With strong investments in R&D, the international sterilization company STERIS is an innovative member of the Life Sciences and Agrifood sectors in the Netherlands. The company delivers the crucial sterilization step in the manufacturing and supply chain of its customers. These are mostly multinational companies in the life sciences & health and food packaging sector.
STERIS, Applied Sterilization Technologies, is by far the largest supplier of sterilization services and global market leader, active in 18 countries around the world and with more than 60 locations. The company and its predecessors have been in the Netherlands for decades, and after a number of acquisitions Synergy Health became part of STERIS in 2015.
Innovating high quality sterilization in supply chains
Jan de Jong, Regional Managing Director, and Paul Santing, Director Global Business Development, joined this company ten and 22 years ago, respectively. They describe how STERIS has evolved.
In the seventies, the first gamma-irradiation site was built in Ede. The company grew organically with an expansion in Ede and a second site in Etten-Leur, closer to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. The Utrecht lab, specialized to service the pharmaceutical industry, was acquired in 2007. And around the same time the company decided to invest in a second sterilization technology using ethylene oxide gas. For this purpose, the new site was built in Venlo. This location was chosen for the logistics connections and is well situated in the supply chains of manufacturers of medical devices. With current expansions in Venlo, the annual capacity is brought to a level of 100,000 pallets per year.
Excellent logistics and well-educated workforce in the Netherlands
Santing explains: “With excellent logistics and a well-educated workforce, the Netherlands is a strategic location for the pharmaceutical and food industry. With a growing demand from our customers, STERIS continues to invest in sterilization capacity in the Netherlands and we are about to start up our third site in Venlo adding the novel X-ray sterilization technology. This state-of-the-art development is the second plant world-wide offering these services to our customers and we are proud that STERIS chose the Netherlands for this important European investment.”
The Netherlands is a strategic hub for food and life sciences logistics
The overall experience of STERIS in the Netherlands has been very positive. As De Jong concludes: “STERIS benefits from the strategic location of the Netherlands with excellent roads and ports, and from the open business culture. To be in near proximity to so many multinational companies in the life sciences & health, and food sector ensures sustainable business for years to come.”
Gateway to Europe
The Netherlands is a hub for logistics and distribution operations. The country is a gateway to Europe and home to an abundance of European and regional distribution centres across a multitude of industries like medical technology and agri/food, and pharmaceuticals. Driven by world-class seaports, centrally located airports and an extensive, modern network of roads and highways, Holland’s logistics infrastructure and presence of top-notch logistic service providers is a major asset to companies looking to establish international logistics/distribution operations in Europe.