Rotterdam, 3072 AR
In April 2016, KOTUG SMIT TOWAGE was established through the merger of the European harbour towage activities of KOTUG International and SMIT, a daughter company of BOSKALIS to provide the European markets with tailored towage services.
We are convinced that combining our forces is the way to stay ahead, to be a robust and leading company in European harbour towage. While we are heading for tomorrow, looking for new horizons and broadening our views, we can draw on an incredible 350 years of combined experience and expertise of SMIT Internationale, URS and KOTUG International.
In 1842, Fop Smit began providing vessels with a safe and reliable passage into the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The SMIT fleet has grown and developed with technical advancements and customer's demands. Fop's sons, Jan and Leendert, continued to expand the fleet and in 1870 they began building tugs with propellers.
In 1923, L. Smit & Co. and the Internationale Sleepdienst decided to merge operations under the name 'L. Smit & Co.'s Internationale Sleepdienst'. In March 2007, Smit Internationale NV announced the purchase of Adsteam’s Liverpool towage operation (Alexandra Towing). In May 2010, SMIT became a member of Royal Boskalis Westminster.
Captain Henri Gerling established his company "Remorquage à Hélice s.a."(i.e. Tugboats with Propellers Ltd or S.A.R.H for short) on the river Scheldt in 1870. URS came into being in 1928 as the name given to the alliance between S.A.R.H and "Letzer Towage Cy" which had been established in 1923. In 1974, they were all merged into the URS Group, to provide a strong unified organization going forward. Throughout its long history, URS has maintained its position as the leading operator on the Scheldt by taking over other companies in the Scheldt area, including "Willem Muller" and "Scheldt Towage Company". In 2008 Smit Internationale required 100% shares in URS.
The roots of KOTUG (four generations family Kooren) go back to the initial activities of Antonie Kooren, when he built his first tug in 1911. His son, Adriaan Kooren, registered its company ‘Towage Company Adriaan Kooren BV’ in 1934. In the beginning he operated as an independent towage broker and later as an tug owner, whereby the tugs were employed in the dredging and (port) construction industry in Rotterdam. In 1977, Adriaans’ son Ton Kooren started ‘Ton Kooren International Marine Services BV’, mainly providing worldwide and deep sea towage. In 1987 Ton Kooren established KOTUG International B.V. and started harbour towage activities in Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, London and Wilhelmshaven.