• The Beijing Ultracenter – The Jewel in the Crown

    15 May 2008

    Started by Jim Thompson in 1965, the Crown Worldwide Group has grown from humble beginnings in Japan into a truly global company.  Today, the company is headquartered in Hong Kong and boasts 110 operations in 50 countries, managing over 35,000 relocations per year and generating revenues in excess of US$500 million per annum. 

    As a private company, Crown remains unique in its ability and foresight to plough its returns into new developments, mirroring Jim Thompson’s own qualitative approach to life and allowing the company to expand in innovative directions not traditionally associated with a removals company.  As a result, Crown Worldwide has accumulated assets of over US$475 million across four million square feet of warehouse space, continually investing in quality systems, communication and IT and facilities. 

    Developing its network in China remains a continuing focus for the Crown Group, and its new Ultracenter in Beijing represents the jewel in Crown’s impressive portfolio.Covering over four acres of land and located in Tongzhou Logistics Park adjacent to the Beijing Development Area (BDA) and one of China’s biggest and most established corporate parks, the Ultracenter, whilst neatly complementing the company’s purpose-built facility in Shanghai, is another example of Crown’s dedication towards providing the best in quality and service to its clients.  

    “The Ultracenter represents the consolidation of a number of facilities in the region and is truly a pinnacle of warehousing and technology in China.  For Crown, Beijing really does represent the future of the company and it is our dream to replicate the Ultracenter model in every major city in the world”, says Jimmy Thompson, son of the founder and Regional Manager for Northern China and Mongolia, who has lived and worked in Beijing for the last nine years and witnessed its development since the opening up of China. 

    Strategically located just 45 minutes from Beijing International Airport, 30 minutes from Beijing’s city centre and just 140km from Tianjin Port on the Beijing – Tianjin expressway, the Ultracenter represents a true convergence between Crown’s core businesses of relocation, records management and logistics with the storage and transportation of fine art, fine wine and luxury goods.  Standing on a 23,000m² area housing 16,400m² of warehouse and 5,000m² of office space across five floors, it combines the most advanced technology with skilled and experienced staff to provide the ultimate third party storage facility. 

    The safety and security of valuable business documents and records are guaranteed under the protection and management of the industry’s most advanced facility. 

    The latest in fire detection and prevention technology protect the key assets of Crown’s clients, whilst 24-hour security is handled though modern surveillance equipment and monitoring systems which leave nothing to chance.  The Ultracenter also comes complete with the most advanced third-party and logistics and inventory management IT systems, making it capable of meeting even the most demanding supply chain and distribution requirements. 

    Crown’s Beijing Ultracenter is much more than a standard storage facility and includes a special vault area for high value and maximum security cargo, designed to accommodate high ticket/high value market that includes such items as electronics, pharmaceuticals and fine art.  The Crown Wine Cellar too, located within the Ultracenter, is another example of the diversification of the company in the direction of luxury items and provides a unique storage facility and secure and exclusive setting for the city’s elite. 

    Throughout the entire complex, advanced fire detection and prevention technology is combined with modern surveillance equipment, monitoring and racking and retrieval systems controlled through the latest barcode technology and Crown’s Portis systems.  Furthermore, the Ultracenter’s magnetic and digital media vault is tightly secured at all times and ensures a constant temperature of 20ºC (68ºF) and that humidity levels never exceed 40%. 

    Crown Fine Arts has been providing specialised fine arts packing and transportation since 1989 and Crown staff undergo training specifically designed to provide high-quality fine art transportation and storage.  At the Ultracenter, massive steel doors mark the entrance to a 700m² fine arts bunker, dedicated to the handling and storage of fine art.  

    Perhaps what makes every Crown business a success is not just the company’s investment in the latest technology, but the simple philosophy of being able to offer a personal service to their clients. Indeed, for each project, one of Crown’s dedicated staff members is assigned as the ‘single point of coordination’, managing the process from beginning to end, from initial planning all the way to the gathering of client feedback. 

    Certainly, Crown’s personal approach to every project has earned the appreciation and trust of world-renowned museums, major art galleries and private collectors. 

    In its own right, the Beijing Ultracenter has already attracted considerable interest from the worlds of fine art and fashion, with the granddaughter of the founder of the Maeght Foundation, owners of some 100 pieces by Matisse and other notable European artists currently in discussions with Crown about a project to build an arts centre at Tianneman.  Fashion houses Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld, Armani and Shanghai Tang also rank amongst Crown’s more infamous clientele. 

    Jay Clifton, Deputy General Manager of Household Goods in Beijing, who relocated from France some two and half years ago, describes Beijing’s Ultracenter as an accumulation of many years work into what he calls a “crowning moment in the history of the company”.  

    “Here at the Ultracenter, our focus is on quality, not quantity.  This facility has been positioned to accommodate optimal high ticket and high value items and clients are able to wine and dine amongst the fine wines and fine art that we store here.  Tyres and concrete don’t really come into the equation.  It’s more a matter of us being able to provide the extra care required to store electronics, pharmaceuticals and luxury items in a temperature controlled environment that will ensure that the pieces go out in exactly the same condition as they went in”, adds Clifton. 

    Architecturally, the 33m high Ultracenter is a wonder of multi-level design, with warehouses and offices housing three and five floors respectively.  Unique in terms of warehouse design, the Ultracenter utilises space to maximum efficiency incorporating design features from some of Crown’s most innovative premises in Johannesburg and Houston. 

    All in all the future for Crown looks very bright as diversification and consolidation add a level of prestige to an already booming industry set to embrace the challenges and realities of globalisation in the 21st century. 

    Any enquiries about the Crown Ultracenter Beijing and Crown Wine Cellar Beijing can be sent to: 

    Patrick Sullivan (Email: [email protected])

    Crown Worldwide Ltd.

    The Crown Worldwide Building, Rongshang 6th Road, Tongzhou Logistics Park, Majuqiao Town, Tongzhou District, Beijing, China 101102

    Tel: +86 10 5801 8088 / fax: +86 10 5801 8099



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