Image: Tank Cleaning Magazine, Group HTC – TankCleaning carry out around 50,000 to 60,000 cleanings a year.
An independent tank cleaning company in Belgium is seeing strong demand for its services. The company is planning to launch a new tank cleaning base called HTC Colombus Container Service near the Scheldelaan road in Antwerp, which will open in June. Here, Jochen Van Hoydonck, business manager at Group HTC TankCleaning, gives TCM an insight into the company’s past aims and future ones.
What’s the story behind the business?
HTC is an independent company that specialises in tank cleaning and industrial wastewater treatment. In 1997, we started our first tank cleaning station in Herenthout, which is based 25km from Antwerp. If is easy to get to if you are travelling from Germany or the south east of the Netherlands. It is easily accessible from the Port of Antwerp area.
A couple of years later we opened HTC-Wallonie at Liege and in 2004 we started HTC-Colombus in the middle of the Port of Antwerp. To be able to give a full service all over Antwerp and the south of Belgium, we acquired HTC-Seneffe in 2008.
Once established, what was your strategy?
Quality and service have always been our main objectives. We prefer to work with our customers as partners in a healthy, client supplier relationship. This starts with a friendly reception for the driver, cleaning in an efficient way and following the necessary procedures in an open communication with respect for all parties.
We can provide our customers with the best service over all our HTC-Tankcleaning stations through one central administration and one commercial contact.
You will open a new tank cleaning station soon. How has that been received by your clients?
With the new HTC-Colombus Container Services we can make a clear distinction between the “cleanings on wheels” and the cleaning of a tank container out of storage.
Throughput time is one of the most important challenges for cleanings on wheels. Planning is important for the tank container in storage, as tanks need to be cleaned and ready for pick up when the clients request them back. With this extension of capacity we are sure we can make a large improvement on both points.
Do you see any new trends happening in the industry at the moment?
The chemical industry is a global industry and the transport of chemical products is changing in many ways. First, we saw changes in transport systems from tank trailers to tank containers. Tank containers are becoming an independent item. Second, our clients are becoming more diverse and we are getting requests from all over the world. Third, timesheets or timeslots are becoming increasingly important. A good company can make a great difference to a tank clean.
Open communications with real-time information has become very important in this fast moving, global industry.
How do you adhere to all the standards out there?
With 20 years of experience, we have a database of more than 10,000 products with different types of cleaning procedures. With the acceptance of every new product we have to make an evaluation on environmental, health and safety risk in accordance with local regulations.
Our SQAS (Safety & Quality Assessment System) assessment and ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 certificate helps us to organise our business in the best possible way.
As a member of CTC (Belgian tank cleaning association), we are always meeting requirements for new standareds for tank cleaning. In addition to this, we see every new standard as an opportunity.
What sets you apart from your counterparts?
The division of cleaning on wheels or cleaning out of storage on two different locations makes us unique on the market and gives us more flexibility than our counterparts.
With this new cleaning station, HTC will have a total of five different tank cleaning stations all over Belgium with one central administration, one central tariff list, and one central contact. This makes it very easy for our customers to overview their cleanings within the area. Elsewhere, we will also use the latest new tools of communication so our clients will have real time information.
What is your company’s outlook?
Although we do between 50,000 and 60,000 cleanings a years and treat about 500,000 tonnes of industrial wastewater, we still want to maintain a personal approach to our customers. We aim to be a company that always listens to our customers, treats them with respect and addresses their environmental, safety and health concerns.
A lot of things have changed in the last 20 years, but Group HTC has kept following its own direction in the market and grabs every opportunity that comes its way. This has made us what we are today, an ambitious healthy organisation in which we always try to improve our quality and service.