FROM ‘NATIE’ TO GLOBAL LEADER
The word Natie stems from the historic ‘Naties, which were guilds that specialised in the handling and transport of goods, between the docks and warehouses. The names of these ‘naties’ often refer to the kind of goods they handled in.
At first, the means of transport were horse-drawn carriages. After the second World War, the Naties steadily evolved to full-fledged logistic companies, inside as well as outside the port of Antwerp. The main activities at the time were loading and unloading of freightships, transport, warehousing, expedition, and domestic and foreign customs.
Tabaknatie was founded in 1896, but even before that, in 1847, “Oude en Nieuwe Tabaknatie” (roughly translated as Old and New Tabaknatie) was already active in the Port of Antwerp. They were responsible for the trade and handling of tobacco in the port. After the founding of Tabaknatie, it fused with ‘Melknatie’, and so Tabaknatie was born.
Tabaknatie, the world’s largest warehousing and overflow company for unmanufactured tobacco, was entirely acquired by the Heyndrickx family in January of 2006. We can proudly say that Tabaknatie is the last ‘Natie’ in Antwerp that, in addition to organic and other premium products, still handles in the goods which are mentioned in the company name; tabak meaning tobacco in Dutch.
Currently, Tabaknatie is operated out of innovative company-owned warehousing sites, which span a cumulative surface area of more than a million m², or about eleven percent of the total warehousing capacity in the Port of Antwerp.