Industrie: Construction

Van Schaften Leasing B.V. is an international, renowned player on the crane rental market. The company specializes in renting lifting cranes in accordance with the ‘bare rental’ principle. Van Schaften Leasing B.V.’s cranes are deployed throughout the world and due to their elaborate crane fleet they are always able to provide their customers with a suitable solution.

Due to the corona measures, we were unable to visit Van Schaften Leasing B.V. at their new premises in Rotterdam. Despite the digital meeting, we immediately encountered a pleasant atmosphere as the interview between Martijn Tuijtel (Managing Director Van Schaften Leasing B.V.), Hans Schmelling (CFO Van Schaften Group B.V.) and Heddi Khatib (Account Manager DLL) began. 

How would you characterize Van Schaften Leasing B.V. as a company? 

Van Schaften Leasing B.V. is part of the Van Schaften Group B.V. and operates entirely independently. The company originated from the foundation of Van Schaften Trucks B.V. in 1977. Van Schaften Leasing B.V. has been operating for approximately eight years. 

'We experienced significant growth in a relatively short period of time. The young fleet consists of approximately 120 cranes at the present time,’ says Hans Schmelling, CFO of Van Schaften Group B.V. ‘Our cranes are rented out throughout the world in accordance with the “bare rental” principle. Our renters are responsible for the maintenance, operating costs and insurance, and for operating the equipment.’ Martijn Tuijtel, Managing Director, adds: ‘We rent out the equipment for the long term, on average between 12 and 24 months. Sometimes there is an outlier rental period, either up or down.’ 

The crane fleet comprises various cranes, but the emphasis is on caterpillar cranes (150 to 1600 tonnes) and mobile cranes (100 to 750 tonnes). 

‘Van Schaften Leasing B.V. is a truly professional company,’ says Heddi Khatib, Account Manager at DLL. ‘I visit many companies in the crane sector; it’s a small world and this is why I knew Martijn Tuijtel before he started working at Van Schaften Leasing B.V. What typifies this company is the quality of its business operations. A clear vision, strong management with an excellent track record, and they know their customers. The fact that all 120 cranes are rented out is an indication that they know the market very well indeed.’ 


A clear vision, a strong management team and customer knowledge are the characteristics that typify Van Schaften Leasing B.V. A professional organization to work with."

What countries do you operate in?

Van Schaften Leasing B.V. primarily operates outside the Netherlands: in Europe as well as in North and South America and in Australia. We grew this way by following our major customers,’ says Martijn Tuijtel. Due to the large crane fleet, we have an ample supply of cranes with the right specifications for the various markets. We take everything into account, because regulations can differ by country. ‘We provide a full-service solution internationally for our customers as well. We supply the right crane. In addition, we can look after the shipment and handle the right import documentation.’ 

‘The way Van Schaften Leasing B.V. profiles itself as a Dutch company at an international level is unique,’ adds Heddi Khatib. ‘I am proud of the fact that as DLL we are jointly able to facilitate the company on the basis of our global coverage. It challenges me and my colleagues in other DLL countries to optimally support an international customer.'

Van Schaften Leasing B.V. is primarily very active on an international level. Customers are provided with full-service solutions when they rent a crane.DLL makes a strong contribution to the company’s worldwide activities thanks to its global coverage as a financing partner."

Both parties use the financing of seven cranes in Australia as example. A challenging issue that DLL managed to facilitate. DLL worked closely together with Van Schaften Leasing B.V. and also maintained intensive contact with the DLL’s legal departments in the Netherlands and Australia. Heddi Khatib: ‘When I visit customers, I often mention that we are an international player. In the partnership with Van Schaften Leasing B.V. I am actually able to make use of our global presence and the expertise of colleagues in different countries. We benefit from a global and solid presence, and at the same time from the knowledge of local markets.’

A large international customer portfolio provides for a large network and ample marketing opportunities. But how do you develop knowledge of all markets and how do you keep this up to par?

Rental at a global level provides for a spread of the customer portfolio. To keep up to date on all developments at a customer and market level, we maintain intensive contact with suppliers and customers.  When Van Schaften Leasing B.V. requires greater insight to be able to operate more effectively and meet market demand, we access external knowledge.
‘Last year we completely screened our crane fleet together with our most important supplier, so that we know exactly which crane is suitable for rental in which country. Due to varying emission regulations, not every crane can be imported in every country just like that. The laws and regulations differ by country,’ Hans Schmelling explains. ‘In addition, we asked an external knowledge firm to conduct a study of the wind energy sector, one of our most important markets.’ 

What are your most important markets? 

Aside from the construction sector, the wind energy sector in particular is an important market. Van Schaften Leasing B.V.’s crane fleet can be deployed in multiple sectors, yet at 75%, the wind sector is very well represented. In the past, oil and gas extraction had a significant share as well, but this is no longer the case due to the oil crisis and the debate concerning the extraction of gas.

