Amazon opens its first delivery center in Belgium and presses bpost

Giant Amazon will now separate much of its Belgian parcels. From its new warehouse in Antwerp, the American e-commerce site is increasing the pressure on bpost, its main partner.

A month after the launch of its Belgian website, Amazon opened its first delivery center in Antwerp. The proximity to the port and the large number of customers in the region were the decisive factors, according to the American e-commerce giant.

At the opening, on Thursday, the delivery center is still quiet, “but this will soon change as Christmas approaches“, says Eva Faict, manager. “We are in the start-up phase”, confirmed the director Thomas Lejeune. The American platform has a “delay” to catch up in our country against its competitors, Bowl and Coolblue. Amazon’s new delivery center currently employs 43 people.

The center receives orders through the main sorting centres, mainly in France and Germany. These are then sorted in Antwerp and delivered to customers in the region by subcontractors.

bad news for bpost

The importance of the triage center should not be underestimated. With this initiative, Amazon pulls the rug from under the bpost. Until recently, the parcel delivery company picked almost all Belgian parcels from Amazon and also delivered them to customers. Amazon is now dropping bpost in the densely populated areas of Antwerp and Ghent.

it’s society RBR & Cie who is it delivery manager. Founded four years ago by two Brussels residents in Machelen, this delivery company currently only handles parcels from Amazon. RBR & Cie has hired 70 new drivers in recent months. That number will eventually increase to 200.

“We expect Bpost’s Belgian parcel volume to decrease by 6%. The fact that Amazon itself is handling more parcels is starting to weigh in.”

Amazon pointed out earlier this year that continued to work closely with bpost in other parts of the country, but we can see that the pressure on the postal service company is now increasing. When working with multiple vendors, Amazon may require them to keep prices low.

The implications for the bpost are significant, UBS equity analysts confirmed earlier this week. “We expect Bpost’s Belgian parcel volume to decrease by 6%. The fact that Amazon is handling more parcels is starting to matter,” they added. Analysts fear even Amazon’s action could contribute to avoid bpostwhich is partially owned by the federal government, reach your profit target for the current fiscal year.

no federal minister

No federal minister was seen at the inauguration in Antwerp. It was the Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon (N-VA) who cut the ribbon under an arch of balloons in Belgian colors. “Now, Flanders finally really counts in the world of e-commerce“, he said. “I am and continue to defend local commerce, but everyone must move with the times. E-commerce is here to stay and due to strict rules our country has missed the boat in recent years. Thanks to this Antwerp warehouse, less money escapes the Flemish economy. And it’s also becauseAmazon cooperates with local businesses.”

Belgian merchants can offer their products on the Amazon website for a fee. By its own admission, Amazon has already managed to convince 1,000 Belgian sellers to participate.

Amazon temporarily suspends recruitment

Amazon will temporarily stop recruiting additional employees due to the uncertain and difficult economic situation, the American e-commerce giant announced on Friday.

In a message to employees, Beth Galetti, Amazon’s vice president of human resources, explained that the company will be taking a break from hiring “in the coming months” due to economic uncertainty and “due to the number of people we’ve hired over the last five years.”

Amazon employs around 1.5 million people worldwide, mostly in Belgium..

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