a shipping family with roots in Rotterdam
In 1848 the two Van Uden brothers, who originated from Brabant, set up their business in Rotterdam. They started as brokers for inland transportation. The twelve year old Johan van ‘t Hoff joined the company in 1864 as junior clerk.
After the Franco-German war in 1870-71, trade and industry in the Rhineland and Ruhr enjoyed a period of great prosperity. Van Uden transferred their attention to Rhine shipping where they had already bought a number of Rhine barges and tugs. They also started with storage and transhipment via a wooden shed “Oostzee” at the Binnenhaven.
Johan van ‘t Hoff took over the firm in 1875. Around 1900, the company extended its activities in the Port of Rotterdam. One of these activities was chartering and brokerage in ocean-going vessels from which their own shipping company developed. In 1904, Van Uden acquired its first seagoing vessel the steamer “Veerhaven”.
Expansion of shipping lines
This was the start of a tradition whereby Van Uden vessels were named after ports in Rotterdam. In the 1920’s, the Van Uden brothers started liner services to the East coast of North and South America. Especially the service to La Plata grew into a self supporting liner service under the name “Haven Line”. Just before WWII Van Uden started a liner service with motor coasters to Denmark.
The interest in Rhine shipping gradually decreased. Transport en logistics were becoming more important. New liner services were opened to North and West Africa and to the Levant. In the early 1980’s, Van Uden started container services, not only on their on vessels but also as a NVOCC.
Van Uden stopped operating their own ships of the Haven Line in 1985 after selling the loading rights to Hamburg Süd.The Van Uden Group has since then developed into a company with a comprehensive range of logistic services besides its activities in logistic real estate development and trading business.