According to a study conducted in June 2017 by PwC, Wallonia is the fourth out of 50 regions in Europe in terms of attractiveness for logistics stakeholders and is the first region in Belgium.
This document was produced on request by three partners (Logistics in Wallonia, UWE and Awex) in order to update the study conducted by Cushman&Wakefield in 2009 and highlight the points that could (still) be improved. About 50 European regions were analysed and compared on the basis of criteria that are decisive to the setting up of a distribution centre:
- the market’s proximity: buying power and economic activities;
- work: availability, flexibility, productivity, employer-employee relationship;
- operational costs, cost of energy, workforce, real estate;
- distribution facilities: IT, proximity of cargo airports, maritime ports, density of the road network, boat routes and railway lines;
- the availability of land: industrial parks and building land;
- regulations and taxes: political stability, administrative obligations, freedom to invest, transparency, effectiveness;
- competences: linguistic skills and logistics expertise.
Thus, it appears that, in addition to its indisputably advantageous geographic location, Wallonia has many assets for attracting new distribution centres: a market of 60 million consumers with a high buying power that can be accessed within four hours, a cargo airport that is listed among the top eight in Europe, the highest tonnage for inland river transport in Europe connected to Antwerp and Rotterdam, and also effective rail connections, especially to southern Europe.
Bernard Piette, Director General of the Logistics competitiveness cluster in Wallonia, also highlights the availability of the workforce and real estate, although it is still necessary to “improve the perception and image of Wallonia on the international stage“.
“For Wallonia to continue to be competitive, it is time to reconstitute a significant stock of large areas of land (more than 15ha) in order to attract large installation projects“, explains Pascale Delcomminette, CEO of Awex, who confirms that a great deal of work remains to be done in terms of image.
“It is important to specify that we did not choose the criteria in order to give ourselves an advantage: we wanted to have a frame of reference that allows us to understand where we are“, insists Samuel Saelens, Advisor at UWE.