The Brexit ranking

which hotspots appeal to UK users and investors?

As stated above, UK companies are already finding their way to the Netherlands, with many more expected to follow suit. By analysing their criteria for a place of business, it is possible to identify the regions that are likely to gain in popularity. Savills has drawn up a ranking to provide an insight into the areas with the greatest potential.

The following factors have been taken into account:

Export facilities

UK companies looking to establish themselves in the Netherlands will mainly focus on transit and distribution to the European hinterland. Their focus will therefore be on well-connected areas with excellent export facilities, such as access to seaports and container terminals.

Vacancy and quality of stock

UK companies will want to take up logistics space in the short term. Areas with space available will be more attractive than areas where vacancy rates are low. Given that the majority of demand from the UK is for storage and transhipment activity, their preference will not be for more expensive real estate at the higher end of the quality spectrum. To reduce costs, most UK companies are likely to opt for warehouses that do not charge premiums.

Availability of labour

Lastly, British companies will take into account the local labour market. The dramatic surge in the logistics sector in recent years has created local labour shortages. UK companies will therefore prefer locations where the volume of labour in the logistics sector is large enough to facilitate local growth in the sector.

“Hotspot regions have the significant advantage of being better connected to international distribution networks than alternative logistics real estate locations.”

An initial analysis factoring in the above criteria leads to the conclusion that areas outside the traditional hotspots are initially less appealing. This is mainly because hotspot regions have the significant advantage of being better connected to international distribution networks than alternative logistics real estate locations.

Rotterdam has the greatest potential to attract UK companies, followed by Amsterdam and Roosendaal. It is not entirely surprising that the two international ports top the list, given their excellent infrastructure connections with other countries and the presence of a substantial workforce.

The disadvantages of these two areas are their limited vacancy rate and their relatively high rents. A more unexpected ranking is Roosendaal at number 3. This hotspot, like Moerdijk at number 4, is extremely well connected to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, which makes it especially well suited to the import of goods.

“hotspot regions have the significant advantage of being better connected to international distribution networks than alternative logistics real estate locations.”

Venlo-Venray’s position as hotspot number 5 is partly due to the presence of large-scale train terminals, although its appeal is hampered by a considerable labour shortage in the logistics sector. Numbers 7 (Schiphol) to 11 (Eindhoven) have less potential for attracting UK companies. The stock in the Schiphol area is relatively new and the rent per square metre is very high. In addition, exports from Schiphol are mainly focused on aviation and intercontinental distribution. The hotspots of Utrecht-Nieuwegein, Zaltbommel-Tiel-Geldermalsen and Bleiswijk-Waddinxveen share a primary focus on national distribution and e-commerce activity. This lessens their appeal to UK distributors keen to serve the European market. Eindhoven is at the bottom of the list, due largely to the fact that its logistics sector is focused primarily on distribution for the technological industry and less on international goods transit.

In short, logistics hotspots that focus on international distribution have the greatest potential for British companies looking to gain a foothold in the Netherlands to counter the constraints of Brexit. Differences in available stock, quality of export facilities and volume of labour make one region more attractive than another. The biggest challenge in the short term will be finding available space within the hotspots, given the increasing scarcity.

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