The Netherlands is one of the major gateways to the European market. Many logistics service providers are offering a wide array of activities and operations to international shippers, ranging from simple transport, handling and storage to tailor-made value added operations. For every specific European supply chain, a best-fitting logistics service provider can be found in the Netherlands. But where do you start in finding the right Dutch logistics service provider for your European distribution operations?
In order to help you getting insight into this complex logistics market, BCI Global has teamed up with the leading logistics website www.logistiek.nl to set up the Top-100 of Logistics Service Providers in the Netherlands. The 2019-edition of this top-100 is now available upon request as a free download. The top-100 provides an overview of the most prominent service providers in contract and distribution logistics in the Netherlands. The ranking has been done using five major indicators, all collected for the Netherlands: (1) total annual turnover in Euro (30%), (2) number of employees (30%), (3) m2 warehousing (30%), (4) participation in the national Lean & Green program (5%), (5) level of sustainability of warehouses through the BREEAM-certification (5%).
Just like in many other countries in the world, the first 8 spots of the top-100 are occupied by major global logistics service providers. The names of DHL, DSV Logistics, Kuehne & Nagel, XPO Logistics, CEVA Logistics, Schenker Logistics, Rhenus Logistics and Mainfreight are familiar to anyone in the business, but they all have their specific market presence and expertise in the Netherlands. In the remainder of the top-15, we find many ‘local heroes’ like Ewals Cargo Care, Vos Logistics, Bleckmann Logistics, Bakker Logistics, Kloosterboer and Jan de Rijk each with their regional roots and specific capabilities. But also outside the top-15, there are logistics service providers which are specialists in certain markets and warehouse operations that could be the perfect match for your (changing) European distribution needs. Did you know that there are more than 2,000 distribution centers over 2,500 m2 in the Netherlands, added up to a whopping 33 million m2?
We also want to share with you five major trends that are happening in the Dutch Logistics service market right now.
In the last five years, the annual new m2 of warehousing built in the Netherlands has more tripled from 0.8 million in 2013 to over 2.5 million m2 in 2018. Especially XXL-warehouses over 40,000 m2 have been set up, so that there is a large variety of warehouses and accompanying logistics services to choose from. Also, logistics developers are building new warehouses at their own risk, because they are convinced that new clients will be found. This can dramatically shorten the time needed to start new operations.
The rail, inland water and road infrastructure network in the Netherlands is the most dense in Europe, and every major logistics park is within 3 kilometers of a highway, and within 15 kilometers of a rail or inland barge terminal. This provides excellent opportunities to mix the use of road, water and rail transport according to your needs. Especially transport from the port of Rotterdam to your distribution center can be done by inland barge or rail. Also, the use of rail to destinations in Eastern Europe and China (New Silk Route) is getting more common.
The logistics market is fiercely competitive, and in order to stay in business every logistics service provider tries to be ‘best in class’ in its specific markets and/or operations. Whether it is in e-commerce, health care, fresh logistics or other, there are specialists in the top-100 who are willing to go the extra mile for their customers. The level of innovation is also relatively high, and control towers or blockchain solutions are offered by a variety of providers.
The recent boom in Dutch logistics also has led to shortages in labor and available plots in logistics hot spots. The general unemployment in the Netherlands is a little over 3%, which is the lowest in more than 20 years. Also, the availability of large-sized plots is getting more tight in hot spots. This has led to more new warehouses outside well-known logistics hot spots like Venlo, Tilburg and Rotterdam in the past years. An example is the new 200,000 m2 Northwestern European Distribution Centers of fashion retailer Inditex, which has been set up in Lelystad. Additionally, this leads to a further automation and adoption of new technologies in DC-operations.
The majority of the larger distribution centers that have been set up in the past five years have been built with efficiency and sustainability in mind. Most of these new distribution centers have a BREAAM sustainability certification of Very good to Excellent. This will be getting more important in the future, because the coming European Union policies will focus on more sustainable transport and logistics. In addition, in many cases the sustainability measures results in cost savings e.g. in energy consumption and freight costs. If your logistics operation would be based in the Netherlands, this can give you a perfect starting point to be prepared for these future policies while reducing costs.
BCI Global has been drawing up the top-100 for almost a decade now and as a result we are aware of all trends in the Dutch logistics market. In addition, we know almost all contract logistics market and players thoroughly, also based on our extensive network of personal contacts. We also know where all distribution centers are located, who the owner is and what is happening. Feel free to contact us if you want further information, or have a specific question, and we will be happy to help you.