Logistics in NRW
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Logistics in NRW

Food travels around the world in record time, dispatch warehouses communicate with each other and drones deliver medicines to crisis regions: Every day, logistical feats are being performed all over the world. With its strong infrastructure, central location and expertise, North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the major players in this field – both nationally and internationally.

Ideal location conditions for logistics make the sector one of the leading growth industries in NRW and the state a central logistics hub in Europe:

  • Strategically located between north and south, east and west
  • Excellent transport infrastructure by water, rail, road and air
  • Direct connection to the Belgian and Dutch seaports
  • Direct connection to the Silk Road to China
  • Excellent universities and research networks

68 billion euros

Over 24,000 logistics companies with 364,000 employees generate a sales volume of 68.0 billion euros.


Including logistics tasks in trade and industry, the sector employs over 712,000 people.


of all logistics centers
Around a quarter of all logistics centers in Germany are located in NRW, e.g. Amazon, Esprit, TK Maxx, Zalando.

9 out of 25

in NRW
Of the 25 largest logistics companies in Germany, nine have their headquarters in NRW.

Internationally attractive location

With its excellent infrastructure, North Rhine-Westphalia has been home to large logistics companies for decades and thus offers the best conditions for new foreign companies to settle here – from start-ups to global corporations.

UPS is moving the industry

The US express and parcel delivery company UPS invested 145 million euros in its sorting center at Cologne/Bonn Airport in 2013. Thanks to the expansion and modernization of the facility, 190,000 shipments per hour can now be handled. 200 new jobs have been created.

PICNIC expands after successful start in NRW

At the online supermarket PICNIC, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, customers can order groceries without delivery costs to their homes. In NRW, PICNIC now operates six locations in Düsseldorf, Herne, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach, Neuss and Viersen. Consumers can order food and everyday products online. Whether fruit, vegetables, drinks, cheese, sausage or drugstore items – Picnic delivers free of charge and, thanks to sophisticated software, according to routes which are optimized daily. This means that customers are told in advance and to the minute when their order will arrive at their front door with the specially developed electric vans.

Amazon extends its network of logistics and sorting centers

The US online retailer Amazon has substantially expanded its presence in North Rhine-Westphalia in recent years. Following the start of logistics activities in 2010 in Rheinberg and Werne, further locations in Bielefeld, Bochum, Dortmund, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach, Oelde and Unna have been added with various functions. Amazon also operates a research and development center in Aachen. This is where work is carried out on future-oriented technologies. Further locations are being planned. This will enable Amazon to strengthen its German network and meet increasing customer demand.

Germany's largest parcel sorting center

The French logistics service provider DPD commissioned its largest parcel sorting center in Germany in Hamm in 2019 after a construction period of only one and a half years. In the final stage of construction, up to 200,000 parcels per day will be handled there with the help of a fully automatic sorting system. In the future, DPD Germany will create 800 new jobs in Hamm. The company is also focusing on sustainability – from low-consumption machines to climate-friendly heating and cooling of the buildings.

Shape the logistics of tomorrow with researchers and entrepreneurs

Numerous universities, research institutes and companies in NRW concern themselves with the major future trends in the industry, thus making a significant contribution to strengthening North Rhine-Westphalia's position as an international logistics player.

World-class logistics research

The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) in Dortmund is the world's largest research institute for logistics issues. Here, scientists as well as doctoral candidates and students work on cross-sector and customer-specific solutions in areas such as material flow technology, business process modelling and in the fields of traffic systems and resource logistics. Other current research focuses are in the field of artificial intelligence, smart finance and the Internet of Things.


Digital Hub Logistics

EfficienzCluster LogistikRuhr, which was launched in 2010 and is now one of the largest research and innovation clusters in the logistics sector in Europe, also plays an important role in this respect. Almost 300 companies and institutions are part of the network, which bundles expertise in the state with numerous forums such as "Industry 4.0 & Logistics" or "Forwarding Software and Digitalization". The result is the Digital Hub Logistics – a unique ecosystem for the digital transformation of logistics and, since June 2020, successor to EffizienzCluster LogistikRuhr.


Laboratory for blockchain technology

The potential of blockchain technology for improved transparency and automation of digital supply chains is also being researched in NRW. Among other things, the state is funding the establishment of a real laboratory for blockchain applications in which science, companies and start-ups will work together.


In 4 easy steps to North Rhine-Westphalia | NRW

We support you in your successful settlement in NRW with our international offices abroad and our headquarters in Düsseldorf. We are your partner and accompany the project in confidence – from the first contact to the successful settlement and beyond.

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How to do business in NRW

Do you have questions about entry regulations, tax issues and relevant laws for your investment project? You can find all the important information on setting up a company and other practical answers in our Business Guide.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions

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Trade & Investment Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
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40219 Düsseldorf

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