Bpost’s Active Ants expands operations in Benelux

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Active Ants (a subsidiary of the Belgian bpost group) and Nedcargo are to enter a partnership to offer a joint e-commerce solution in the Benelux region, targeting the food and beverage market, where Nedcargo already has a strong presence.

Active Ants will open a new site in Willebroek, near Antwerp, where Nedcargo is already located, in July 2021.  In order to support the growth of the Belgian e-commerce market, the bpost subsidiary will set up its robot-driven e-commerce system there. Apparently, the two companies started identifying collaboration opportunities as soon as they got to know about each other. “Nedcargo has a strong position in food and liquor, a segment where we are scarcely active in, though one with big e-commerce needs,” said Jeroen Dekker, one of the founders of Active Ants.

As a food and liquor distributor, Nedcargo supplies large Benelux supermarkets, as well as wholesalers, specialty stores and hospitality, from its Willebroek location. However, it has not utilized e-commerce to date. “Currently, our customers often use resellers for the e-commerce channel. We are now able to offer a direct e-commerce channel through Active Ants,” noted Nedcargo COO Jurgen Mook.

As a 3PL provider, Active Ants’ main focus is on fast-growing online retailers, who place all their stock with Active Ants to meet their picking, packing and shipping needs. Seeing huge growth on the e-commerce market last year, bpost group identified opportunities to launch the unique activities of Active Ants in Belgium.

Nedcargo CEO/founder Roderick de la Houssaye said, “There are still a few obstacles for alcoholic beverages outside the Benelux, as every country has its own excise rules. We are now able to supply excise goods in France and Germany alongside the Benelux. Another four countries will be added to that list over the next few months. Our ambition is to be able to supply the whole of Europe.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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