08 Aug OneLogistics manages the complex logistics of the F-35
What started as a one-man show in 2006, has now become the F-35 Program partner for the next decades for all European warehousing and logistics for the F-35 combat aircrafts as well as F135 engines. René de Koning, founder and CEO of OneLogistics, offers solutions to the heterogeneous and complex systems of European customs and logistics, to make sure the F-35 Sustainment Program runs smoothly.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is the world’s most lethal, survivable, and connecting fighter aircraft in the world. With more and more countries joining the F-35 team, the logistics of over 600 aircrafts in Europe has become increasingly complex, according to René. “OneLogistics is the F-35 program partner for the European warehousing and logistics of the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircrafts, together with Pratt & Whitney, the company responsible for the maintenance of the F135 engines.”
A Strategic partnership with the F-35 Program
Quite the responsibility, as René explains: “We’re a small company of ten employees and between five and 25 warehouse operators of Netherlands MOD. We’re the control tower of it all. What does that mean exactly? Look at it this way: a country’s air force decides to purchase aircrafts. Those aircrafts come with a type of sustainment contract, and we manage the warehousing and logistics of that sustainment in the European Region.
I have been doing this kind of work since 2006, with the best people, the most experienced and brightest in the field. This is what makes OneLogistics unique: we have an integrated approach and IT system to the many complicated aspects of managing such sensitive operations. All based on a Strategic Partnership with the Netherlands Ministry of Defense / LCW. Nonetheless, the highlight of my career was being selected by the F-35 Joint Program Office of the Pentagon in 2017. After they selected us, we started operating as a formal F-35 program partner, the Regional Warehouse was launched in 2019 together with Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and Netherlands MOD. In 2022 we were declared Full Operational Capable so we are able to handle all F-35 parts in close cooperation with Logistics Center Woensdrecht.
Straight from Star Wars
The logistics are managed from an impressive warehouse in Woensdrecht. René: “Straight from Star Wars! It’s a futuristic, completely automated warehouse. Not small either, the automated warehouse section has the size of thirteen soccer fields. Throughout the day, we receive orders from all over Europe, what’s needed, where it’s needed, and what’s needed urgently. It can be a bolt, a nut, or a large part that needs to be processed. Our system calculates where the closest warehouse location is and then the warehousing process begins. On top of that, we work under an agreement with the Dutch customs and that means we operate as a bonded warehouse in order to avoid unnecessary payment of taxes.
It’s great because you never know what the day brings. And our workload has increased since February 2022, making our job ever more important.”
After a successful career of 35 years at Schiphol, René decided to start his own logistics company in 2006. “As a small company, I started to connect the best of what the Netherlands has to offer in terms of transport, customs, compliance, and warehousing and integrated that into a Control Tower. This effort was supported by the Topsector Logistics. My business partners told me I was crazy, but with perseverance and patience, I managed to bring OneLogistics to new heights. The foundation of our success is the so-called Triple Helix: a collaboration between industry, government, and knowledge institutes. In our case, OneLogistics would not have been able to succeed without the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Province of Noord-Brabant and the Topsector Logistics.
What’s next? To manage the growth trajectory on this long term assignment. More planes will arrive and more countries will join. And we want to make sure that the people of our company continue to love to work here while we keep on supporting the Warfighter”