Hundreds of primary schools still awaiting delivery of textbooks

Almost a month into the autumn term hundreds of Flemish primary schools are still awaiting the delivery of textbooks that should have arrived prior to the start of term. Meanwhile, pupils at the schools, all of which are run by the Flemish Catholic Schools Board, are having to make do with photocopies. 

Previously, Catholic schools in Flanders ordered textbooks from the Standaard Boekhandel bookstore chain. However, this year the contract to supply the books was awarded to the Dutch company Cloudwise. Cloudwise sub-contracted the order for the books out to “a logistics partner”.

Cloudwise blames its sub-contractor for the delivery issues. The company's Director Philip Vermeylen told VRT News that “We are taking all possible steps, also through legal action, to ensure that our sub-contractor makes the deliveries as soon as possible”.

“They promised to scale up their operation in order to ensure that all the books would have been delivered by the end of September. Despite these promises we were told last week that the books will be delivered later due to, amongst other issues, problems with picking machines. As a result of this delivery dates to some of the schools have been put back”.

The Flemish Catholic Schools Board has taken legal action against Cloudwise. The Board’s Head Lieven Boeve told VRT News that “Cloudwise’s claim that it has been let down by its logistics partner is not our schools’ concern. We simply expect that the books be delivered on time. This is very frustrating and must not be repeated”. 

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