HistoryThe Ter Haak family business has been located in and around the Amsterdam port since 1911. The current owner’s grandfather Piet Ter Haak established P. Ter Haak & Zn B.V. when he was 21 years old. From a small warehouse near the central rail station in the heart of Amsterdam, he employed a range of classifiers, chippers and painters.
Founder Piet ter Haak (1890 – 1973)
Rowing boats offering various services sail out to meet cargo vessels from the IJmuiden port. This forerunner of what we now call ‘temping’ jobs took place onboard vessels of the Royal Netherlands Steamship Company (KNSM) and the Netherlands Steamship Company at the shipyards of the former Amsterdam Dry Dock Company (ADM), the Netherlands Dock and Shipbuilding Association (NDSM) and the Netherlands Shipbuilding Company (NSM).
Piet was also co-inventor of the Alphag-Universal mechanical chipper for removing rust from pneumatic drills.
As the amount of shipbuilding and maintenance work decreased and the demand for transfer, storage and distribution rose, the founder’s son Ruurd ter Haak moved into warehouse number 7 (1,500 sq. metres) on the Javakade in the east of Amsterdam in the late 1960s and ran a general cargo stevedore business.
Ruurd ter Haak (1930 – 1995)
As grandfather Piet reached the age that he wanted to make room for the next generation, the Ter Haak company began to handle and storing of rails, frozen poultry and project cargo. Cocoa beans, wood and triplex were shipped from Africa and the business firmly established itself in the stevedoring industry. After a period of continuous growth, the company moved in 1975 to the Suezhaven (Suez Harbour) where larger warehouses (7,500 m²) and a deeper water location increased the opportunities.
The first head office (600 m²) was built on the Kwadrantweg in 1990 and the warehouse complex expanded to 12,000 m². Port-related activities were also moved further west towards the North Sea coast. Ter Haak had been transformed into an all-round port company with experience in a range of storage and transfer modalities in various trades. Several scheduled liner services started using Ter Haak as their home terminal and logistic hub.
As the global standardisation of shipping containers continued, Ter Haak also became skilled in this type of handling and storage. Grandson Richard started working at the company, where he continues to steer a steady course today. Richard also launched Container Company Amsterdam (CCA) in 1978, which made pioneering waves in the container market.
The stevedoring terminal experienced major growth in the late 1990s. Transit Terminal Amsterdam was constructed in the Amerikahaven (America Harbour) even further to the west and later merged with Westport Terminals (Cornelder Group) under the name United Stevedores Amsterdam (USA). After buying out the Cornelder Group, Ter Haak invested in another 30 hectares of land and 33,000 m² of distribution sheds, making the USA terminal one of the largest multimodal transport terminals in the port of Amsterdam.
To provide an even better service, the company started additional activities such as Ter Haak Logistics (THL), a globally active logistics service provider for large concerns. Barge Company Amsterdam (BCA) was established to provide inland shipping transport using container barges, while Cargo Company IJmond (CCY) serves as a forwarder using container and RoRo carriers for transport to Africa. The Ter Haak Group also entered the market in various other countries and has set up a network of agencies around the world.
Richard ter Haak
At the age of 55, Richard ter Haak, General Director and sole shareholder of the Ter Haak Group, was awarded the Port Man of the Year 2007 distinction by the Port of Amsterdam authorities . In September 2008, a new 2,400 m² head office was officially opened by his mother Mrs G.H.C. ter Haak-Jurgens and the Mayor of Amsterdam J.M. Cohen. The building on the Ruijgoordweg houses five highly specialised port companies.
A combination of an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and innovation have made the Ter Haak Group one of the fastest growing concerns in Amsterdam Port.
The fourth generation of the Ter Haak family (Michael Julian ter Haak) recently joined the company.
See News for more information about the Ter Haak Group and the latest developments.