In April 2016, KOTUG SMIT TOWAGE was established through the merger of
the European harbour towage activities of KOTUG (part of Kotug International) and SMIT (a
daughter company of Boskalis) to provide the European markets with tailored
We are convinced that combining our forces is the
way to stay ahead, to be a robust and leading company in European harbour
towage. While we are heading for tomorrow, looking for new horizons and
broadening our views, we can draw on an incredible 350 years of combined
experience and expertise of SMIT Internationale, URS and KOTUG International.
In 1842, Fop Smit began providing vessels with a safe and reliable passage into the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The SMIT fleet has grown and developed with technical advancements and customer's demands. Fop's sons, Jan and Leendert, continued to expand the fleet and in 1870 they began building tugs with propellers.
In 1923, L. Smit & Co. and the Internationale Sleepdienst decided to merge operations under the name 'L. Smit & Co.'s Internationale Sleepdienst'. In March 2007, Smit Internationale NV announced the purchase of Adsteam’s Liverpool towage operation (Alexandra Towing). In May 2010, SMIT became a member of Royal Boskalis Westminster.
Captain Henri Gerling established his company "Remorquage à Hélice s.a."(i.e. Tugboats with Propellers Ltd or S.A.R.H for short) on the river Scheldt in 1870. URS came into being in 1928 as the name given to the alliance between S.A.R.H and "Letzer Towage Cy" which had been established in 1923. In 1974, they were all merged into the URS Group, to provide a strong unified organization going forward. Throughout its long history, URS has maintained its position as the leading operator on the Scheldt by taking over other companies in the Scheldt area, including "Willem Muller" and "Scheldt Towage Company". In 2008 Smit Internationale required 100% shares in URS.
The roots of KOTUG (four generations family Kooren) go back to the initial activities of Antonie Kooren, when he built his first tug in 1911. His son, Adriaan Kooren, registered its company ‘Towage Company Adriaan Kooren BV’ in 1934. In the beginning he operated as an independent towage broker and later as an tug owner, whereby the tugs were employed in the dredging and (port) construction industry in Rotterdam. In 1977, Adriaans’ son Ton Kooren started ‘Ton Kooren International Marine Services BV’, mainly providing worldwide and deep sea towage. In 1987 Ton Kooren established KOTUG International B.V. and started harbour towage activities in Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, London and Wilhelmshaven.
We stand for high quality towage services with a strong focus on tailored services. Our smart and flexible operation allows us to meet the increasing demands of our customers in order to supply them with an even higher level of efficiency and port call optimization. Our tailored services will be provided against the highest operational and safety standards within the industry.
We have the right knowledge, the best materials and – above all – the best people. A team that we can rely on. We will get the job done safely. It doesn’t matter how big the challenge is, we are ready for it. No sea too high, no challenge too great. We will do it together!
We look forward to exceed our customers' expectations and accept the challenge!
Our goal is to become the leading European harbour towage
company, which is durable, sustainable and ready for growth. We will achieve this
by truly understanding the needs and concerns of our customers and focusing our
activities on tailored towage services. Our
organizational principles are based on this vision:
We highly value the
contribution of our people. Especially
in challenging times we get to appreciate people’s abilities and expertise even
more. We believe that well skilled, passionate colleagues
will further strengthen our tailored towage services. Our values aim to reflect our promise ‘we are leading in safe
harbour towage’. Our values underpin our skills, behaviours and way of doing
Our values are:
We are committed to achieving the highest possible standards of safe and reliable operation within the
maritime industry. We are always looking to improve upon our HSE-standards and Quality-performance,
to ensure that we can exceed our customers’ expectations.
responsibility and concern for HSE-Q apply to everyone working with or for us. This entails that all employees during the execution of their
activities are required to demonstrably aim for this responsibility and
concern. This responsibility and concerns constitute an inseparable and
integral part of our daily activities.
Health, Safety and
As we care about our
people, service and surroundings it is our responsibility to have aspects of
health, safety and environment high on the agenda. We provide the means to our
employees so that they can perform their job in a responsible and proper
KOTUG SMIT TOWAGE delivers sustainable towing service which is leading in the
market it was required to embed the quality standards into our management
system, manuals and day to day practices. With having this embedded into our culture
we can deliver a high level quality service. The applicable aspects of the ISO
9001:2015 standard have been incorporated into the business culture of the
Management system systematically describes controls and assures with the aim:
the environment is everybody’s concern, we commit ourselves to the highest
standards in environmental protection, e.g. International Convention for the
Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The Convention includes
regulations aimed at preventing and minimizing pollution from ships - both
accidental pollution and that from routine operations.
Nowadays, KOTUG SMIT TOWAGE operates three hybrid Rotortugs. With the
delivery of RT Adriaan, RT Emotion and RT Evolution, we have proved that new
technology can make a substantial difference with a positive impact of
environmental aspects, without compromising on performance and safety.
our tugs are berthed, they are connected to power from ashore, which helps to
reduce harmful emission. So the entire supply for power comes from electricity,
which is not generated by burning fossil fuels. Our tugs burn solely very clean
Gas Oil (DIN EN 590), which is equivalent to what is suitable for diesel cars.
We never use any sorts of duel fuels, therefore our sulphur emission is kept to
a minimum and that applies for anytime all the time. It is company’s policy,
which is supported by corresponding sailing directions that tugs should proceed
with eco speed (7 knots) to and from the job. Our crew receives special
training to help them reducing the emission by thoughtful manoeuvring and
commanding the tug.