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Gantrex, the Belgium-based company present in the four corners of the world

The company specializing in systems for tracks is targeting sales of 120 million euros in 2026. It has just taken over a Spanish company. 

A Walloon company that is present on thousands of port and transport facilities around the world, but also on very special buildings such as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile or the Tottenham Hotspurs stadium, this is not common. Yet this is what the Nivelles-based company Gantrex has managed to do, which has become the world specialist in systems for running tracks for overhead cranes and port cranes.
Gantrex, which is now mostly in the hands of the French investment fund Argos Wityu, was founded in 1971 by the Haegelsteen family under the name Gantry. It was originally specialized in fastening systems, before considerably expanding its range and service offering. ”Today, our main equipment is the crane rail and port crane systems, mainly produced in Nivelles,” explains CEO Maarten Impens. “A large part of our activity- 40%  is in the port sector. But we are also present in shipyards, the automotive sector, railways, mines, automated warehouses – such as those of Pfizer in Puurs – as well as special shipyards.”

The Ariane 6 website 

The list of these famous special applications is impressive. In addition to the American telescope in Chile and the Tottenham stadium, there are the rails of the railway line intended for the launch pad of the new Ariane 6 launcher in Kourou, systems for the retractable roofs of the Real Madrid Stadium or the Wimbledon Central Court or the guiding rails of the Seine Musicale complex in Boulogne-Billancourt.

About sixty people work on the Nivelles site, but the entire group has 350 employees, spread across various sales, production, and service units in 20 countries on five continents. “It is important for us to be close to our customers. We have more than 3,000, with projects of all sizes. I let you imagine the complexity of dealing with this. We also have sites in Germany and Spain and production facilities in Canada, the UK, and China. Europe remains an important market, with 30 to 35% of our sales, even if the most important projects are in Asia and Latin America,” says Maarten Impens, who himself began his career at Gantrex working in the Dubai and Singapore locations.

Gantrex currently has a turn over of 80 million euros, 95% of which is abroad. The company’s new strategic plan plans to reach 120 million in 2026. To achieve this, the CEO can count on the support of his majority shareholder, Argos (Lineas, Juratoys, Maison Berger … ), which bought the Walloon gem in 2015. Since then, the Nivelles-based company has taken over one of its competitors, the British Gantrail, and more recently, last February, the Spanish company ABS Consultor.

Digital solutions 

“This is a new step in our development,” insists the CEO. “Initially, Gantrex made components. Then we moved on to the design and delivery of the entire system. Now, we also do the installation, thanks to our technicians working with our customers. The new development plan aims to establish closer relationships with customers, enriching the group’s offer with mechanical services and new digital solutions,” concludes Maarten Impens.

The summary

  • The Nivelles-based Gantrex has become the world specialist in systems for running tracks for port cranes and overhead cranes.
  • It is also present in many other sectors, such as shipyards, the automotive sector, railways or automated warehouses.
  • Gantrex has been owned since 2015 by the Argos Wityu fund.
  • It recently bought a Spanish company.


Source: Original article in French by Olivier Gosset in L’Echo from 24/03/2022