Amazon have announced plans to open its first logistics centre in Belgium this year. The centre will be used to receive, sort and send packages across the country and will be stationed in Antwerp. Whilst this is great news for Amazon, their announcement comes amidst a storm of disagreement in Belgium as to the value of ecommerce. This article will take a look at the new Amazon delivery centre, but will also discuss the state of ecommerce as a whole in Belgium.
The New Amazon Delivery Centre In Belgium
The new centre will be located in Antwerp, one of the most prominent cities in Belgium, and will be primarily concerned with sorting parcels that are sent from France and Germany to Belgian consumers. From here, Amazon will use couriers to fulfil the orders. The building should be operational in late 2022 and is planned to create 50 jobs. In addition, more than 200 chauffeurs from local couriers will deliver parcels, the company says.
This news is indicative of Amazon’s expansion into Europe. Last year Amazon opened a similar centre in the Netherlands, and they have already announced plans to create 8 more in Germany over the coming months. Whilst this does seem a very positive thing for the Belgian people, the news does come with a backdrop of some serious disagreements over ecommerce in the country.
Belgian Ecommerce Topic Of Hot Debate
According to data from BeCommerce, the ecommerce industry in Belgium was worth 10.26 billion euros in 2020. There are some big online players from abroad, like Zalando (Germany) or Bol.com and Coolblue (both from the Netherlands). As a matter of fact, in 2017, the whole top five of biggest online stores in Belgium consisted of foreign players. You might think this would mean that Belgium had a positive view of ecommerce, but this is not wholly true.
The Belgian government currently deliberating over market reform measures that would see ecommerce companies become allowed to ask their wokers to work between 8pm and midnights. As it stands, many ecommerce companies have to outsource these operations to Dutch companies. Some, such as the leaders of the Belgium Party, believe that this is a negative thing to happen to Belgium. Their argument is that consumers should just wait longer for parcels. Whilst this may be the case in an ideal world, it is simply not industry standard and will mean that Belgium will continue to lag behind the rest of Europe when it comes to ecommerce if their rules are not updated.
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