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Jelle Schouwstra, Schouwstra Transport

Swedish market struggles with expensive Dutch flowers

Since last December, Schouwstra Transport has revamped its operations. The company used to deliver to florists and garden centers in major cities, now the company also weekly caters the West and East coasts following requests from their customers. "Many customers thought we only had a fixed route, but that's not the case. Since we made this clear to the public, we have are doing two extra transport days."

Jelle Schouwstra. Photo credits: Matty van Wijnbergen

The transporter has been operating in Sweden for 40 years, it is the oldest still independently operating logistics provider of its kind. The team - father, son, and three employees - all speak Swedish and take pride in going that extra mile for their customers. The company seeks to distinguish itself by its excellent service rather than by offering low prices. Compared to larger companies with over 100 vehicles, the company is relatively small.

As is the case in the Netherlands, Sweden will ban fossil fuel-powered cars from city centers next year. "We won't be able to achieve that, but neither will anyone else," Jelle states. "I think that everyone is waiting to see what happens. But in the long term, it's likely to happen. We have some of the most modern trucks available, we can't drive much more efficiently. It remains to be seen if we'll still be able to access all places with our trucks."

But people still need their goods, right? "Of course, but I think we're moving towards a sort of American/Amazon concept, where goods are collected in large distribution centers outside the city and then distributed by vans. But I'm not sure, and if anyone does know more about it, we'd love to hear that. We're not being told anything; we hear various things from our customers, but we are not informed by the Swedish government."

Expensive trade
The team used to transport flowers, plants, bulbs, and sometimes machinery from Rijnsburg, the Netherlands. This year, the start of the garden plant season went not too well. "It's been cold for a long time. It's only since the past few days that trade picked up. We will be very buy in the coming time. It is only in the past few days that trade picked up, we will be very busy in the coming period. Additionally, the Dutch trade is increasingly perceived as 'too expensive,' which is problematic. Sweden produces a lot of plants, or imports from sources in Denmark or Germany. However, they don't produce flowers, for flowers they rely on supplies from the Netherlands. For now, that won't change, which is the good news. However, this escalated quickly, we should make sure that we don't cross the line."

For more information:
Jelle Schouwstra
Schouwstra Scandinavian Transports BV
Tel.: +31622998468
[email protected]

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