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Underground DC with zeppelin: April 1 joke or not?

It almost sounds too good to be true: an underground warehouse which will be supplied by a zeppelin. Yet, that is what VDR Bouwgroep says they really want to realize in Deventer. At least, that is what the construction company says in a press release.

Ying Group

For ‘competitive reasons’ the Chinese investor Ying Group does not want to announce which company ultimately will be located in the DC at the A1 business park. However, VDR is stating that the company is an ‘online retailer’ that recently entered a partnership with Hybrid Air Vehicles, an English manufacturer of airships.

The zeppelin must supply four ‘regional’ DC’s in Europe from a central distribution centre in Germany. Therefore one of these warehouses will be located in Deventer and the roof should serve as the landing stage for the zeppelin. VDR Bouwgroep is ‘involved in the plan development’, according to the press-report.

The spokeswoman of the Ying Group states that the customer ‘explicitly’ opted for Deventer. “Deventer has high sustainability ambitions. The central location at the A1 offers our customers a perfect base for their logistics traffic. Thanks to the cooperation with all the parties involved we will experience a world first in 2021: the bulk supply will take place with a zeppelin. A state-of-the-art, clean and quiet way of freight transporting. “

Spokeswoman name means “joke” in Dutch

The spokeswoman of the Ying Group is “Xiàohuà”. That name can be translated as ‘joke’. Hence, will there really be an underground warehouse in Deventer or is it a April joke?

Warehouse Totaal contacted Xiàohuà. Automatic answer: “This is the voicemail of Xiàohuà, press officer of the Ying Group Netherlands. Until week fourteen this number is available to those who’re directly involved. You can request information about our project on the A1 in Deventer via Thank you.”

An information package can, indeed, be requested on the website. The package will be released after next weekend.

We make a phone call with Menno Meerdink Veldboom of the marketing and communication department of VDR Bouwgroep.

The first name of the spokeswoman Xiàohuà means “joke.” All this rings alarm bells for me.

(Laughing) “Yes? I don’t know…”

I think it’s a very special story …

“Well, I have to say that I thought it was a fantastic story too when I got involved into this project about two or three weeks ago. I started googling on Hybrid Air Vehicles and their zeppelins look magnificent. Wow.”

Who else can I ask some questions about this topic?

“We’re not allowed to rag this issue out in the open until the information brochure and the press kit are released.”

When will the information brochure be released? Monday (April 1, ed.) Or in the course of next week?

“I have not been given an exact date. If you sign up on the project site, you will get a notification when the press kit can be downloaded. ”

When we call the municipality, they do react surprised on the news a underground warehouse will arise in Deventer. The two spokespersons say they aren’t aware of any plans of the VDR Bouwgroep and the Ying Group.

To be continued…

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