Movianto News

New capacity for clinical trials handling at Movianto Spain, Numancia

New capacity for clinical trials handling at Movianto Spain, Numancia

– Operating cost: How deep temperature storing is made less costly and more climate-friendly
– Special capacities in Spain and in the Netherlands for storage at minus 40 degrees Celsius
– Particular challenges: How do you build a floor that doesn’t crack at such a deep temperature?

[Picture] : Movianto Spain, Numancia de la Sagra


Movianto has invested 38 million euros in the construction of its new logistics centre in Numancia, Spain. It went into operation last year and has a number of special features. The only other Movianto site to date to have a walk-in warehouse with a temperature of minus 40 degrees Celsius is the global distribution centre in Oss in the Netherlands. Because of this, especially the capacity for clinical trials handling has risen at Movianto. “We are very proud that we can cover the entire range of temperature ranges used by pharmaceutical clients in Numancia and that we have found a way to operate this in the most climate- and cost-friendly way possible using the principle of Matryoshka dolls,” says José Luis Hurtado, Managing Director at Movianto Spain.

The principle has been transferred to architecture, meaning that different cold areas have been built into each other. As with the Russian Matryoshka dolls, where several are stacked inside each other, the largest refrigerated area in Numancia is temperature-controlled at 15 to 25 degrees. There is space for 33,000 pallets here.

Inside this building shell is another area with 5,000 pallet spaces, which is kept at 2 to 8 degrees. In turn, there is a walk-in warehouse for 300 pallets with a temperature of minus 20 degrees. Finally, there is the warehouse with a temperature of minus 40 degrees Celsius. It measures 54 square metres and has space for 51 pallets. “Some of our customers have requested this area because they have products in clinical research or blood plasma that need to be stored at this temperature,” explains Hurtado. “Because this is a small market area, the space will be sufficient for the next three to five years.”

Logistically and structurally, the low temperature poses enormous challenges. Three examples:

  1. Conventional scanners no longer function safely at minus 40 degrees Celsius.This is why manual pick lists are used in this area.
  2. Because conventional concrete or screed floors would crack due to the low temperatures, Movianto has installed a ventilated floor in this storage area to prevent cracks and breaks.
  3. The Matryoshka principle, where one wooden doll is nested inside each other, has been transferred to the warehouse architecture and ensures that the energy required for cooling is minimised. This reduces costs and increases energy efficiency. In addition, 2,500 solar modules on the roof generate part of the electrical energy required for temperature control.

The logistics centre has a total of 31,000 square metres of storage space. More than 145 employees work there; 80% of them have been working for Movianto for more than ten years. “We have a staff turnover rate of less than 0.5%,” Hurtado adds. “It’s only because we have so many experienced and well-trained employees that we can offer the full range of services, from order to cash.”