Although The Herbert Watson Group's birth goes back to 1895 when Mr. Herbert Watson founded a marine insurance company in Liverpool, U.K., which during the first World War, and since then developed as a shipping company, liner agency, freight forwarders. Only in the late seventies the insurance part had been bought out, and the company focused on agency and freight forwarding with offices in all industrial areas in the U.K.
It was at that time the idea came up to open a branch in Antwerp because it then was already clear that Antwerp was to become one of the main gates of Europe !
It so happened that Herbert Watson (Belgium), Antwerp was founded in 1981, initially set up to look after Herbert Watson UK's interests, like booking U.K. cargo for shipment out of Antwerp to overseas destinations, which resulted in a groupage-line between U.K. and BeNeLux.
Slowly Herbert Watson (Belgium) was heading its own course, building up its own clientèle, mainly overseas-bound, and correspondents worldwide. Today Herbert Watson Belgium, although remained "a small company" can be called an all-round forwarder skilled in every branch of the forwarding business, including bulk and chartering.
We tend to specialize in breakbulk shipments, for which Antwerp undoubtedly is number 1 port in Europe, but cannot deny the fact that container is gaining ground at breakneck speed.
Still we feel that breakbulk shipments, and for certain commodities it will remain the only possible way of moving goods overseas, are the job by excellence for a skilled forwarder. Here the expression 'added value' is not out of place at all.