What began, in 1948, as a small company in an equally small Dutch village called Noorden has grown into a global player and market leader: Van der Peet Logistics and Transport Solutions, which, in fact, turns 75 today, June 15. "We play an important role in the food chain," begins Henk van der Peet.
Over the years, much has changed regarding transportation. Roads and regulations have changed, and equipment has evolved. "We've moved with it all," adds Wietske van der Peet. She, Twan, and Sven are the third generation working in this family business.
Sven, Twan, Henk, Wil, and Wietske van der Peet at the belt trailer.
From coffee beans to sawdust
Van der Peet builds custom trailers for loose products like onions, coffee and cocoa beans, grains, potatoes, beets, and linseed, as well as non-food products such as sand, manure, sawdust, and wood pellets. "A trailer construction or layout depends on the product. We adapt trailers to product characteristics and their loading and unloading situation," says Henk (second generation).
“We began in Noorden. After World War II, my father took over a bodywork business. He converted old army trucks into cattle, milk, straw, and hay trucks. He was a farmer's son and had many connections in that world."
Seventy-five years later, Van der Peet still has close agricultural connections. That is partly due to its belt trailer, particularly popular among potato processors. "This trailer allows for gradual unloading, so, for example, potatoes and onions aren't damaged. You can uncouple the trailer, so the driver can hitch up an empty trailer and move on quickly. That improves efficiency. Almost all European potato packers and French fry and potato chip factories use them. The belt trailer is our company's pride," explains Henk.
He rattles off all kinds of potato facts. "I do plenty of market research. Many of our customers are potato growers. You want to be able to respond to the market and brainstorm with clients. Then, product knowledge is crucial. Especially since our customers are all over the world."
For a client in Siberia, they build a trailer that can withstand temperatures of -45ºC. For the transport of coffee beans, they ensure everything can be cleaned very well, and even the lubricating oil is vegetable-based. Wietske: "We adapt big and small things. We pay attention to functionality, safety, and sustainability."
Henk and Wietske see that Van der Peet has gained a reputation locally and abroad, and not only among its clientele. "Sometimes people send photos when they're on vacation and see a trailer we build driving by. That's always nice," they say. When Henk goes shopping, he is also reminded of their trailers. "Our trailers transport the coconut used in some bars, and the cocoa beans have been in them too. We play an important role in the food chain; we should be proud of that," he comments.
Another thing the company is proud of is that they are the sole STAS dealer for tipper and moving floor trailers in the Netherlands. "We also rent out trailers, have used trailers, and do repairs and maintenance. We offer clients a total package," says Wietske.
In the future, Henk, Wietske, and the family expect demand for Van der Peet trailers will remain. "After all, we all want food on our plates, which must be transported safely and hygienically. We move with all the changes. As long as you keep doing that, you have a purpose."
Van der Peet will celebrate its anniversary with staff. Having a party for customers is tricky. "They're all over the world," conclude Henk and Wietse. Do you want to join the party? Van der Peet is open to new staff.