Injecting applied engineering into logistics


09 May 2017
New logistics and warehousing facility in Baytown, TX (USA)
A facility with many possibilities The site sits on 560 acres of land. A total of 2 million ft² of warehouse space is currently built out along with 530 hopper car spots. In 2017, Katoen Natie will continue expanding, increasing from the 2 million to 2.5 million ft² of warehouse space and at least 700 hopper car spots. Master plan This site ultimately has a master plan of 11 million ft² of warehousing with 3,000 hopper car spots. It is dual rail served by both the Union Pacific and BNSF railroads, which is in line with Katoen Natie’s philosophy to strategically pursue properties with multiple rail access, thus adding a competitive advantage for our customers. Not only Petrochemicals will be incorporated into this site, but also our Specialty Chemicals, Consumer Goods & Industry, Process Engineering, and other business units. US operations 20 years ago, Katoen Natie began its US operations in Houston with 500,000 ft² of warehouse space. Now, we operate 5 million ft² of warehouse space in Houston area, and over 6 million ft² in the US. Get an insight into Katoen Natie's logistics terminal in TX, USA for the petrochemical industry.
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05 July 2017
Katoen Natie close to start operating its first autonomous truck in Singapore
If the POC (Proof Of Concept) is successful, eleven more Katoen Natie trucks will be equipped with autonomous driving technology.  Elsewhere in the world, including in Europe, experiments by several companies with autonomous trucks have been advanced to implementation stage. There are three phases in the Katoen Natie Singapore development project.  At each stage, the environment and the required technology becomes more complex and challenging.  Phase one of the projects is to operate twelve autonomous trucks in an enclosed area of a petrochemical plant.  "In that phase, trucks are being guided based on transponders installed in the designated driveways" said Koen Cardon, who gave the opening lecture at the Mission of Belgian startup companies ( in the Southeast Asia City state. In the second phase, the transponder system will be replaced by a GPRS system to operate the autonomous trucks within the Jurong Island industrial site. The third and most challenging phase is the introduction of autonomous truck technology on the public road outside the industrial area.
"Truck drivers are hard to find in Singapore.  Most of them are over fifty years old and young people have no desire to become a truck driver."
Katoen Natie is the pioneer of this Singapore Autonomous Truck project and entered into collaboration with the Singapore Management University for the market study of autonomous technology. Katoen Natie did select the Dutch VDL group as the technology partner for this project.  "They are establishing an innovation center in Singapore and are very ambitious here," says the CEO of Katoen Natie Singapore. "Furthermore VDL has already successfully implemented similar projects in Europe." Another very important partner in this Autonomous truck Project is the Singaporean government. This project is strongly supported by the Singapore government as it is in line with the Singapore vision to be at the forefront of innovation and automation. According to Koen Cardon, the government currently has four projects for autonomous vehicles in the pipeline: an autonomous car, a bus, the Katoen Natie project and, last but not least the new Tuas Port project where all transport and container handling will be autonomous.  "We are very proud as Katoen Natie to be one of the Innovation Partners in Singapore" says Koen Cardon. "Autonomous trucks can bring very substantial savings. To operate twelve trucks 24 hours a day and seven days a week, you need four teams of 12 drivers. These drivers will not all be made redundant, but can be assigned to other job functions in our company.   With limited availability of trucks drivers in Singapore, moving to autonomous transport is the right path forward. We need a system where transport is more automated. " If the autonomous truck project is successful in Singapore, does Antwerp follow?  Koen Cardon is careful: "First, let’s focus on making the project successful in Singapore.  We must be very careful not to create too much complexity."  The CEO explains that it is not that straightforward to duplicate the project elsewhere.  "In Antwerp, for example, the environment is different.   You need to take into account the different weather conditions, snow for example.  You also have a different framework of cooperation with the unions and government authorities in every region whereby it is important to reach consensus with all stakeholders.   The conditions can be different by country but the key is the technology and Singapore is the right place to introduce innovative solutions. "
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06 September 2017
Katoen Natie starts construction of Phase II of its Specialty Chemicals Hub in Singapore.
New services for specialty chemicals companies in Singapore In the presence of the Ambassador of Belgium to Singapore, Mr. Andy Detaille, Katoen Natie had a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of Phase II of its Specialty Chemicals Hub on 31st August 2017.  Koen Cardon, CEO of Katoen Natie Singapore, commented, “This investment represents a significant step change in the services we offer to Specialty Chemical companies. As Singapore is moving towards more production of high end products, we are expanding our facilities to offer our key customers more solutions and more capacity.” Logistics and semi industrial services At its Jurong Logistics Terminal, Katoen Natie is providing a wide range of logistics and semi industrial services to a portfolio of global customers. With extensive know how in handling solids in powder or granular form and liquids, Katoen Natie offers solutions such as repackaging, sieving, grinding, blending, optical sorting, homogenization, compounding, customizing, compaction and granulation, deodorizing, drying, heating, pastillation and ISO tank operations. Mr. Detaille, Ambassador of Belgium, highlighted, “It is great to see that Katoen Natie continues to invest in Singapore. They are a strong representative of what Belgium can offer in logistics, industrial services and innovative solutions.” Total solutions Koen Cardon added, “our chemical customers are looking for total solutions that require highly skilled operators and services at the highest standards of Safety, Quality and Environment. With some 165 logistics terminals worldwide and in depth know how of product handling, we can offer our customers the services they are looking for. We continue to innovate to develop solutions for our customers that can help them to make the difference”. The Phase II Specialty Chemicals Hub facility will include silos for specialty chemical products, packaging lines and auxiliary equipment for dry air, product conveying and de-dusting. This 15 million Singapore Dollars investment will be operational in December 2018. Learn about the services Katoen Natie Specialty Chemicals offers to its clients all over the world
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Driverless truck
