Founded in 1890, Kuehne+Nagel initially focused on providing freight forwarding services. The Swiss group’s 130-year-long history can still be felt in its operations today. Although the logistics services provider now employs more than 80,000 people worldwide, “the entrepreneurial mindset of the early days is still strongly present within the group’s corporate culture,” points out Gerry Bosmans, director of contract logistics BeLux at Kuehne+Nagel.
The company first saw opportunity in Flanders as a gateway to major European markets back in 1956, when it opened a department in Antwerp. Gradually, Kuehne+Nagel started adding freight forwarding by sea, air and land to its offering. Today, the firm positions itself as a digital logistics player and aims to excel in providing complex solutions for companies who are looking to distribute their products and solutions in Europe and far beyond.
“Originally, the logistics industry mainly focused on the B2B market. This started to change when the boundaries between B2B and B2C logistics began to blur. Now our customers look for omnichain solutions to combine B2C-focused retail and e-commerce with B2B logistics. Our new distribution center in Tessenderlo, Flanders empowers us to provide such solutions,” Bosmans explains.
In recent years, we have made a lot of progress in providing omnichain solutions. Our new distribution center in Tessenderlo is an important step in this direction.
“To keep up with these evolutions, technological innovation and proactive, flexible partnerships are key,” Bosmans continues. “Collaborations that used to last 1 to 3 years can now last up to 5 to 10 years. In addition, companies are increasingly looking for a logistics partner that thinks along with them about how to create value in a constantly changing environment, resulting in great opportunities for our sector.”
Kuehne+Nagel set up its first base at the Port of Antwerp (Flanders) in 1956. Since then, the company has established a total of 13 sites in the region, and it’s not stopping there: the logistics group continues to expand in Flanders by investing in a new pharma and healthcare logistics hub in Machelen and a new distribution center for omnichain logistics solutions in Tessenderlo. It’s evident that Kuehne+Nagel sees Flanders as a strategic location from which to gain access to the rest of Europe. The group also makes use of the region’s dense network of inland waterways, roads and international airports and seaports.
Flanders is in a perfect position when it comes to e-commerce and logistics.
“Foreign companies sometimes overlook Flanders’ potential, but our customers are always pleasantly surprised when they discover the region’s assets – not in the least when it comes to e-commerce. The continuous growth of the region’s logistics industry pays testimony to its international appeal,” Bosmans concludes.
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