The founders of what is called De Grave-Antverpia today were both established in the 40’s of the 20th century.
The chartering company De Grave was founded by patriarch Guillaume as a chartering firm. In 1941 Guillaume De Grave, an Antwerp butcher's son, spent a few years learning the ropes of inland shipping at another Antwerp chartering office (E. Hensenne).
At the same time, Agence Maritime Antverpia was established, which, as a logistics service provider to the (mainly German) hinterland, was also able to specialise in inland navigation, after the founding family Dasbach was previously active In Rotterdam in the early 20th century.
Already in 1949, De Grave transported her first cargo of white sand from the Belgian Kempen area to northern France, an activity that was also later continued when sons Fernand (in 1950) and Herman (in 1961) joined the company.
In 1956, Agence Maritime Antverpia expanded its activities in Belgium by setting up an office in Liège, to meet the demand of the industry and (mainly) the strongly expanding limestone quarries along the Meuse. However, the positive evolution was halted in 1963. During the severe winter all ships with Agence Maritime Antverpia under contract could not navigate because of ice conditions. Shortly thereafter, the owners had to sell the company to the German Stinnes group, which later (from 1971) became Rhenus-Antverpia N.V. that from 1967 took charge of the transport of coal, ores and minerals for the Ghent Steel industry.
The activities of De Grave took a high flight in the 60’s, and through the creation of a branch in Duisburg (1968) and Rotterdam (1975) The company had an international expansion. Additional Logistic Services (expedition, customs and agency activities) were also developed in addition to a very active presence at the “Schippersbeurs” (regulated in those days by the government).
In the 70’s and 80’s both companies developed in inland navigation, where Rhenus Antverpia also specialised in push barging. Thanks to its strong presence in the large industry (steel, energy, cement, fertilizers), the company took a leading position in this sector. In 1988, Guillaume De Grave celebrated his 80 anniversary, having been active in inland navigation for almost 60 years.
In 1993, the De Grave family saw the possibility of having her successful company sold off to (also) a German shareholder. The Haniel group, who was already active in Rhine navigation for a very long time, thus became the owner of De Grave, but continued to carry the Sputnik flag (designed in 1975) for the company.
In order to cope with the liberalisation of the inland navigation market and the abolishing of the mandatory freight exchange system (“schippersbeurs”) in 1998, the German owners of Antverpia and De Grave decided to form a joint venture company by combining the strengths of both companies in 1997 –
De Grave-Antverpia was born.
In 2019 werd het nieuwe logo, huisstijl en website voorgesteld: