The history of OVET begins in 1957. This is the year when the French stevedoring company Manufrance decided to establish a local transshipping company for a major customer: the Association Cooperative Zélandaise de Carbonisation, also known as the Cokesfabriek (Coke factory).
This factory focused on the production of cokes for the blast furnaces of French steelworks. Terneuzen was a favourable location, because it is well-situated with regard to England and the Ruhr area, which is where the coals came from. The deep waterway was also a major advantage.
The main reason for choosing a location in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen was the substantial price difference between supplying coals via Rotterdam or directly to Terneuzen. On the 2nd of May, 1957 the company was established. The managing director at the time, Y.H.M. Simenel, started out with seven other employees and ran the company from the Grand Hotel Rotterdam in Terneuzen.
OVET decided to use floating cranes in order to be able to lighten vessels midstream as well as from the quay. The very first floating crane had a lifting capacity of 6 tons. The company was successful and steadily gained new clients, besides the Coke factory. Lifting capacity of the cranes increased from 6 to 16 tons and later to 25 tons. In 2007, the newest crane with a lifting capacity of 36 tons came into service. From an annual 500,000 tons of transshipment during the beginning, OVET has grown to as much as 10 million tons of transshipment today. The company now has dry bulk terminals in Vlissingen and Terneuzen and over 100 employees ensure services of high quality for the customers.