Connectedness and the supply chain at the heart of business success

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As businesses increasingly look to establish a foothold in the European market, the ability to have fast, efficient and reliable access to Europe's more than 500 million consumers is seen as critical to a business's commercial success.

Often a countries logistics and supply chain capability is central to the decision, with the Netherlands seen as a pioneer in supply chain innovation due to its first class infrastructure, skilled workforce and digital first approach.

On the topic, Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) Commissioner Jeroen Nijland said: "The Netherlands is the gateway to Europe. Both the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport handle more volumes than any of their other European counterparts and the Dutch countryside plays host to 50 percent of Europe's distribution centres, covering over 19 million square meters.

"At the NFIA we have witnessed how our country's superior logistics network has been a huge draw card for companies looking to gain a foothold in Europe and beyond, with many citing our logistics and supply chain infrastructure as the main reason they chose to do business in the Netherlands in the first place.

"Industry leading developments such as Remote Scanning, the Seamless Connections Innovation Programme, and the Neutral Logistics Information Platform are just examples of advancements that have played an important role in turning our logistics industry into one of the world's best".

The Netherlands has become a hub for specialist logistics services such as medical devices, agribusiness, fresh food and the retail fashion industry.

Talking on why they established their European distribution network in the Netherlands, luxury fashion brand Michael Kors CEO John Idol said: "The construction of our new distribution centre is an important and exciting step in the evolution of the brand. The scale and sophistication of the facility reflect our commitment to substantial growth across all channels of distribution in both Europe and the Middle East."

Other brands utilising the Netherlands network include Adidas, Forever 21, Esprit, Timberland and Tommy Hilfiger, but fashion isn't the only industry realising the benefits of the small but well-connected country.

Medical product company Hollister, who launched their European distribution centre in The Netherlands in 2008, now serves more than 90 countries worldwide from their hub in the Brabant region.

Talking on the move, Hollister's Logistics Services Manager for Europe Hugh Berry said: "We quickly discovered that Brabant is a logistical dream. The location between the major ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp is ideal. We have two international airports within close proximity, in Schiphol and Brussels, and we are relatively close to England, France and Germany, where our main clients are established."

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