SCS Training & Consultancy celebrates 20-year anniversary

12 February, 2024
2,5 minutes reading time
Blog posts News Training

Today, Feb. 12, 2024, SCS Training & Consultancy proudly celebrates its 20th anniversary. Special Cargo’s training branch was founded in February 2004 by Hans van der Maat, and has since grown into a major player in logistics training. With Patrick Schoenmaker now at the helm and Hans still involved, we continue to innovate and grow. What has happened in those 20 years of training in hazardous materials, air cargo logistics and security?

“After the turn of the century, it became increasingly clear to me that our customers needed training and education in their field. And I had that knowledge in-house, as a former employee of the Hazardous Substances Control Corps,” says Hans van der Maat, founder of Special Cargo Services Training & Consultancy (T & C) in 2004. The company Special Cargo Services had been in existence for six years by then, founded with associate Huib den Dikken.

Compliance and security

Together they served companies in the oil and gas industry and freight forwarders at Schiphol Airport. It involved the logistics of shipments of hazardous materials, from a building in Oude Meer, located between Schiphol-Rijk and Schiphol-East. “And that specialty requires expertise and accuracy. And especially compliance: you have to work according to the strict international rules for the transport of dangerous goods. Because, of course, safety is a top priority in our industry. And besides: the inspection services also regularly knock on your door,” Hans explains.

Global trainings

So a training branch was established under the umbrella of the Special Cargo group, on Feb. 11, 2004. What started with a small class on the Breguetlaan in Oude Meer soon grew into organizing worldwide training courses and meetings, Hans says: “I traveled from the Middle East to Africa and from the Far East to Eastern Europe, wherever there was oil and gas extraction and offshore industry. They were mainly training sessions for the air and sea transportation of all kinds of hazardous materials that occur in this industry.”

Customer needs

Soon Hans could no longer do it alone and trainers gradually joined him. The range of courses and training was also increasing, depending on the needs of the customer base, says Patrick Schoenmaker, business unit manager at SCS T & C Schiphol. “And now we offer all kinds of courses in the field of hazardous materials, as well as in civil aviation security and security. We now have twelve permanent trainers in house, and a large number of flexible workers. Each with his or her own specialty. For example, we now also provide ADR driver training, for truck drivers who (also) transport hazardous materials. Because even for that you need to have quite a bit of knowledge.” With three of its own branches across the country, T & C strives to serve all of the Netherlands. “But we also come to clients’ homes, or rent premises near them. And of course we continue to travel around the world for our international trainings,” Patrick said.

Hans van der Maat and Patrick Schoenmaker on 20 years of T & C
Hans van der Maat and Patrick Schoenmaker: “In 20 years, Training & Consultancy has developed into a professional organization with a name in the logistics world. With the organization as it stands today, we are ready for further expansion across the border.”

Competency-based working

In terms of education, not much has actually changed, he continues. “IATA introduced the so-called ‘Competency Based Training’ last year, but actually we were already working that way. Depending on the group of trainees you have in front of you, you focus your training as much as possible on their area of expertise and the skills they need to have. So competency-based training was in our educational vision early on.”

Transportation by helicopter

What did play an important role in the last 20 years was the Internet, Hans adds. “Now e-learnings are commonplace, but I still remember my first digital training very well. Shell asked us if we could urgently provide ‘remote’ training for some employees on an oil rig near England. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, they had not completed any of the training required by ICAO and IATA regulations for personnel handling helicopters on a platform. That’s when I developed the e-learning “Dangerous Goods – Offshore Helicopter Operations. It has since been taken worldwide for many years, in English and Portuguese.”

Digital innovations

Later, T&C – also called Special Cargo College – developed its own training portal: Special Cargo Online. In this portal, managers can register their employees for a particular training. It also provides all the necessary information in terms of training at Special Cargo: which employee has completed which training, when is it time again for the (mandatory) refresher course, explains Patrick. “As a user, you get to see a nice overview at a glance. This is also how we keep up with the times in terms of digital innovations.”

Training Requirements

Something else that changed over the years was the laws and regulations, Patrick continued. “And especially the more stringent training requirements. In 1984 it became mandatory to train employees who work with dangerous air cargo to do so as well. That this was useful soon became clear: the number of shipments rejected at Schiphol went down drastically.” In 2003, companies in security around air cargo were also required to train their employees in this. And even within the storage of hazardous materials, more and more guidelines have been established over the years. For example, the PGS 15 and the PGS 37, which set high requirements for the professional competence of employees. “Previously these were ‘just’ guidelines, now they are becoming part of the Environment Act. A logical development, because these storage markets of hazardous substances are becoming larger and more important,” Patrick said.

Beer coaster

Meanwhile, Hans is no longer in the classroom. He deals more in the background with developing teaching materials, both digital and for classroom training. He and his former companion Huib found a good successor for the two businesses about ten years ago: Erik, Huib’s son, is now at the helm of Special Cargo. Together with Huib, Hans now proudly watches from the sidelines as the organization continues to evolve. “And not just in size. What once started as an idea on the back of a beer coaster is now a professional organization with a name in the logistics world.” And what will the next 20 years bring for T & C? Patrick has a clear vision for the future: “in any case, we want to expand more across borders. Set up a number of branches worldwide, as we have already done in Texas in 2021. With the organization as it stands today, we are ready for that.”

More interesting articles

Dangerous Goods Professional - the training for safety professionals with an affinity for dangerous goods

21 February, 2024
2,5 minutes reading time
Blog posts, Dangerous goods, Training

SCS Training & Consultancy celebrates 20-year anniversary

12 February, 2024
2,5 minutes reading time
Blog posts, News, Training

Successful pilot Security Culture Workshop at LFS Schiphol

5 February, 2024
2,5 minutes reading time
Blog posts, News, Security
© Copyright 2024 Special Cargo - dangerous goods, security | General Terms and Conditions Services | General Terms and Conditions College | Course conditions | Privacy