The late Mr. Jan van Seumeren laid the foundation for the modern Mammoet company as we know it today. In 1966, he started Van Seumeren Kraanbedrijf (SKB) in the Netherlands, later transformed to Van Seumeren Holland B.V. Over the years the crane rental company grew rapidly, acquiring lattice-boom truck cranes from 25 to 50 and 100 tonne capacity. The very first 250-tonne capacity TC1200 lattice boom Demag crane positioned the company among the market leaders in 1974. Just four years later, Van Seumeren introduced the revolutionary Superlift on their second TC1200, increasing lifting capacity to 350 tonnes.
In the meantime, in 1971, inland barge and floating crane company Goedkoop (est. 1807) and crane and heavy transportation company Van Wezel (est. 1845) had decided to merge into a new company: Mammoet Transport. Later, the name was changed to Mammoet. This company combined land transportation and marine transportation, offering a package deal. A year later, Stoof, a Dutch and international heavy-lift and heavy transport contractor, and one of the market leaders, was acquired by Mammoet. To further develop the successful factory-to-foundation concept around the world, seagoing heavy-lift shipping was added by establishing Mammoet Shipping in 1973. The oil boom in the seventies, first in the Middle East and later in the North Sea, fueled a substantial and international expansion of Mammoet. That also resulted in the acquisition of the land-based activities of its major Dutch and international competitor, Big Lift, in 1979.
In the early eighties, Van Seumeren continued to expand, growing to be a major lifting services provider in the Benelux countries. Lifting capacity increased by adding 400/600 and 500/800 tonne lattice-boom truck cranes equipped with Superlift. In 1985, the company, now operating as Van Seumeren Holland, started establishing offices around Europe, contracting many heavy-lift and transport projects. In the meantime, Mammoet mainly focused on heavy transport and alternative lifting projects further afield, mainly relating to the oil and offshore markets. In particular, the transportation of pre-fabricated modules onto barges initiated Mammoet, in 1983, to introduce the revolutionary container-sized Self Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) with multi-directional steering. Another major development, in 1986, formed the acquisition by Mammoet of the Southeast Asian crane activities and locations of Walter Wright. The increased geographical coverage continued as Mammoet entered the American market and acquired West-coast based Western Industrial Movers and Texas-based Davenport in 1987 and 1989, respectively.
The world market for heavy lifting and heavy transportation continued to grow through the nineties, with ever-increasing weights. This initiated Van Seumeren to enter into an unprecedented worldwide expansion program, both geographically and in terms of equipment fleet. First, offices were established in South East Asia and the Middle East, later to be followed by Australia, the Americas and Russia. Expansion was especially focused on adding lifting and heavy transport capacity, resulting in one 600/1000 tonne and four 800/1200 tonne Superlift crawler cranes in 1992 and 200 lines of SPMT in 1993. Increasingly, the emphasis was placed on providing a total package, including engineering, all required support equipment and alternative methods such as jacking, skidding and strandjacks. Van Seumeren also initiated improvements on existing cranes. Finally, in 1996, this initiative led to the introduction of the Demag CC4800 Twin Ring concept, in Light Duty configuration, providing increased capacity for the 800/1200 tonne cranes to 1440 tonnes. Only a year later, an improved 1600-tonne-capacity Heavy Duty concept was introduced. At around the same time, Van Seumeren also took delivery of the world’s largest conventional crawler crane, with a capacity of 1600/2000 tonnes, in 1996. But even that did not satisfy market demand. Higher capacity cranes were required. Van Seumeren decided to design and build a 2000-tonne-capacity Platform Ringer crane, entering operation in 1997. But, as the heavy-lift market continued to grow worldwide, Van Seumeren designed a revolutionary, easy and fast to relocate 1600/2000 tonne capacity crane: the Platform Twin ring Containerized crane. The first fully containerized PTC entered service in 1999 and was shipped, as standard 20-foot and 40-foot ISO containers, by a fast liner service to Canada to continue its journey by container train to the jobsite. Additional crawler transporters allow the PTC to be relocated on site. A second PTC was ordered that year for delivery in 2000. By the turn of the century, Van Seumeren ranked fourth in the IC50 worldwide crane company list with a total lifting capacity of 94,295 tonnes.
