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Meet Anthura's international trade and logistics department

Every day tens of thousands of plants are shipped to dozens of countries in and outside Europe. This involves tight planning and organization and good cooperation with organizations such as Naktuinbouw and forwarding agents. A shipment requires the right documents and good coordination, both internally and with the customer. This work takes place in the International Trade and Logistics department, which consists of two employees. We meet Angelique van der Tor and Johan ‘t Hart, who run this department together.

Angelique joined Anthura in 2019. Initially hired for plant variety and trademark law in support of the International Trade and Logistics department, she has been working full time in this department since last year. Johan has reinforced the department since last March.

"Export is the last link in our internal chain. We ensure that the people on the packing and delivery floor are given the correct instructions. We book the flights and containers for shipments outside the EU and the road transport within the EU, and take care of the correct documents. If necessary, we will arrange for an inspection by Naktuinbouw. We also keep an eye on whether customers have the right import licenses with the right credits, if this is necessary. Customs and damage settlements are also part of our tasks," Angelique explains.

"So basically we make sure that every plant going abroad arrives on time, with the right papers, and with the best means of transport. Of course, we also liaise closely with the sales and shipping department. Additionally, it is important that we keep up-to-date with all the import and export regulations," Johan adds.

What makes our work, is that no day is the same and you must be as flexible as a contortionist. The work involves challenges, variety and inventiveness. Something always happens that makes you look for a solution to get the plants to the customer on time," Angelique says.

"In the past year in particular there have been many challenges. In the last few months this has mainly concerned booking the flights. There was, of course, limited flight availability due to the coronavirus pandemic." 

Johan adds: "Every day is different indeed. You can plan the day in advance, but there is always something else that comes up. Sometimes you have to drop everything you’re working on because of high-priority issues, such as a flight being cancelled, problems with customs clearance in the destination country, or a report of shipping damage. Often things that happen are beyond our control, but whenever we can, we help to solve the problem."

"The trick is to complement each order to the best of your ability, preparing things to be as efficient as possible while leaving a professional impression with the customer. I also get a lot of energy from contacts with various internal departments, customers, transporters and the inspection department"

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