Elisabeth Cosmatos      Thu, 17/12/2020






this week we speak with


Philippe Alexis Goossens, Onwer & Managing Director,

M. Lamberigts & A. Van Daelen, Belgium




Philippe was born in Antwerp in 1958. He has studied Latin and Greek, as well as shipbuilding and navigation. He is the Owner and General Manager of NV M.Lamberigts & A.van Daelen – Antwerpen since 1991.

His hobbies include sailing his schooner and collecting marine objects with a special interest for the Napoleonic war era and the Royal Navy. Philippe is happily married and has 3 chlidren.



Tell us about M.LAMBERIGTS & VAN DAELEN. Who owns the company?

Lamberigts & A.van Daelen was established in 1948 un the name of Van Daelen & C°. At the time a well respected, wealthy but very conservative shipping company with its corebusiness situated in French industrial projects.

I myself had created a small forwarding company – Optifreight nv – in 1987 and in 1991 I bought 100 % of the shares of Lamberigts & van Daelen. Due to a quite “dusty” management, the company was receding quite strongly and a new breath seemed to be very welcome.

To date, all of the shares are still in my personal hands. An interesting detail for me at the time was that the company possessed all customs licences! This small history explains why we are still a lot into French “clientele” and why customs formalities and breakbulk shipping are common knowledge to us.

Where are your offices located?

Our offices are located in the old city of Antwerp, overlooking the “Bonaparte Dock”.

Just in front of us, on the other side of the dock, we are looking at the Maritime museum.

This area is in the middle of the historic port of our city so we couldn’t be situated better. Moreover, the buildings are company-owned.

The main advantage is that during lunch hours, our staff can have a pleasant stroll, go shopping or eat a quick bite in one of the numerous restaurants.

What is M.LAMBERIGTS & VAN DAELEN specialty and service range?

Our core businesses are breakbulk shipping with emphasis towards race yacht shipping, the oil & gas industry in Africa and customs formalIties.

It speaks for itself that nowadays, the Brexit situation has our full attention.

Apart from these niches we dare say to be doing quite well in IG and OOG truckings, warehousing and container bookings.

Tell us about projects that you have handled recently.

We just booked a race yacht type Imoca which retired from the famous race Vendée Globe.

We will ship it from Mindelo to Lorient – its base port.

We are now preparing the shipping of a dismantled oil rig from Port Gentil to Pointe Noire with onforwarding to a drilling site nearby, at about 45 km. Time of shipment is early January.

Antwerp is a port of global importance.Can you specify the liner connections for project cargo? 

Without any presumption, we may indeed stat that Antwerp is Europe’s key player when it comes to Breakbulk.

The regular liners are focused on the Far East, the African continent, the USA and Canada. However, since these days Breakbulk Carriers will accept smaller inducement on the basis of a C/P, virtually all destinations on the planet are now being served.

Apart from Antwerp, we must not forget the port of Zeebrugge where we are quite active as well, especially on RO-RO shipments and obviously customs formalities. We are now in the process of establishing our own little office there.

What is your advantage against competition? Why do you stand out?

We are a middle sized company with 25 people and brainwashed by a manager who loves all things martitime.

What I want to say is that we are all convinced that one can only succeed economically into shipping if he or she loves what he or she does and cherishes the “romantic” aspect of it. This sounds quite cheesy and naïve, but it works.

An enthousiastic forwarder will transfer its feelings towards the customer who will be more inclined to cooperate with him or her.

Shipping is still a “people’s business” where personal contact remains paramount. This accounts especially for breakbulk.

What made you join the industry?

My great-grandfather was a master onboard a square rigger.My father built small sailing boats and I have been sailing since the age of 8.

I studied shipbuilding in Antwerp and I sail my own two-masted schooner Amelia. In order to do this in a proper way, I obtained my certificates Yachtmaster offshore and Master STCW 500 GRT.

So, salt water runs into my veins and I started to work in a forwarding company as a quai clerk (with company bicycle!!) at the age of 22. It all came naturally and I loved it from the very start.

Even outside the office, my hobbies are collecting maritime artifacts such as antique ships' models, builders' models, paintings, navigation equipment, old charts, compasses, etc etc….

I do not regret it - I was predestined anyway.

What was the impact that COVID-19 brought to your business?

Undeniably, the Covid had an impact on our normal fluxes.

As to heavy lifts, we see that quite some projects are postponed but not cancelled. The African rig for instance, was originally scheduled to move in April. Secondly, all things like consumer goods in containers were slowing down as well due to lockdowns and receding buyers’ markets. However, the Belgian government has proven to be hands-on and granted quite some advantages to our sector. We indeed laid off temporarily 8 people at the peak of the crisis.

Luckily, for some reason, it’s now more or less back to normal and our team is in full force again.

We have tried to look at this situation in a positive way and we feel that one can learn a lot of things from the COVID if he or she has the right attitude.

Personally, my gut feeling says that next year will be back to normal again.

I am a firm vaccin-believer and we can only hope that not too many will keep their negative bias.

Who should be approached in M.LAMBERIGTS & VAN DAELEN for inquiries?

Your first contact is Mr. Daniel Segard - our (French) Sales Manager and/or myself.

Given the inquiry, we will be responding personally or you will be redirected to the expert on a given subject.