GWS Kraanbedrijf in the Belgian region of Flanders can look back on many years of experience in the provision of bulk and general cargo handling services: constant companions are the now eight SENNEBOGEN material handlers, about which young managing director Stan Goeyvaerts draws an excellent conclusion in the interview.
Walter Goeyvaerts once demonstrated entrepreneurial flair when he restructured and modernized his father’s cargo handling company, founded in the 1960s, shortly after the turn of the century: The result today is GWS, a thriving cargo handling service provider specializing in loading and unloading ships.
Hands-On Manager, Stan Goeyvaerts, “I still climb into the cabs of our material handlers myself…”
His son Stan, the third generation, has now taken the wheel. For him, growth means constantly investing in new handling equipment to respond flexibly to increased market demands. The latest acquisition is a SENNEBOGEN 835 E in the mobile version, which was delivered by the sales and service partner SMT in Belgium. “In terms of size and tonnage, this is the most flexible machine you could ask for,”says Stan Goeyvaerts.
The reestablishment of the cargo handling company GWS took place in 2012 and builds on the experience of the traditional company, whose material handling activities go back two generations. “Initially, we were mainly active in the Antwerp region, but we are now active throughout Flanders,” Stan Goeyvaerts continues. A success story that can be attributed especially to the personal contact with the customer, to which father and son attach great importance. “I still climb into the cabs of our material handlers myself. That also impresses our customers! In addition, we always try to stay on the ball technically by having an extensive machine park at our disposal.”
Today, the GWS machine park has grown to twelve material handlers, including eight SENNEBOGEN machines. “We started with three machines at that time. Two of them were used, the third was already a machine from SENNEBOGEN. We really appreciate the mobility of these material handlers, and that was crucial for our first customers, because they were located in close proximity to each other over a distance of 2 km. With SENNEBOGEN, we could easily from one customer to the next, without having to leave the cab. But apart from that, these are machines that stand out for their capacity and their handling. They are very easy to operate and at the same time keep productivity high. My employees enjoy working with them,” says Goeyvaerts, summarizing the strengths of the material handlers.
“In terms of size and tonnage, this is the most flexible machine you could ask for,” explains Goeyvaerts, referring to the new, orange 835 E-Series material handler. In addition, this one operates with a reduced-emission, fuel-efficient Stage V engine. “As environmental legislation becomes more stringent, we always include this aspect in our investment decisions.”
Service was also essential for him: “With SMT, we couldn’t have asked for a better partner. They are available to us day and night, if there are ever any problems. As a cargo handling company, we can’t afford any downtime, because a ship has to be able to leave the port as quickly as possible. Thanks to SMT and the intelligent design of the machines with a focus on mechanical components, we can often easily solve minor problems ourselves. In this way, we can always concentrate fully on our customers.”