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HIDC and Dutch logistics faring well in rough circumstances

It’s been busy at the virtual HIDC offices. No foreign travel, but online webinars, countless Teams meetings and matchmaking at a distance has resulted in good results. Keep an eye on our newsletter (subscribe here, bottom page) for the annual results that are coming soon.

2021 has so far been breaking records in terms of new requests for logistics services from overseas companies. And overseas now, to a large extent, means across the Channel, as 60% of our 103 new projects (as of Feb 18, 2021) comes from the UK. As expected, we now see a sizeable wave of UK SMEs that were in ‘wait-and-see’-mode until Brexit took effect and are now realizing that yes, trading has become more difficult and complex. We are receiving daily requests for logistics matchmaking, as my colleague Jochem Sanders has stated in the Guardian.

Brexit: No way back
Politicians like to say there are ‘teething problems’ in the new UK-EU trade relationship. That is partly true as companies are slowly getting used to filling in documents and connecting with customs systems. However, the new non-tariff barriers will stay and induce delays and costs going forward. Trading and manufacturing companies are realizing that EU distribution from the UK (and the other way around) will put them at a disadvantage with their competitors and it may even be financially no longer viable to trade with EU for certain companies and industries.

Selling online in Europe? Be aware of regulatory changes per July!
While we hope to see a return to normality this year, with distancing measures relaxed and the retail and hospitality industry opening up, 2021 will by no means be a walk in the park for supply chain managers. Intercontinental trade still suffers from congestion and surging rates and the EU will see major regulatory changes. The implementation of the EU Goods Package and VAT E-commerce Package will mean significant changes for any business selling cross-border online in the EU. To educate online sellers, our partners and our members we organize a webinar about the new VAT and authorized representative rules as per July this year. You can register here.

My final blog and farewell
This update ends with a personal note. The logistics industry is in transition and the pandemic has pushed innovation to new levels. Supply chains will change in the years to come, due to digitization and regionalization while minimizing disruption risk. This in a world where sustainability is no longer an option or a choice, rather a necessity. That’s the reason why HIDC is focusing more on innovative and sustainable logistics in the Netherlands by attracting new technologies and innovative suppliers to the logistics eco-system . My colleague Jelle is taking the lead on this as I will leave HIDC to join Hardt Hyperloop. At Hardt I will work on the realization of cargo transport in a hyperloop system. A new, fast and sustainable mode of transport that will enable new supply chain and distribution models. I would like to thank my colleagues and partners in the US and Canada for almost 6 years of fruitful cooperation. It was a huge pleasure. Fare well!

February 18th 2021

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