According to the Dutch dictionary, Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, the Southern Low Countries define the word “natie”, or nation, as a corporation or guild. In the port of Antwerp, these “nations” were originally associations of craft guilds, which arranged the handling and transportation of cargo from the quays to the warehouses. Dockworkers, or stevedores, did the actual loading and unloading of the ships’ goods.

Nations were private companies with a cooperative structure. The nations’ shareholders were the Nation Bosses, who headed up crews of dockworkers (natiegasten) that he or his delegate rounded up for recruitment each day at the Drafting Building (het “kot”). The managers of the nations were called Nation Directors.

During the French Revolution, the French occupiers did away with these nations and guilds. However, Napoleon reinstated them when he came into power. The names of the nations usually refer to the type of goods they were involved in, or to the Nation Bosses.

After World War II, the nations evolved into logistics companies and their business was longer limited to harbor work. The activities of nations and their subsidiaries included loading and unloading cargo ships (stevedores), transport, storage, shipping, and customs duties, both nationally and internationally.

Members are fully committed to the business and to providing the client with excellent service. Vlaeynatie has stood the test of time, thanks to our flexibility and solution-driven approach, hard work and innovation.

Continuation of the values of the Naties. Naties are the predecessors of Corporations. The members are shareholders and are actively involved in the daily management.

Today, Vlaeynatie is the European expert in offering value added services throughout the maritime bulk supply chain. They maintain a strong focus and commitment towards the fertilizer and sugar industry. In the spirit of the “Naties,” our shareholders are very much involved in the daily operations and are in direct contact with our customers.

  • 1845
    Creation of Vlaeynatie by Henri Vlaeyen as one of the many Antwerp Naties.
  • 1976
    JV between Vlaeynatie/Manuport and Unifert (fertilizer trader) to give rise to Manufert.
  • 1990
    Major investments in Antwerp to further develop the dry bulk business.
  • 2000
    Major investments in Antwerp to further develop the sugar business at Manufert.
  • 2003
    Vlaeynatie acquires JV partner Northern Shipping to further establish dominance in the fertilizers market.
  • 2007
    Acquisition of freight forwarder Hamann and group Westerlund who specialises in forest products.
  • 2008
    Acqusition of CTB Magemon in Liège.
  • 2009
    Complete divestment of activities in Antwerp, Ghent, France, Bulgaria and China.
  • 2009
    Activation of Vlaeynatie.
  • 2013
    Construction of new fertilizer terminal in Cadiz Spain.
  • 2015
    Construction of new fertilizer terminal in Axel NL.
  • 2016
    Start of construction of sugar silo in Axel NL.
  • 2017
    Start of Sugar operations. Establishment of tri-modal container terminal 3MCT.
  • 2018
    Construction of new Fertilizer warehouse.

Packaging of bulk products is our core business. Our ultra-modern bagging lines, all positioned on prime locations In Europe are accessible via vessel, container, barge, truck or rail. Our experienced staff provides, in close contact with our customers, the optimal solution for the bagging of your bulk product. We support our long-term partners via a strong transportation network to be an industry leader. Innovation in combination with a strong focus on safety and quality of our operation is key in our partnerships.


Vlaeynatie is located in the shipping heart of Europe and is very well connected by sea and land. We operate according to the one-stop-shop principle to support our customers with their transportation needs. Transport services are offered via 3MCT and Swagemakers Intermodaal Transport.


Vlaeynatie is based in Westdorpe, The Netherlands or Antwerp West. Our additional locations – Varna, Bulgaria; Cádiz & Castellón, Spain, are chosen in close collaboration with our customers. We are always ready to answer your “bagging” needs on any European location.


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