On Tuesday 21st of June 2022, Zuidnatie celebrated a special anniversary. After two years of waiting, the company was finally able to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
In 1870 Zuidnatie started as a family business and it still is today. The name ‘Zuidnatie’ has its origins in the handling of goods from Southern Europe. Today, of course, this range is much wider.
In 1905 the office was established at the Oude Leeuwenrui. At that time, all the goods were still transported with the nation’s horses and wagons. From the 1960s onwards, mechanization set in and the nations said farewell to horses. From then on, forklift trucks left from the Oude Leeuwenrui to the quays to handle goods.
In 1983 Paul Feys, the current CEO, joined Zuidnatie. In 2010, daughter Stéphanie Feys comes on board as HRM. In December 2016, Paul’s business partner leaves and he takes over all shares. Around the same period, Stéphanie grows to become Managing Director. As a ‘maritime madam’, she is one of the few to lead a large port company.
Between 1996 and 2005, with Terminal Zuid, the company built a 130 000m² covered warehouse complex and expanded all its infrastructure and activities. In 2013, a major investment followed with the acquisition of DP World Breakbulk at Churchilldok and the reefer division of Hapag-Lloyd. In 2019, Zuidnatie opened its third terminal, a container terminal operated by Becomar, at the Kanaaldok. Next to the terminal is the current head office.
Today Zuidnatie is a one-stop-shop for all stevedoring, warehousing, logistics and transport needs. It has certified staff, state-of-the-art infrastructure, innovative high-tech equipment, secure warehouses with high-quality project management and value-added services.
In 2021, Zuidnatie handled 2.2 million tonnes of general cargo, 50,000 tonnes of dry bulk and 500,000 TEU at its three terminals on the Right Bank. With this, Zuidnatie employed more than 300 people per day and handled some 440 ships.
Ready for the future
Green is not only Zuidnatie’s main colour, it is also the link to future-oriented choices. Zuidnatie wants to be a socially responsible company. With each investment, the ecological impact is considered. The CO2 footprint is reduced as much as possible by solar panels on the roofs, hybrid vehicles, electric cranes, etc. Zuidnatie has the ambition to become fully green in the long run.
At the party there were 400 people present, both staff and customers. International customers also came to Antwerp to celebrate this happy event. The 150th anniversary was celebrated with a delicious BBQ, live music and a pop-up exhibition about the story of Zuidnatie. Chief Commercial Officer of Port of Antwerp-Bruges Tom Hautekiet was a speaker, as well as Managing Director Stéphanie Feys.
For years, Zuidnatie has chosen American Football players as its mascot. They reflect, among other things, the team spirit of the company. There were American Football players present at the party. They entertained the guests and performed a ‘haka’ act.