De Roos International Transport; our home transporter
More and more of our self storage containers are finding their way to storage parks across Europe. But of course they don’t get there by themselves. The Deventer transport company de Roos takes care of that. An introduction to a multi-generational family business, through an interview with managing director Pieter de Roos.
From ship to truck
“Our business has officially existed since 1902,” Pieter says. “From that year, registration with the Chamber of Commerce became mandatory, but in the late 19th century ancestors were already active in the transportation of goods. In the beginning that was mainly transportation by ship in the eastern part of the country. When there was less to be earned in that, one of my ancestors purchased a truck. Over time, that became our core business.”
Open car transportation
Pieter: “We have been operating from Dordrechtweg in Deventer since 1992. We employ about 40 people, most of them as drivers. We transport anything that can go on an open truck, think construction materials, pallets, steel and wood. We also transport many oversized goods. Besides our regular customers in the Netherlands, we also have many German customers. The Netherlands is a real transport country, we have a good name in Germany. We deliver quality and work efficiently, which is why we can charge competitive rates.”
Driving for USC
“USC was looking for a transporter in 2018 and since we are practically neighbors, you came to us, and apparently you are satisfied with our work,” laughs Pieter. “We provide more and more rides for USC because the self-storage container is being sold more and more. I have regular contact with Jan-Hein, because he specializes in customs matters, for example recently regarding transports to England. Since the Brexit, transport to England involves a huge paperwork. Very unfortunate that a previously free market has been wiped out like this.”
“The shipping containers coming from China are delivered to us. We remove all the folded USC containers from the shipping container and sort them out by destination. Then USC’s set-up crew comes here and they stack the containers flat on our trucks, because then it’s easier to unload them at the desired location. If necessary, we send a forklift along for that or we deploy a car with a loading crane. Then we set out to deliver them to the agreed location at the agreed time. Twelve containers fit on a truck. But we can also transport them assembled, in which case two can be taken along. The advantage is that you then don’t need an assembly crew on site. “For the short distances, this works well.” A short video of this process can be seen here.
Environmentally friendly transportation
“We have two trucks that run on liquefied (bio)natural gas. The big advantage of this is greater energy density per volume compared to compressed gas. This allows the trucks to drive 1500 km without refueling in between. Operationally a perfect replacement for diesel. Natural gas burns cleaner, emits less particulate matter.”
High gas prices
“Yet, unfortunately, these cars are currently idle because of high gas prices. We find that customers do not want to pay more for more environmentally friendly transportation. Especially not with last year’s prices where the price peak was over three times higher than the 2021 average. Now that the price is coming down, we expect to put these cars back in service soon.”
“We see LNG as an interim solution for the transportation world toward cleaner transportation. It is easy and quick to refuel, we can do a lot of mileage and it weighs little. Battery-electric is not yet feasible in our branch of transport. The considerable weight of batteries, a smaller range and long charging times are still obstacles. For certain specific forms of transport, however, battery-electric is a perfect solution.” We now own several LNG cars.
…. to hydrogen
“Despite hydrogen-electric being less efficient than battery-electric, it could eventually be a real solution. The great ease of use similar to that of LNG vehicles is a good argument here. But hydrogen would have to be obtained from a clean source such as wind energy. Which of the two will prevail in the future depends on the development of batteries and accumulators.”
Delivery throughout Europe
“Our core area is the Benelux and Germany but we come all over Europe. Meanwhile, we have been to Germany, England, France, Norway, Sweden and various locations in the Netherlands for USC. Sometimes we cannot deliver ourselves in certain countries. Or we cannot guarantee for those regions the service that USC has come to expect from us, as for example in Ireland or Eastern Europe. “In that case, we arrange for a reliable partner, such as DFDS, who can.”
“We have been working with other transportation companies for a long time, many of which are also family businesses. Working with reliable partners and building sustainable, long-term relationships with customers is necessary to survive in a transport world where margins are small. The fact that we have many customers who have been doing business with us for more than forty years proves that this approach is appreciated,” concludes Pieter.