‘Globally, wind energy is on the rise. Government grants play an important role in this regard. Emerging markets, for example in South America and Spain, are currently investing a great deal in wind farms. In the United States, wind energy has grown over the past few years thanks to the PTC scheme (Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit). The extension of this scheme provides for certainty and creates a permanently increasing demand since it is not clear that the sector would be sufficiently profitable without the tax credit,’ says Martijn Tuijtel. ‘For example, there was a significantly decline in Germany when the subsidies expired. This also offers opportunities, because it is exactly at times like this that you can invest favorably in excellent equipment available from parties going through difficult times.
A shift from onshore to offshore is taking place in mature markets. We anticipated this trend as a company by reserving production slots with our supplier for 2022/2023. This way we can invest in the required equipment at the right time. Cranes that are suitable for hoisting the heavy components for offshore windfarms come to mind here.’

What trends and developments affect Van Schaften Leasing B.V.’s activities? 

Due to our international playing field, political developments can have a considerable effect on our business operations. ‘Brexit is still current and elections are being held in the United States. This can significantly affect existing and new projects,’ both men assert. 

‘The global energy transition whereby different countries set their own rules also affects rental opportunities and thus the overall crane fleet. Even in a single specific country, the rules that apply to cranes that already operate there in comparison to the cranes that are being imported can differ.’

Van Schaften Leasing B.V. is forced to purchase new equipment due to the restrictions on emissions and service life stipulations. A healthy mix of new equipment and cranes that are already in use means the fleet will continue to be widely deployable. 

‘Suppliers are not yet providing electrical solutions for heavy cranes. On the one hand this is because of the technical feasibility and on the other hand the planned and existing laws and regulations will continue to be leading in this respect. Once restrictions are going to be imposed on non-electrified equipment, we expect major suppliers will be responding to this,’ says Hans Schmelling. 

What is the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic?

Normally speaking, due to its global activities, a company like Van Schaften Leasing B.V. benefits from its divergent customer portfolio, geographic spread and different markets. However, corona to a greater or lesser extent affects every country and economy throughout the world. Yet, its global presence has helped the company.

‘Of course news channels issued warnings well before March. But when, after March, the virus started to spread in Europe and North America, things went fast. Work proceeded at a much reduced pace in many markets. A number of countries imposed a full lockdown, causing work to come to a standstill and therefore the cranes as well. Our customers were no longer able to perform any work and this directly affected the payment of rent,’ says Martijn Tuijtel.

Hans Schmelling: ‘No one knew what to expect on an operational and financial level. We developed six scenarios to determine the impact, ranging from a best to a worst case scenario. A handful of customers were already unable to meet their rent installment in March and this number increased somewhat in June. But fortunately, effective from June we were once again able to invoice 100%, because our customers once again became operational. By proactively working with our customers, we managed to limit the impact.

Especially the uncertainty and the duration of the crisis are a cause of tension. This definitely applies to the second wave, although we are not yet receiving any severe signals. Currently market demand is staying more or less the same, which is creating rental opportunities. Moreover, right now companies are more inclined to rent than opt for a capital-intensive investment.’

Van Schaften Leasing B.V. complies with the rules of the Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM). While many are working from home, due to the large office space it is also possible to keep sufficient distance within the company. 

It is DLL’s goal to as much as possible support its partners and customers as a financial partner, even in these corona times.The corona pandemic has had a major impact on Van Schaften Leasing B.V., but they were able to absorb the setbacks themselves thanks to their business operations and the company’s healthy position."

Heddi Khatib of DLL adds: ‘It is DLL’s goal to as much as possible support its partners and customers as a financial partner. Van Schaften Leasing B.V. was able to absorb the setbacks themselves. This says a great deal about the company’s management and the company’s healthy position.’

How would you characterize your partnership with DLL?

DLL is a financing partner that knows the crane sector inside out. They are thoroughly familiar with our equipment in contrast to many other financiers. They think in terms of what is possible, which gives us the feeling that they want to respond to our needs,’ says Martijn van Tuijtel. Both men

furthermore indicate that there is open communication with DLL, and that DLL aims to provide full-service solutions. For example, DLL deals directly with the supplier when a new crane is delivered. That gives Van Schaften Leasing B.V. the room to concentrate on other matters. In addition to offering a financial solution, DLL also provides advice to help Van Schaften Leasing B.V. further professionalize its operations and to safeguard its strong competitive position on the international rental market. 


DLL is a financing partner that thinks in terms of what is possible and really wants to respond to our needs. The company does more than just come up with a financing solution. DLL’s advice enables us to further professionalize our company."

‘DLL aims for long-term partnerships. Open communication about opportunities and limitations is essential in this respect. This goes beyond one-time financing and DLL therefore establishes regular contacts. We realize the Van Schaften Leasing B.V. faces many challenges, in part due to their international activities. Because we immerse ourselves in our customer’s activities, we see opportunities that help us optimally support them. For example, we work with other financiers to come up with the perfect financing solution,’ Heddi Khatib explains. ‘In a short period of time, we realized a successful partnership that hopefully will endure for a long time.’