Van Leeuwen
In logistics it is important to keep innovating

In logistics it is important to keep innovating

André de Jong,
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube, Zwijndrecht

Van Leeuwen Buizen has 25 warehouses worldwide. From these warehouses, our materials are shipped all over the world. Delivering in time and at the right place demands a profound knowledge of logistics and distribution. It is important to know the current possibilities and at the same time keep an eye open to what the futures holds in terms of new technologies to uplift stock management and transportation.

It is crucial for our customers to have their products delivered in time. As Operations Manager at Van Leeuwen in Zwijndrecht this punctuality is my responsibility. To continuously guarantee the quality of our logistics and transportation I spend a lot of time improving our logistical processes. Innovative technologies are a helpful asset.

Our warehouses: a world apart

Everyone entering our warehouses for the first time is pleasantly surprised. “What a huge place!”, it is a phrase we’ve heard more than once. And it’s true. Our terrain is over 20 hectare, of which 80.000m² is indoors. It is a world apart and therefore it is important to work as efficiently as possible. “Time is money”, it sounds like a cliché but it is very true when it comes to logistical processes. 

Efficiency first

To achieve maximum efficiency we align the storage sites of our products and the location of our service centers as well as we can. For example: the heavy wall pipes that we often cut to length are stored close to the cutting machines. This way we minimize transportation and we save time and money. Also, our packaging machine is located close to our storage site for fittings and flanges because they are often packed in boxes or on pallets.


We came up with another smart solution to load shipping containers in an efficient way. We often use shipping containers for the supply of tubes to our overseas customers. It is not possible to load these with cranes or forklifts because they are closed on top. That is why we invented and built a new system. We first collect our products on a plate in front of the container. The plate with the products on top then slides into the container. A process that only takes up five minutes! 

A fresh perspective 

A fresh perspective from an outsider always helps coming up with improvements. That is why in 2017 we started working with an external agency to analyze our logistical processes. As a result, for example, we decided to invest in a separate project division in our warehouse. In this project dedicated warehouse storage, processing, inspection, stamping and packaging are centrally organized. For bigger projects, especially in the oil and gas industry, these services are always required. In the past we used to move materials from one place to another to process them. Now this all happens at the same place.

Analyzing, learning and redirecting

To make technological innovations work in our advantage we embrace the Lean Method. Following the Lean Method we collect feedback from our customers to improve our services. We adapt our services based on market demand. This makes our logistical services an ongoing process of analyzing, learning and redirecting. 

Creating value for our costumers

By serving the interest of our customers we can truly offer added value. Feedback of our customers, from our sales people and our satisfaction surveys, are very valuable to us. We are now working on a proactive track and trace system and we offer more options for packaging based on our customer needs. In short, by continuously improving our logistical services we contribute to customers’ success. And that is what we are all about!



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