2010 was a very special year for our organisation. Van der Mark has had cause for celebration before. Everybody will remember the 'Hoeksche Pluim' (an enterprise award) of 2009, but 2010 was dominated by the centenary. Exactly one hundred years ago, Pleun Van der Mark started out as a merchant with a simple dogcart, which he used to go to the farms. As ordered by the farmers, he picked up goods in Rotterdam and delivered them to his customers. After almost ten years of working like the devil, he makes his largest investment till then in 1919, just after World War I: he buys a cart with rubber wheels and a good horse. And as of that moment, his activities gain momentum. Because he can transport more in less time, he receives a lot of work from the clock auction in Oud-Beijerland. The company grows and the limited fleet is increased with a G.M.C. Truck and a Fargo. In 1924, Pleun Van der Mark is the first to travel around the Hoeksche Waard in a real T-Ford.
For forty years, Pleun Van der Mark has literally and figuratively pulled the cart. In 1950, he hands over the reins to the second generation, his son Simon A. Van der Mark. It is a difficult period, in which the company has to make do with what it has. Inventiveness is called for, because just after World War II, there is hardly any reliable equipment available. The activities are continued with old, discarded army trucks. Big customers, such as Koni (now in 2010, still a loyal customer) and Van Neerbos, help to get the expanded family business through these economically trying times.
In 1965, the energetic Teun Van der Mark takes the helm from his battle-weary father. With total dedication, he throws himself into the adventure. Right from the start, he has a clear vision; transport must be more than only going from A to B and back. He lays the foundation of the present-day total solution in logistics of Van der Mark. In those years, heavy investments are made in more and better material. New customers are welcomed and in the seventies, emphasis is placed on the transport of lemonade for Herschi and the significantly increased container transport.
IIn the eighties, international transport boomed. Bulky products such as dog and cat food account for a large part of the cargo that is transported far abroad. From a regional transport company, Van der Mark grows into a reputable, international carrier.
You have to stand out as transport company; that was the firm opinion of Teun Van der Mark. That is why he developed all kinds of additional services such as repacking and packing of goods for customers. That meant that Van der Mark would also be contracted for the transport, so it was an ideal way to retain customers. The old customers stayed, Van Oordt presented itself as a very large new customer. To keep the growth on the right track, Van der Mark moved into a completely new building in the James Wattstraat in Oud-Beijerland in 1998. This meant that there was enough space for further growth and the development of new services.
Too soon, Simon Van der Mark - the fourth generation - has to take over the company from his father in 2000. But he learned the business at his father's knee and had already initiated several activities together with his father and he builds on them. Transport is all very well, but total logistics has the future, so that is where the company's focus was and is. This path appears to be the right one. In the last decade, Van der Mark has evolved into a partner able to provide an all-embracing range of logistics services to its customers. "Does a customer have special wishes? Fine, be my guest. Make them known and we will take care of them. That is the flexibility of Van der Mark," according to Simon.
Would the great-great-grandfather of Simon Van der Mark have thought that the business that he started would look like it does today, after one hundred years? At the time, steam engines kept things going and people did their writing with dip pens ...
Nowadays, Van der Mark is a high-tech business using the best technological devices. Radio-beam links with customers, onboard computers in the vehicles, state-of-the-art communication equipment, GPS, a solid automation solution at our offices for planning activities and our financial administration. An advanced bar code scanning and pallet localisation system to adequately manage two locations with a storage capacity of 17.000 pallets. The unstoppable growth is kept on the right track, using proper tools. Of course, there is more to it than technology; in the end, it comes down to the people who have to do the work. Daily, more than fifty motivated professionals go to great lengths for their customers. The trucks of Van der Mark travel millions of kilometers per year (and naturally, they comply with the most recent emission limits). Daily distribution to approximately 250 addresses in the Netherlands and also internationally to Germany, France and Spain. Van der Mark keeps growing and celebrates its centenary.
VDM has been AEO-certified since 2014 and as a result of that numerous new clients selected VDM as the preferred partner for logistics. The strategic alignment with ITH Complast/Pack-It in 2016 boosted the business and from now on VDM also has its own warehouse capacity in Wijchen. Simon van der Mark: “An official request for a permit to build extra square meters in Oud- Beijerland is waiting for a positive response, so we line up for the future.” For that reason Simon’s son Tom - the fifth generation - started working as a trainee at VDM. To be continued …