with nature
with nature

BONTRUP Heritage

Where it all started

It was 1927 when Wilhelm Bontrup, father of Franz Bontrup and great grandfather of Peter and Bram Bontrup, moved from Dulmen (Germany) to Uden (Netherlands). Born and raised on a farm he aspired to run his own.

It were the ‘Fathers of Uden’, of the local church, who helped him to obtain some arable land that allowed him to run his own farm at the age of 20.

Sint Anthonis

It was the daughter of his neighbors, the family Van den Berg, with whom Wilhelm fell in love with. They married and as a couple they worked together on the farm. Both eager to expand their farm they got the opportunity to obtain 50 acres in Sint Anthonis. The only condition for the deal was that they had to enrich the soil and ensure its fertility for the long-term. In 1933, after they’d managed to improve the fertility, they decided to scale down a bit and sold 25 acres and started a family of their own. A total of 14 children were born, 5 girls and 9 boys. Franz Bontrup, was the sixth child.

Nederlands Beheersinstituut

A decade later, after the war (1945), all German citizens living in the Netherlands were declared ‘enemy’ and their belongings were confiscated by the ‘Nederlands Beheersinstituut’ (NBI), including the Bontrup farm in Sint Anthonis. Wilhelm Bontrup was imprisoned by the Dutch military for a few years, which was common at that time for Germans living in the Netherlands. During that period the NBI totally neglected the farm. In 1948, Wilhelm was released and returned home. It was painful to see the poor state of the farm and Wilhelm was determined to bring the farm back to sustainable growth.


During this period (1949-1955), a small village called Landhorst was founded. Wilhelm decided to move to Landhorst to make a fresh start. He was able to obtain arable land to grow crops and had eight cows and a few horses.

The farm was run efficiently and life was good. As was common practice that time, the farmers children worked on the farm after school, and so did Franz.


In 1954, at the age of 12 Franz went to the seminary in Stevensbeek with the intention to become a priest. At the seminary, he was taught different languages, mathematics, biology and more. Father van Duijnhoven, Wouters and Van Dartel were his teachers for whom he had utmost respect. They also educated him the importance of discipline, how to deal with fear and how to behave and manage social relationships. At the age of 16, Franz decided to drop-out. It became clear to him that he no longer aspired to become a priest. He decided to go back home and help his father on the farm. The knowledge he gained at the seminary triggered him to want to learn more. In 1958 he worked on the farm during daytime, and in the evening, he went to ‘Handelsschool’ in Boxmeer.

Dairy transport

Over de years, the Bontrup farm expanded their cattle and produced more and more milk. At the start six sons of Wilhelm were involved in the farming business, together with Jan van de Wiel. Franz’ a job was to drive the truck with milk cans from the farm in Landhorst to the dairy factory in Rijkevoort. On a normal day he drove this route a few times a day. Clever as he was, he proposed to improve the logistics process, to be more efficient and less labour intensive. He agreed with the Diary factory (Director Dekkers) to jointly invest in a dairy tank truck. The joint investment reduced transport with three commutes a day, saving fuel costs and time. A typical example of entrepreneurship to seek logic, scale, efficacies and cost reduction opportunities to create value for all. Over the years, Franz’s brothers left the farming business. Learning from dairy logistics business, Franz continued to follow the logic and started to invest even more in transport solutions. He built up a small fleet of tractors to work as a contractor for farmers in the region.

Acquisitions in Transport

In the following years, he expanded the healthy logistics business. He signed partnerships with for example Van de Wiel Transport. In 1964 BOWIE was founded, BONTRUP and Van de Wiel, specialised in feed transport. This was the start of an expanding and healthy logistics business. Franz acquired local transport firms such as Pijnappels based in Wanrooij, Den Ouden, dairy transport expert from Gennep and in 1968 finalised the acquisition of Meurs based in Kerkrade.

This set of acquisitions enabled BONTRUP to transport a wide variety of products such as feed, grains, dairy, gravel and limestone. Bontrup had about 30 trucks dedicated to the transport of marl for the company AnkerSmit in Maastricht.

Growing in aggregates

By working with AnkerSmit, BONTRUP also entered the aggregates business. Quickly BONTRUP became more and more expert in aggregate transport and build-up a trusted reputation in the aggregate market. In 1976 Franz got in contact with a gravel company in Belgium. The owner was looking for a buyer and this opportunity came at the perfect moment. Franz was keen to expand his transport business to support sand and gravel. In partnership with Suswein the acquisition was completed. The company became expert in aggregates for the construction industry and was renamed to Komatco.

