The food and beverage sector will always hold a space place in our hearts, as Routeique’s very first customers and partners were from this industry in Canada. Today our clients are from a diverse range of industries, but we continue to service a large number of food and beverage companies across the world. Today, from the Neatherlands, we’re exploring the food and beverage industry in Europe, specifically in the European Union.
Food and beverage is a huge industry sector in the EU. In fact it is their largest manufacturing sector by both volume number of people employed. Over 4.5 million people within the EU are employed in the manufacturing of food and drinks, with a great many more involved in the distribution and retail of these items. The EU is the world’s largest exporter of food and beverages, and their trade surplus has grown over the past decade. This is likely due to the increased movement of people throughout the world, as well as the reputation of many european foods in other countries.
Like every industry, however, the EU food and beverage sector is not without its issues. As a very large industry, adaptation to new technology and trends can be slow moving. Supply chain transparency remains an issue for many large companies, and even some of the smaller companies. The establishment of more effective and efficient business-2-business (B2B) relationships is also of high priority for many industry leaders. As the demand for sustainable and transparent supply chains increases worldwide, the continued success of this sector will depend largely on the ability to improve visibility while increasing global trade.
In the distribution sector of the industry also has some unique challenges in Europe. For example, the density in Europe is much higher than that in North America or Australia. Additionally older cities, specifically city centres, were often built for walking and not for cars or large trucks, making delivery in vehicles difficult. Delivery vans, as well as distribution by motorcycles or bikes have become increasingly common in dense urban areas to overcome the problems associated with narrow and busy streets. Here in Amsterdam, thanks to the canals running through the city center, many deliveries are done using water systems as the main transportation method of the last mile.
Routeique is thrilled to continue learning and growing within the European food and beverage sector, helping our customers to become more competitive through efficient supply chain improvements.