Logistics are in our DNA

The Netherlands is often seen as the gateway to Europe. Think world-class ports, an airport which is a global hub and a high rail network density. An example is the global flower trade, of which almost 60% passes through the Netherlands. This week a combined ministry and business delegation is visiting China to explore more cooperation. Topteam Logistics member and former Director in the sector Wando Boevé is leading the delegation: “We can add value by linking all logistics channels and creating a hub, for transport both to and China.”

Showcasing Dutch logistics

When it comes to transport by sea or air, the Netherlands makes sense as a hub with a strategic location within Europe and easy connections for further transport. “When looking at rail transport from China towards the Netherlands you immediately notice the challenge. The railway ends in the Netherlands, but has already crossed through most of Europe before that. Transporting something from China to the Netherlands and then for instance to Poland might seem strange when using rail transport,” Wando explains. “However, the value of the Netherlands is in connecting these different channels. Transporting onwards to the Nordics or perhaps even the East Coast of the US. With this mission, we are showcasing what the Netherlands has to offer in this field. Not just in the field of export products, but also in terms of knowledge and expertise.”

Partner in export

Rail is also an interesting factor when it comes to transporting from Europe towards China. The Netherlands is an important exporter of goods. Wando says: “Through railways we can export these products further inland and to China. We see that some manufacturers are already considering exploiting this new transport method. Running freight trains is very costly for a single company, making cooperation very important. Some of the delegation participants are already active in this field, some are still exploring opportunities. One of the goals of this mission is to bring these different companies and local governments together.”

Chengdu, Chongqing and Wuhan

The mission, hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, will visit the Chinese logistical hubs Chengdu, Chongqing and Wuhan. Head of the mission is the Ministry’s SG Lidewijde Ongering. As Wando summarizes the aims of the mission: “We are bringing knowledge, sharing opportunities, connecting participants and positioning our sector.” In the different cities the delegation will participate in round tables, join seminars and network events and visit rail transport sites.