2024-05-23 06:05News

Number of Digital Auctions in Dutch Metal Sector Increased Significantly

Industrial Technology: an employee uses a tablet during the sales process of metalworking machinery.

  • Growth of 53% in Metal Sector; Auctions Due to Bankruptcy Nearly Quadrupled
  • 52% of Auction Buyers Are from Abroad

Dutch companies in the metal sector are currently facing significant challenges and growing uncertainties. The number of entrepreneurs auctioning due to bankruptcy in this industry in 2023 is 3.7 times higher than the previous year. Rising energy and raw material prices, the Dutch CO2 tax, a severe labor shortage, and the resulting shift of production processes abroad are causing headaches for Dutch metal entrepreneurs. This situation is recognized by Metaal Nederland, the industry association for the Dutch metal industry. The sharp increase in the number of selling metal entrepreneurs on the Troostwijk Auctions platform indicates that more and more of them are choosing to auction their machines and goods digitally.

Dutch Metal Entrepreneurs Embrace Digital Auctions
In 2023, Troostwijk Auctions organized 188 auctions in the Dutch metal sector, representing a 53 percent increase compared to the previous year. This growth is mainly due to a significant increase in the number of auctioning entrepreneurs (+42%). Collectively, they achieved 18 percent more revenue through the Troostwijk platform in 2023 than in 2022. According to Troostwijk Auctions, this is partly due to the growing demand for a fair and transparent way of selling. “The industry is shrinking because production is shifting abroad,” says Ruben Vogel, Account Manager Metal at Troostwijk Auctions. “Additionally, there has been a long-standing labor shortage in this sector, and given the shortage of skilled workers, we do not expect a substantial influx of new technical talent from educational institutions anytime soon. As a result, metal companies are forced to downsize or even close their doors. Increasing numbers of shrinking or closing metal entrepreneurs are opting for digital auctions of their machines and goods, as evidenced by the sharp rise in the number of sellers on our platform.”

Stopping the Business Voluntarily is Also Entrepreneurship
Sekhar Lahiri, Director at Metaal Nederland, recognizes the picture painted by Troostwijk Auctions: “Recent CBS figures clearly show the negative impact of, among other things, higher energy prices and the increasing tax burden on our entrepreneurs, many of whom are SMEs. For example, seasonally adjusted production in February 2024 was 31.7% lower than in the reference year 2021, and total revenue in 2023 was 18.5% lower than in 2022. We are deeply concerned about this and are therefore in discussions with the Dutch government and actively lobbying in Brussels to support our entrepreneurs as much as possible.”

More and more metal entrepreneurs seem to face a difficult choice: continue or stop. Not only has the number of metal companies auctioning due to bankruptcy increased significantly, but the number of entrepreneurs voluntarily stopping their business has also risen (+19%). Based on figures from the first four months of 2024, Troostwijk Auctions notes that the current trend unfortunately continues. “Metal entrepreneurs are in dire straits. A large group of them seems to continue unnecessarily long until they are declared bankrupt,” says Vogel. “One might wonder whether it would be better to make the decision in time to divest part of the business or voluntarily cease operations.”

Manufacturers abroad offer second life of business machines
The majority of buyers are now abroad. Dutch metal entrepreneurs are mainly selling their machines to colleagues in Belgium, Germany, and Poland. Romanian and Bulgarian entrepreneurs are also frequent buyers these days. Although production often moves to other countries, the high-quality production in the Netherlands forces entrepreneurs to purchase new business machines. “Dutch entrepreneurs need to keep up with the most up-to-date machines that are faster, more accurate, and computer-controlled. As a result, they are less inclined to buy older, manually operated machines second-hand. This means that most buyers come from abroad, where business machines that are still in good condition get a second life. This ensures that the value of these business machines is not lost,” says Vogel. “Moreover, we help entrepreneurs to maximize the value of their business assets. By selling to foreign buyers, they gain extra capital to purchase new machines that enable them to produce high-quality products.”

Topics: NL

About Troostwijk Auctions

Troostwijk Auctions believes that everything has value and is driven to make digital auctioning the best way to add value for business sellers and buyers. The digital auction platform optimally connects local, convenient and fast sales with global demand. They do this by combining the power of their people, technology and data. This is how Troostwijk Auctions builds a profitable business, rewards their people and extends the life of goods to reduce waste and emissions. Each year, Troostwijk Auctions auctions more than 1 million lots for companies in sectors such as agriculture, food, metal, construction, earthmoving and transportation & logistics. The company has an average of 4 million visits to the platform per month, local sector specialists throughout Europe and buyers in 175 countries. For more information about Troostwijk Auctions: https://www.troostwijkauctions.com/


Annelies van den Dool
Brand and Communications Manager
Annelies van den Dool