Milestone 1/10: Gröninger roots & forties and fifties

Johann Groninger - Groninger tank cleaning roots 1947


In 1947 Gröninger Scheepvaart & Handelsonderneming NV was founded by Johann Georg Gröninger and his son Günther Johann Franz Gröninger.

The roots of Johann are in Augsburg (Germany) where he was born as son of a brewery employee. Before WorldWar I he became employed by the rapidly growing steel conglomerate Thyssen and send to Rotterdam to start up sourcing activities of iron ore for the steel mills. In this role he was involved in setting up well known historic Rotterdam companies like NV Handel & Transport Maatschappij Vulcaan (trading), Shipyards Vlaardingen Oost (now Damen Shipyards), the Halcyon Lijn N.V. (shipping) and the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V., all as subsidiaries for Thyssen in order to facilitate their expanding activities.


Forties and fifties

In 1943 Johann retired and since then he made plans to start-up a company with his son Günther: Gröninger Scheepvaart & Handelsonderneming NV. The initial activities were fully in line with his roots: trading and shipping of iron ore and by-products from steelmills, like blast furnace slag. The company started with four employees.

During the second half of the fifties the first activities in machinery started. The equipment was aimed at agriculture but sold with limited success. Trading slag however resulted in contacts with concrete factories and road construction companies. Blast furnace slag was used as foundation for roads. This created opportunities, market access and new business ideas.