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3SI Group opens France’s largest order preparation hub to serve e-commerce in Lille Region

23 Sep 2013 | A region on the move, Logistics

3SI Group, formerly 3 Suisses International, has just opened a state-of-the art order preparation hub in Hem, outside Lille. The new facility is the largest of its kind in France.

Cutting-edge technology

At 40,000 sq m, this huge new center can handle up to 400,000 packages a day and 80 million a year—capacity that gives 3SI a hub for all the services available from its major subsidiaries and provides web-based retailers with a one-stop shop for the services they need.
The logistics platform at Hem is one of three sites—all in Lille Region—set up by 3SI’s new distribution subsidiary Dispeo. It will process orders for all of 3SI Group’s own consumer operations, and provide outsourced services to external e-commerce specialists as well. Lille Region’s ideal location was a key factor in site selection: “When you think e-commerce, you automatically look beyond national borders to all of Europe—which makes Lille and its surroundings particularly appealing,” explains Dispeo CEO Bernard Avril.

Focus on e-commerce and related services

Built at a cost of EUR 70 million, the ultra-modern facility has around 1,000 employees and state-of-the-art equipment that can have items ready for shipping less than two hours after an online order is placed. The Hem platform is also located near 3SI Group’s package delivery subsidiary Mondial Relay, allowing the two facilities to be linked. Hiving off business lines as separate subsidiaries is a key component of 3SI Group’s business strategy. Ranked by Internet Retailer as France’s third largest e-commerce business in June 2013, the catalog-sales specialist is now the largest private-sector supplier of e-commerce services, and the new hub in Hem underscores its shift to e-commerce and focus on expanding services for external e-commerce vendors.

“We now offer a complete range of services, from image production with Quai de l’image through parcel delivery by Mondial Relay. That includes CRM with Mezzo, which reported growth of 20% in 2012, logistics with Dispeo, and targeted mailings with Taylormail,” notes 3SI Group CEO Denis Terrien.

Sources: La Voix du Nord, Les Echos, L’Express

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