In the middle of the 1990s, there was a rapid expansion in the number of reefers, which matched the diversity of chilled and frozen products. Consequently, there was a growing demand for reliable reefer services within terminals. Reefers were becoming more technically advanced, and customers were looking for more expert support.

Up until then, the reefer services had been handled by the ECT’s own employees. But the surge in the volume of containers being handled at the port of Rotterdam meant a new solution had to be found.

This solution was developed in partnership with Smith Holland, the most important supplier of reefer maintenance in the port of Rotterdam, and a pioneer in the field of refrigeration engineering maintenance in Europe. The arrival of the specialists of Smith Holland at the terminals of ECT made it possible to offer a much improved reefer service at a very competitive price.

The early days of Delta Reefer Care were very challenging. Different cultures, different systems, and different working methods had to be fused together to form a single successful service provider. On 1 January 1998, almost one year after the operational launch, Delta Reefer Care BV was founded, a joint venture between Smith Holland and ECT.

Right from the start, 24/7 reefer services were offered to the clients of ECT at the Delta Terminal. In small numbers to start off with, but the volume quickly multiplied over the years. In 2001, Home Reefer Care was founded as an independent unit at the former City Terminal (closed in 2015), and Euromax Reefer Care soon followed. The last unit to be added was Docks Climate Control, which specialises in the maintenance and repair of air conditioning systems in the mobile equipment at the terminals.

But the evolution did not stop there. Once the operational growth had been achieved, a start was made on the further development and professionalisation of the organisation. Specialist training and management procedures were developed, and new ICT systems implemented, to guarantee the high quality of the service delivery.