During the nineties, Mammoet answered the increased market requirements for heavy-lift cranes by entering into a joint venture with Italian-based Decalift in 1995, adding cranes with up to 1,200 tonnes capacity. The acquisition of StoTra in 1998, with its 3,600-tonne capacity containerized Sliding Gantry crane and a second on order, provided Mammoet with ample capacity to rank sixth in the IC50, with 64,880 tonnes total capacity in 2000.
The start of the 21st Century marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of both companies. In 2000 Van Seumeren acquired Mammoet from its owners, the Nedlloyd shipping company, and integrated both companies into one new Mammoet corporation, employing 1,600 professionals working from 42 locations in 19 countries worldwide. Just a year later, the new Mammoet company wrote world history as it recovered the sunken Russian nuclear submarine, the Kursk, from the seabed by applying state-of-the-art techniques. A new, modern, and deep-water heavy-lift terminal in Schiedam, the Netherlands was inaugurated in early 2002. It also formed the new headquarters with a remarkable bollard-shaped office building. That same year Mammoet was awarded the prestigious King William I Award for its significant contributions to economic developments in the Netherlands.
The new dynamic Mammoet company continued to develop on all fronts. The US network of locations was further expanded and the newly-acquired ETARCO company in Canada, with its vast network of Eastern and Western locations, was fully-integrated into the Mammoet organization. A new joint-venture was established in the fast-growing Brazilian market. New skidding and jacking techniques were developed to cope with the requirements to lift 25,000 tonne offshore decks up to a height of 25 meters, and a Double-Stacked boom upgrade was introduced to the PTC cranes to even further increase their lifting capacity. Mammoet Salvage was established in 2005 and meanwhile carried out a remarkable deep water cargo recovery operation by applying fully remote-controlled and in-house designed underwater cranes.
Since 2000, Mammoet has grown by 900 employees worldwide. The current Mammoet staff of more than 3,800 is truly international with 1200 employed in the Netherlands and 2,600 working from almost 70 locations around the world. In this respect, Mammoet stands for professionalism and the highest level of safety and quality. The strength of the company is achieved by providing meticulous maintenance and certification, as well as dedicated training and development to all personnel throughout all levels of the company through its in-house Training & Development Program.
In 2007 Mammoet ranked, for the first time in the history of the company, at the first position in the IC50 listing and reconfirmed its top position in the Transport50. Mammoet currently recognizes a further growth potential in the market and strives to reach that growth. The extra power that is required to achieve that new growth spurt is provided by a new shareholder that took a majority share in the company in 2006. Although the Van Seumeren family reduced its share, they continue to lead the company on its way forward.
In June 2011 Mammoet introduced their new generation PTC super heavy lift cranes. These cranes were fully engineered in-house and their combination of high lifting capacity and flexibility sets them apart from the rest of the market. Mammoet’s Engineering department carefully analysed the requirements of future projects (oil refineries, civil works, offshore installations, etc.) before drawing up the specifications. Next they drew on the extensive experience available within the company to design the cranes. The design was then fully reviewed by Lloyds’ Register so that our customers are assured of the safety of the equipment. The crane components were produced by a range of specialist manufacturers.
Mammoet demonstrated the New Generation PTCs to customers, the press and their own personnel at a dedicated site in Zeeland, the Netherlands. Mammoet had two of the cranes on site, one with a 45 meter ring (capacity 140,000 ton meters) and one with a 55 meter ring (capacity 200,000 ton meters). These cranes will help Mammoet’s customers build even larger structures more efficiently, and in complete safety. This will strengthen Mammoet’s position on the super heavy lifting market and help them maintain their lead over the competition.
In July 2011 the van Seumeren family has decided to fully withdraw from the company. The van Seumeren family subsequently decided to sell its remaining interest in Mammoet to SHV and to offer their resignation as directors of the company. SHV will thus become 100% shareholder in Mammoet.
Together with the current CFO Siem Kranenburg, Herman Smit and Erik Rave are appointed to the Executive Board of Mammoet led by Jan Kleijn, CEO. Neil Birkbeck has been appointed as advisor of the board.
With SHV as a solid long-term shareholder, Mammoet has more than doubled its revenue and operating income in the past four years.