About us

History of Hertel

Through its almost 120 years of existence, Hertel has managed to successfully anticipate and adapt to changes occurring in the world and the markets in which we operate, while preserving its core asset: people. 

Hertel was founded in 1895 by Alexander Hertel. Alexander was born in Germany, went to America, returned to Europe and fell in love with a Dutch woman. In a way you could say that it was passion that started it all.

Client focussed from the start

He started his company with the conviction that there was a great demand in supplying seals and insulation materials by shipyards. His idea was to work out the best possible service portfolio for clients within their scope of operations. This approach led to many renowned clients in the maritime world; the Koninklijke Maatschappij De Schelde in Flushing (now Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding), still client of Hertel, as well as all the ships sailing for the Holland America Line.

Shifting towards industrial services

Hertel kept his focus firmly on the  maritime world, in the post-war year also the Royal Dutch Navy became a major client. Well into the 1970’s Hertel was generating most of its turn-over from the insulation of navy frigates but already started diversifying its activities towards industrial insulation. None too soon, as a downturn in the marine repair industry and decline in Marine-related turnover brought a very difficult period to Hertel, forcing her to downsize substantially in working force.

Multi-disciplinary industrial services provider

The expansion of port activities and Europoort enabled Hertel’s rapid growth in serving the oil and petrochemical industries. First in the Netherlands, later in the rest of Europe. Hertel expanded over Europe in the 1970’s, adjusting rapidly to the requirements in terms of planning, the scale of the projects and their relatively short lead times. 

The changeover made Hertel what it is today. From a maritime focused insulation company into a multi-disciplinary industrial services provider, with services in the field of access solutions like scaffolding and rope access, corrosion protection, mechanical, offshore and specialist services. 

A company, dedicated to supporting the businesses of our customers by deploying the best people and the best services available. Safe and reliable, with the drive to continuously improve our services in the widest sense of the word.