25 October 2017
Innovation on the move: First driverless truck in Singapore
Katoen Natie has started operating its first driverless truck at ExxonMobil’s world-scale integrated manufacturing site in Singapore, transporting products between the company’s packaging and intermediate storage facilities. The pilot truck will operate on a 24/7 basis moving some 250,000 tons of product annually. After a six-month test run, the project will be gradually expanded to 12 trucks, moving some 3 million tons of product annually. Innovative and tailor made solutions Mr. Koen Cardon, CEO of Katoen Natie Singapore, said, “We combine engineering, technology and logistics operations to offer innovative and tailor made solutions to customers in a variety of sectors. This project is a perfect example of the innovation we bring to the forefront to create value for our customers as well as creating the opportunities to upgrade the skills of our workforce.” “We are excited to support Katoen Natie in making this innovative breakthrough in chemical logistics, and helping the world envision how the future of transport will look like,” said Damian Chan, Executive Director, Energy & Chemicals, Singapore Economic Development Board. “The transformation of our industry cannot happen without a well-trained and future-ready workforce, and Katoen Natie’s commitment to retrain and upskill their workers exemplifies Singapore’s continuous efforts to ensure our talent is ready to take on jobs of the future.” Automation to improve productivity Mr. Robert W. Johnston, ExxonMobil’s Singapore Chemical Plant manufacturing director said, “Driverless trucks are an example of how the industry continues to adopt automation to improve worker productivity. We are glad to be supporting Katoen Natie in its efforts to safely operationalise new and innovative solutions at our manufacturing site.” Mr. Cardon added, “We operate 165 logistics terminals in a network of 36 countries. We selected Singapore as the location for this project given that it has both the vision and the right business environment to undertake such projects. Our partnership with the Economic Development Board has been of key importance for the realization of this project. In addition, many other parties including a team of MBA students from the Singapore Management University (SMU) and the IE Business School have been pivotal for this project.” SMU’s Associate Professor of Operations Management (Practice), Professor Lieven Demeester, who guided students in his previous role as Associate Dean of MBA Programmes commented, “We are proud of our MBA students. They helped Katoen Natie identify the technology partners, initiate a productive collaboration between them, and assure the financial viability of the project.” Katoen Natie also worked with Dutch industrial VDL Groep as partner for this project, who carried out the truck conversion and automation at its local VDL Automated Vehicles technology centre here in Singapore. Mr. Theo Toussaint, Executive Vice President of VDL Groep, said, “We’re delighted to partner with Katoen Natie in this driverless truck project. The ambition of VDL is to become the leader in electric and automated heavy-duty vehicle applications and we see this project as another big step towards our goal.” Not an endgame Since establishment in Singapore 20 years ago, Katoen Natie has developed many new solutions in Singapore that includes safety inspections by drone, transport management through a specially developed mobile phone app and a range of new technologies in packaging and shipping operations. Mr. Cardon said, “The pilot driverless truck project is not an endgame but a milestone in a wide range of innovative solutions that we are introducing for our customers worldwide. Our Singapore operations have become a centre of excellence for Katoen Natie which will enable us to create value for our customers across the world.” Watch the full video of the first autonomous truck operating in Jurong Island Singapore
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17 November 2017
Katoen Natie and Allied launch SuperTruck concept in Singapore
Katoen Natie and Allied are launching its SuperTruck concept in Singapore for transport between chemical plants, our own logistics terminal and Singapore container terminals. We will introduce SuperTrucks that carry two 40 foot or four 20 foot containers. Transport solutions of the future Katoen Natie Singapore chief executive Koen Cardon highlights; “ We are continuously looking for innovative and new solutions to optimize our logistics operations. We work with our business partners to introduce new solutions to increase productivity and efficiency. We have been working closely with Allied to implement this SuperTruck concept whereby they have demonstrated entrepreneurship and innovative thinking.   Shortage of drivers is a real challenge in Singapore and we need such innovative solutions to address this." Lim Kian Chin, chief executive of Allied ; “ We have been servicing Katoen Natie in Singapore for more than a decade and highly value the partnership with them as they continue to work with us on improving the service level and solutions. It is important that we work on the transport solutions of the future. “ Andrew McKeown, Katoen Natie ISO Tank Operations regional manager commented, “When it comes to innovation, the execution is far more valuable than theory alone. We must be bold and look to deliver value. Partners such as Allied and the Singapore Government allow us just that in our journey to service our customers better and all be prepared for future growth.” Innovation projects Katoen Natie and Allied are working with the Singapore Government Authorities on the certifications and operational framework for the SuperTruck. Koen Cardon; “This is one of the many innovation projects we are currently working on. Katoen Natie has a strong engineering division in material handling solutions what allows us to be at the forefront in innovation.” Katoen Natie launched in October 2017 the first driverless truck in Singapore and is looking to expand the fleet of driverless vehicles. Find out what Katoen Natie can do for your business.
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Katoen Natie offers a global logistics service for polyolefins produced by the petrochemical industry.

Through our worldwide network of logistic platforms for non-hazardous commodity plastics, we provide packaging, storage, distribution and value added services. This enables you as a customer to meet local service, high class quality and environmental standards via best practice sharing. We provide you with supply chain effectiveness and automation solutions. Moreover, it is possible to set up a live interface between your ERP and our Warehouse Management System.

This global logistic service can be developed, constructed, operated and maintained by Katoen Natie on site or adjacent to the petrochemical plant or at one of our strategically located multi-customer platforms. We develop separate process components as well as entire plants including complete logistic flows.

Our ultimate long term goal is to reduce your logistics cost, inventory levels and lead times and to improve your company’s supply chain performance with the highest safety and quality standards.

Our services