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Jan Paul Olijslager shares insights from his trip to the US

The Netherlands keeps attracting American companies

In early March, Jan Paul Olijslager visited the United States.

On March 7th, Jan Paul was one of the speakers at a seminar held at the office of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and the Dutch Consulate in Atlanta. Together with the Port of Rotterdam and Routescanner, representatives from network organizations and businesses in the Atlanta region were briefed on the developments in logistics, supply chain, innovation, and sustainability in Europe. During and after this seminar, conversations were held with several parties considering establishing a logistics operation in the Netherlands.

“Not all American service providers are familiar with the European market and geography.”

On March 7th and 8th, again in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam and Routescanner, several logistics service providers from the Atlanta region who have a large client base in Europe were visited. These discussions covered topics such as how American forwarders decide on the routes for shipping containers from their clients to destinations in Europe or where to set up an EDC (European Distribution Center) for their customers. It was noticeable that not all American service providers are familiar with the European market and geography (for example, the locations of major ports and their hinterland connections) and therefore do not always choose the most efficient routing or logistic solution. The solution provided by Routescanner to gain better insight into this, along with the support offered by NDL in finding the right partner, was received positively by the parties involved.

On March 11th and 12th, Jan Paul visited Modex in Atlanta. Modex is a leading trade fair in the field of material handling and logistics, with over 45,000 visitors and 1,100 exhibitors attending. Several NDL members were present with their own stands or as visitors, including Lowpad, Caja Robotics, NPSG, T-Logistics, the UC Group, and the Port of Rotterdam.

During Modex, discussions were held with several leading suppliers in warehouse automation and robotics who have recently decided to set up a European office and logistics hub in the Netherlands (including Locus Robotics, Berkshire Grey, Addverb, Mujin, Hai Robotics, Plus One Robotics). Additionally, discussions were held with several other leading parties considering to do the same. The fact that these innovative companies establish themselves in the Netherlands indicates that the Netherlands is still seen as an innovative hub and a prime location for innovative suppliers to the logistics industry to serve the European market. Agreements were made with several parties on how NDL can support these companies in setting up or further expanding their European operations .

Following the visit to Atlanta Jan Paul travelled to Chicago where several new and ongoing projects and network partners, such as the US Commercial Services and the CSCMP in Chicago, were visited. These meetings were all done together with our partner, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.

“Europe remains an interesting market with many opportunities for American companies.”

Overall, the impression during this trip was that American companies are less focused on Asia due to geopolitical developments. There has been a significant shift in production to Mexico in recent years, and trade between the US and Mexico has grown substantially. While Europe is certainly viewed as an interesting market, concerns exist about the political and economic situation in Europe, making parties cautious. It was important to highlight that Europe remains an interesting market with many opportunities for American companies. Furthermore, during the discussions, it became evident that not all US companies are focussed on sustainability , however it is clear that it is increasingly becoming a priority. There is considerable interest in the developments regarding sustainability in Europe.

March 19th 2024

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Jan Paul Olijslager

Senior Manager Supply Chain Solutions

Contact me and let me guide you to The Netherlands for a smooth entry into the European market.

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