Skechers keeps the supply chain running

Thursday 19 10 2017

The port of Antwerp handles millions of containers every year. However it's not the metal boxes themselves that are so important for our economy, but rather their contents. The containers that are carried every day by barge, rail or road hold vital materials for our economy and industry. Let's take a look in the Skechers container.

 

Two million pairs of Skechers landed in Antwerp annually

Every pair of sneakers, sandals or sports shoes sold in Europe by the American brand Skechers passes through the company's distribution centre in Liège.  

 

“We have containers full of footwear arriving every day from Antwerp. We quickly send them on to retailers all over Europe, in particular the UK and Germany.

95% of our shoes are produced in China where they are packed into containers, around 50,000 pairs per box, and then loaded onto freighters. After a sea voyage of around 40 days the entire consignment arrives in the port of Antwerp. The rest of the route to Liège is by truck.”

Sophie Houtmeyers

Vice President Distribution Operations - Skechers

To all European cities

During the peak periods – two quarters per year – some 40 to 50 containers per day cover this route. "One year ago we more than doubled the size of our distribution centre," says Sophie Houtmeyers. "We are now the largest in Wallonia. Luckily the port of Antwerp was able to grow along with us. In the past few years the port has invested heavily in greater capacity so that it can now handle the very largest container carriers. That means we can continue to expand with confidence. In fact we have every intention of doing so."

Fewer trucks

"We're currently looking at whether is might be possible to cover the route from Antwerp to Liège by barge. That would take more time than road transport, but it would be much more environment-friendly and take a lot of trucks off the road. We look on it as a social investment. The port is supporting us with this by helping to examine how we can keep our supply chain running as smoothly as possible. As a distribution centre, that's our biggest challenge, namely to react in a flexible way, especially during busy periods."