Position yourself at the centre of industry in Amsterdam’s harbour

Located directly to the north of Amsterdam, the Zaanstad and Purmerend area is characterised by rural stretches, historic villages and plenty of industriousness. It is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Beemster landscape and the Defence Line of Amsterdam. Thanks to the key position near the former Zuiderzee and other major waterways, the Zaan region and the harbour towns of the IJsselmeer played an important role in the economy of the Dutch Golden Age. The Zaan region has even been described as one of the world’s oldest industrial areas. Big-name manufacturers of intermediate goods such as cocoa, edible oil and sugar are at home here, and so is a number of cheese manufacturers. And the cultural and industrial heritage endures: the region is still an important centre of the Dutch food industry.

USPs for business

  • Important centre for the food industry and manufacturers of intermediate goods
  • Strength in logistics
  • Located directly north of central Amsterdam
  • An ideal location for IT and tech businesses due to proximity to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange
  • The Baanstee-Noord business park offers plenty of opportunities for new and expanding businesses

How to get there

From Zaandam, a direct train goes to Amsterdam Sloterdijk in just over five minutes and to Amsterdam Central Station in just over 10. To Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, it is under 20 minutes by train and under 30 with a car. For drivers, the Coentunnel connects the western part of the region with central Amsterdam. From Purmerend, Volendam and Edam, Amsterdam can easily be reached by buses and by metro; driving takes between half an hour and 40 minutes to Amsterdam Central Station.

Prevalent industries, including sub-sectors

The area is an important logistical hub for businesses in the food industry, and various maritime, offshore, logistics and shipping companies are centred around the Ports of Amsterdam and IJmuiden. A growing number of IT, tech and healthcare companies are also choosing the region. 

Who is here?

Many of the Netherlands’ biggest names in the food industry are from the Zaan region, including Verkade, Duyvis, Lassie and supermarket giant Albert Heijn. Edible oil specialist Bunge Loders Croklaan and agribusiness multinational Tate & Lyle are here too, among other manufacturers of intermediate goods, such as Cargill and ECOM Dutch Cocoa. In the west, the great steelworks of Tata Steel Europe loom over IJmuiden; offshore operations near the Port of IJmuiden and Velsen include Airborne Oil & Gas and wind turbine builder MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. Many SMEs have settled in Purmerend and its surroundings. Important industries here are construction, IT and healthcare.

Good for business

The region is an important hub for businesses in the food industry. Logistically, the Port of Amsterdam offers significant advantages. The Port of Amsterdam is a logistics hub and centre of industry, and the Port of IJmuiden/Velsen furthermore is home to heavy industry and offshore operations. At the same time, the region is located directly to the north of central Amsterdam, and the city’s diverse portfolio of business services and financial district are just a stone’s throw away. In the east of the region, in and around Purmerend, you can find numerous businesses working in construction, tech, sustainable energy, tourism and agriculture. The Baanstee-Noord business park on the edge of Purmerend offers fantastic opportunities for new and expanding businesses, including customisable plots and fantastic sustainability indicatives.

Photo: The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam

Attracting talent

The Zaanstad and Purmerend area offers endless opportunities for outdoor pursuits like cycling, fishing, golf and water sports. The area also has an impressive selection of museums and family-friendly attractions, and more and more cultural and music festivals are taking place in the region every summer. The international schools of Amsterdam and Haarlem are easily reached by car. The broad mix of housing, from modern apartments to 1930s terraced housing and new build projects means there’s plenty of residential options for students and young professionals, families and those seeking more space outside of the bigger cities. Purmerend has long been a residential choice for families, but the central towns around the Zaanstreek and Waterland are also increasingly popular, offering Old Holland charm with a pleasant and safe home-work environment.