henkel has about 9,000 employees at nearly 70 sites across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico that manage three business units: Adhesive Technologies, Beauty Care and Laundry & Home Care. In addition to the consumer products, Henkel markets industrial brands in North America.

The company’s consumer goods headquarters is located at 200 Elm St., in Stamford, Conn. Henkel signed a lease with former owner Building and Land Technology in 2017 for 155,000 square feet of space at the Stamford building.

In December 2021, 200 Elm Partners BH LLC, an entity of A.M. Property Holding II Corp. and Northeast Capital Group, acquired the approximately 557,600-square-foot Class A office complex from BLT for a reported $235 million. It was the biggest deal of 2021 and one of the largest real estate transactions in Connecticut for the past decade. In addition to 200 Elm St., the complex includes 695 E. Main St.

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