Ingram Micro Expands its Logistics Operations in the Netherlands
Global technology distributor opens a new distribution center in the “Logistics Valley of Europe”
US-based Ingram Micro, the world’s largest distributor of computer and technology products, is expanding its logistics operations in the Netherlands. The company recently opened a new distribution center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands, to support its growing business in Europe. Bolstered by the Invest in Holland Network, Ingram Micro will continue to utilize the world-class Dutch talent pool and build on its already strong presence in the region of Brabant.
“The combination of technology and logistics universities and the lively startup scene so close to our warehouses is quite unique. To me, Brabant is really the Logistics Valley of Europe,” said Jack Heijkans, Ingram Micro’s country executive for the Netherlands.
Logistics Operations in the Netherlands Serve as Main Hub for European Distribution
Since expanding to the Netherlands nine years ago, Ingram Micro has relied on its Dutch logistics operations to strengthen its global distribution network. The company’s new 20,000 square-meter distribution center in Waalwijk proves that Ingram Micro sees the Netherlands as its logistics gateway to Europe.
“Logistically, the Netherlands is our main hub for Europe. The harbors of Rotterdam and Antwerp are close by and, if you include the UK, we are right in the middle of western Europe. From here, we can ship goods to any location in Europe,” said Heijkans.
Within the Netherlands, Ingram Micro is one of the leading players in third-party logistics. The company operates five distribution centers in Tilburg and Waalwijk to handle the entire logistics operations of successful businesses including online retailer Bol.com and department store chain De Bijenkorf.
Dutch Talent Pool and Tech Ecosystem Offer a Launchpad for Innovation
Within Ingram Micro’s global organization, the Dutch branch in Brabant has earned a reputation as a technology pioneer. Home to a thriving tech ecosystem and top-notch higher education institutions, Brabant is the perfect place to find talent capable of driving innovation for the company’s Dutch logistics operations.
“We work closely together with the Technical University in Eindhoven and Breda University of Applied Sciences, which offers logistics programs. The combination of those two universities so close to our warehouses… gives us access to a unique pool of talent with technology and logistics expertise,” noted Heijkans.
Furthermore, Ingram Micro regularly teams up with local logistics companies including conveyer belt startup Valor and logistics automation specialist Vanderlande. Through these partnerships, Ingram Micro can increase efficiency and develop new technology that exists nowhere else in the world.
“Many of the machines in our warehouses are prototypes because the technology we were looking for simply didn’t exist,” said Heijkans. “To speed up our development we need to work with agile partners, and Brabant has plenty of them.”
Invest in Holland Network Facilitates Expansion and Collaboration
When the time came to choose a site to build its new distribution center, Ingram Micro turned to the Invest in Holland Network. BOM Foreign Investments, together with regional partners, helped Ingram Micro speed up the search.
“We were looking for a building that would be ready before the start of peak season. We got in touch with BOM and within a day they gave us an overview of all locations in development. We picked one and went ahead. The new building opened in time for peak season, just four months after our initial decision to expand,” summarized Heijkans.
According to Heijkans, the spirit of collaboration which led to this new expansion is in the Netherlands’ DNA: “Brabant is a friendly region where people always try to help each other. That’s also our experience with BOM. They are very keen to develop the region with the right companies so we can all prosper.”
Source: Brabant is Bright7 February 2020