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Belgium on top for logistics

As Flanders and the Netherlands undertake a joint economic mission to Texas this week to promote the "Delta Region", a new report from Colliers confirms that Antwerp remains the ideal location for logistics and distribution.

While low operating costs have attracted logistics companies to Eastern Europe, Antwerp remains the ideal location for logistics operations. Brussels and Liège also rank in the top 10, making Belgium a prime destination for distribution activities.

The real estate consultancy firm Colliers has released its latest study on the attractiveness of European cities for logistics activities, and Belgian cities dominate the charts. Most notably, Antwerp ranked first in terms of location for distribution, cementing its reputation as the gateway to Europe. The cities of Brussels and Liège also ranked in the top 10, at 4th and 10th place respectively.

The study took multiple factors into consideration including infrastructure, market access, operational costs, specific know-how, labor market capacity and the overall business environment. If low operating costs and developing infrastructure are expected to be a source of growth for the Eastern European cities, Antwerp’s many assets were more than enough to push it to the top of the ranking.

Indeed, a truck departing from Antwerp can reach 143 million people in nine hours and 60% of European purchasing power is located within a 500 km radius around Antwerp. The Port of Antwerp’s location inland also provides some of the fastest and cheapest connections to the hinterlands, and its long history as an international trade hub also confers on it multiple benefits.

Even when focusing on operational costs as opposed to distribution possibilities, Antwerp was the highest ranking Western European city, effectively making it the highest-ranked Western European location for both manufacturing and distribution.

Best locations for logistics operations

1. Antwerp

2. Rotterdam

3. Düsseldorf

4. Brussels

5. Hamburg

6. Amsterdam

7. Liège

8. Venlo

9. Lille

10. Frankfurt

 Best locations for manufacturing operations

1. Kiev

2. Istanbul

3. Bratislava

4. Upper Silesia

5. Sofia

6. Antwerp

7. Lille

8. Budapest

9. Düsseldorf

10. Prague

AmCham Belgium’s position

The Chamber is pleased to see that Belgium’s infrastructure, know-how and great location continue to make it one of the most attractive countries for logistics operations. While Eastern European cities are expected to grow in the future, a reduction in Belgian labor costs, which the Chamber has long advocated, will help Belgium remain a prime destination for investment on the long term.

To read about AmCham Belgium’s policy recommendations in more detail, please refer to our 2013 Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium.