Logistics companies warn of delay due to farmers protest
The large logistics company Jan de Rijk has warned customers that there may be delays in truck journeys on Monday. Farmers' organizations have announced that they want to shut down the country that day, including taking action at distribution centers.
Director Fred Westdijk said that warnings to customers were sent out on Friday, but it is possible that he will also have adjustments made to the routes that are driven on Monday on the day itself. But it is still too early for such measures, he said, because it is not yet clear where the farmers' protests will be on Monday.
Activist farmers have repeatedly caused blockades and traffic jams on Dutch roads in the past few weeks. "But until now it was always in certain places," emphasized Westdijk. As a result, the damage was limited, he said. He is concerned about Monday, because the farmers then want to take a much broader action.
According to the entrepreneurial organization Evofenedex, which represents the interests of thousands of companies in the trade and logistics fields, it is difficult to prepare if it is not clear exactly where action is being taken.
Jan de Rijk uses approximately 850 trucks to transport numerous products within the Netherlands and to and from other European countries on a daily basis. Certain air freight shipments, for example, are transported by road to Schiphol by Jan de Rijk. The company also supplies various retail chains.
Not all transporters send out warnings like Jan de Rijk. At John Pronk Transport, which has about 70 trucks, they don't think this is necessary. "Everyone knows what's going on," a spokesperson said.
Supermarket chain Albert Heijn, which has many trucks are on the road every day, regrets the farmers' actions that may affect customers. "We hope that the parties will meet again and come to workable agreements. At the same time, we take into account that it can be restless in the country on Monday and we therefore expect a busy day," says a spokesperson. She said Albert Heijn will do everything it can to ensure that all products "and certainly those of our farmers and growers" remain available on the shelves.
Farmers have not only protested the Cabinet's proposed nitrogen emissions policy through blockades, but also by setting hay bales on fire and showing up at Nature and Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal's home on Tuesday, in a protest that turned violent toward authorities. The police subsequently published partially-blurred photos of the instigators at the event, threatening to release the full photos if the protesters did not turn themselves in by Wednesday.
Two men came forward on Friday and were arrested for violence. On Saturday morning, two more men, a 26-year-old and 30-year-old both from Nunspeet, turned themselves in to the police. They were arrested on suspicion of public violence. The men are also suspected of committing theft of a roadside camera.
Reporting by ANP