Over a period of two years the company shares were fully transferred to BONTRUP in 1978.

Gravel from the Zuid Willemsvaart

In the early 80’s, the market for sand and gravel in Belgium along the “Zuid Willemsvaart” was difficult. The Zuid-Willemsvaart was home to various family businesses owning and operating gravel concessions along the canal. Inland shipping prices in Belgium were high because of a public Exchange. On top of that the market for transport to Holland was volatile. Dutch clients were only buying when there was low or high water in the Rhine. The tide influenced the delivery out of Germany, and in most cases the result was that delivery was either too expensive or impossible. By creating fair barging prices for the skippers towards Holland, guarantee uptake and delivery towards the customers made it possible for Franz to create a healthy business. In addition, the fact that the Zuid Willemsvaart had a stable water levels helped the continuity as well. Over the years, Franz was clever and invested in both security of sand and gravel concessions, as well as in an efficient transport network. Availability and security of supply, combined with an already highly-efficient logistics network, made Bontrup the most efficient aggregates company in the Benelux.

Scottish Granite

It was the same year, that Franz got word from a ship arriving in Schiedam with granite from Scotland. Protecting his business, he didn’t want any of his competitors to know about this shipment and bought the whole lot. This was the start of a journey that made Bontrup the exclusive export partner to the Benelux of granite for the Glensanda Quarry in Schotland in 1986.

The following years, the aggregate business expanded and BONTRUP became a trusted partner being able to deliver a variety of aggregates efficiently across Belgium and the Netherlands. The company became the expert in aggregates for infrastructure and the construction industry.

In 1991, BONTRUP obtained 20 hectares of land in the Port of Amsterdam and Graniet Import Benelux was founded. This became the gateway for Scottish Granite to the Netherlands. BONTRUP gained market share in concrete and asphalt applications.

10 Years later Antwerp Stone Terminal was founded. Both terminals located in key Ports enable BONTRUP to serve the Belgian and Dutch market adequately.

In this same period, after graduating from Nyenrode University, Maartje Bontrup joined the company and worked for numerous years in the areas of finance, insurance, administration as well as sales.

Growing the aggregates portfolio

With granite being the perfect aggregate for concrete and under layers for asphalt, Franz had a strong position. However, with only the Granite he was not able to serve the total gamma for asphalt and the railway market. As visionary entrepreneur, it was also very clear to Franz that the local gravel market and concessions were not a future-proof business model for BONTRUP. With more and more concessions being ‘reclaimed’ by local governments, gravel resources being finite, combined with uncertain cost and availability, the infrastructure and construction market was in need for a reliable alternative. An alternative that would provide consistent high quality, availability and be a source for a wide variety of applications.

Search for exclusive quarry

The family started the search for an exclusive quarry that would secure the BONTRUP aggregate business for the long-term. They travelled across Europe to find a quarry that would not only provide rocks meeting all quality requirements and beyond, but also be located in an area where the large bulk-carriers could load and therefor ship efficiently towards the terminals.

Bremanger Quarry in Norway

To secure long term supplies of high quality rock in 1999, BONTRUP signed an agreement with Bremanger to exclusively claim a concession of more than one billion tons of reserves for hundred years. That is when Bremanger Quarry was founded. The way of extracting and production is revolutionary. This production philosophy also pleased the local authorities because of the minimal impact on the landscape. The building of the infrastructure was a challenge. The result: a quarry with large reserves of the highest quality, an energy neutral crushing process and the possibility to load the largest vessels in the world.

In 2001 the first vessel was loaded with the destination Amsterdam.

BONTRUP a family business for the long-term

It’s clear, entrepreneurship sits at the heart of the Bontrup family. For generations, the Bontrup family has been innovating with nature to build and feed a sustainable society. They have and will always aim to create long-term shared value in a clever way.

Peter and Bram who are the Directors at the company are strong believers in growing responsibly and sustainably. Their core philosophy is people and performance over process. At BONTRUP, talented people work together as one team. With this approach, BONTRUP is a more flexible, fun, innovative, stimulating, collaborative and successful organization.

The BONTRUP family business is a responsible company with a clear focus on the areas where they can make the most relevant impact. Operating across the value chain, from sourcing, producing to delivering of high-quality products. Ultimately, it’s the BONTRUP entrepreneurial behavior, stimulated by a long-term ambition, that improves the performance, build up trust with stakeholders and safeguard the solid reputation of the BONTRUP family business.

Today, the business is focused on sustainable infrastructures, offshore developments, logistics and agricultural production. Their core philosophy is people and performance over process. They employ about 1.000 colleagues and operate in more than 25 countries.