Van Leeuwen
We are the eyes and ears in the maze of suppliers

We are the eyes and ears in the maze of suppliers

Theo Makkenze,
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube, Zwijndrecht

Seamless  heavy wall tubes are one of Van Leeuwen’s specialties. These tubes are used all over the world as a solid base for bridges, roofs, sluice gates, booms, masts, jetties and other constructions. In this blog will explain how these tubes helped us to make a name for ourselves. Also, I will tell you how we are always able to deliver a constant quality in a time when requirements become more and more strict.

As a business unit manager, I am responsible for Van Leeuwen’s industrial clients in the Netherlands. There is a high demand for heavy wall tubes in steel construction, shipbuilding, machine building, agricultural machinery and construction. At Van Leeuwen, we have been buying and selling these tubes for decades. Our role as a stockholding  distributor has a large part to play in this specific product line.

Large storage capacity

Mills usually work with stockholding suppliers like Van Leeuwen. In order to place an order at a mill, minimum order quantities per size are required. These quantities are usually far too large for our individual clients. Moreover, delivery times   for seamless tubes at the mills are generally very long. That’s where we come in. Because we place our orders  regularly and timely, we can supply our clients with their desired tubes within 24 to 48 hours. Clients can also benefit from Van Leeuwen’s global stocks, which are shared between warehouses.

Quality is always guaranteed

Besides keeping large quantities on stock, we also add value to the tubes, for instance by cutting them to size, shotblasting them, coating them  or testing them. Furthermore, we continually monitor product quality. This means Van Leeuwen constantly visits and audits tube mills. We grade our suppliers like a butcher would grade his meat. In doing so, we are our clients’ eyes and ears in the maze of suppliers. This way, we can guarantee a consistent level of quality throughout our product line.

Client also use our storage

Large projects usually require large  direct mill orders in order to account for delivery time. In these cases, the client’s materials are stored in Zwijndrecht. Being able to include delivery times in a project schedule is very important to our customers. If we deliver ahead of schedule, the materials will only be in the way. Instead, by temporarily storing the materials and delivering them  in parts when needed, we can ease that stress for our clients. These planning and logistics solutions show that we actively think with our clients.

Tube applications

In my daily work, I deal with independent companies and large firms like shipyards and construction companies. The industry has many uses for our tubes. In ship-building, for instance, they are used for making stern tubes and supports for decks. In steel construction, tubes are used to build stadiums or roof constructions like the one at Schiphol Airport. But that’s not all. The overpass used to connect the residential area to the city at the A15 highway, bridge signs like the one at the Van Brienenoord bridge, the floodgates at Amsterdam-Noord, the Maeslantkering storm surge barrier, ship masts, guardrails, street lights… If you really look at it, the whole world is connected by tubes.

Strict material checks

With the many uses of  heavy wall tubes in mind, it is no surprise that we at Van Leeuwen strictly monitor the quality of all materials. Product requirement specifications keep extending and quality requirements keep going up. As a result, additional testing of products happens more and more. We constantly change our product specifications to meet the latest market demands. This, for instance, means we can carry out impact tests at lower temperatures than usual. All tubes produced for Van Leeuwen must at least meet the requirements as stipulated in EN 10210/EN 10297 quality S355J2H/E355+AR.


Like many of my colleagues at the sales team, I have been working for a long time for Van Leeuwen. Within the team, we have a ton of knowledge and experience, which we gladly put into service for our clients. Through intensive client contact, we are able to translate any client demand into concrete solutions. If needed, we adapt our service accordingly.  For customers buying heavy wall tubes at Van Leeuwen, this means we deliver from our own extensive stock, we cut, shotblast,  coat or test the tubes if desired, we offer storage space and think about planning issues. Our clients can choose from a large and diverse stock of steel tubes, in various sizes and quantities.

Want to know more about our heavy wall tubes? Contact me!

We recently expanded our stock of seamless heavy wall tubes with over 100 new sizes. Moreover, we changed our product specifications to meet the demands of our customers. From now on, the tubes we buy also meet the requirements of EN 10216-3 quality P355N.



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