In an international context dominated by Asian countries, the Romanian naval industry has succeeded in remaining a significant pillar in the economy, due to private investments in new technologies, qualified human resources, and increased production capacity.

The high potential of this industry in Romania has been well noticed by the foreign investors who brought here know-how, a new approach, and last but not least, investment capital.

We had an interesting talk with the CEO of an emblematic company – DMT Marine Equipment, that produces in Romania, high-quality deck machinery to equip vessels all over the world. The company was founded in Galati, 20 years ago, starting from a small, young, and enthusiastic team, in a small apartment office, reaching today, more than 260 direct employees and many other subcontractors.


We asked Piet ter Schure, the CEO of DMT, how did he find the naval industry in the early 2000s when he started the company, and how would he describe it today.

“In 2001 when we started DMT, the naval industry was quite conservative and difficult to move towards innovation and creating better equipment in terms of design, raw materials, and selected suppliers. We started by addressing the Dutch market where we succeeded to sell equipment for inland vessels, although the price was the key element in selecting a deck equipment supplier. At that time, it was quite common to see ships ordered from the eastern part of Europe, but soon after, China took the lead as a preferred producer due to price reasons. In fact, today, China, along with South Korea and Japan, represent the strongest production hub in the world shipbuilding industry. However, in the last 8-10 years, things have started to improve and the openness towards new and innovative solutions has increased. The young generations of professionals have brought surprising ideas and today, we are already talking about eco-friendly and autonomous vessels”.

We were curious to know how Piet arrived in Galati and how he succeeded to enter such a traditional industry: “In 2000 I received an offer to work for a company in Galati, that produced deck equipment for fishing vessels, tugboats, and many other types of anchoring equipment. Although my dream was to start on my own, I decided to accept the challenge. Overall, my experience was very nice, especially with the clients and the projects that I carried out. As for the entrepreneur, he cherished more his own pocket than making investments in the company. Since he forgot to pay my wages correctly, I decided that it was time to start my own journey together with 3 Romanian partners and one in the Netherlands. I started with very little, but I strongly believed in our capacity to provide the best products. At first, our activity was based on design and engineering, and for the production, we used facilities belonging to partner companies. Shortly after, we started delivering many winches to Dutch and Romanian shipyards thus growing the international exposure”.

DMT started as a design and engineering company. How was the transition towards in-house production?

”Indeed, we started with design and engineering, but it wasn’t just that. We had strong partnerships with production facilities, very carefully selected, and also with the best suppliers to obtain high-quality products at competitive prices. We started by investing in getting practical know-how and in ensuring worldwide service. To choose not to switch to in-house production would have been easy, especially since we didn’t have enough capital to buy all the necessary machines to equip a production facility. However, we decided to save all the earnings and, step by step, we managed to purchase the necessary equipment, in order to become independent in terms of production. Currently, we produce in our facilities, not only the deck equipment but also the hydraulic and electric control systems for our winches. In this way, we have the flexibility to provide tailor-made solutions for our customers. There is no DMT equipment for which we couldn’t ensure remote and on-site assistance. We have a dedicated team, prepared to answer any after-sale request”.

How did DMT succeed in building an international brand?

In a competitive and rather niche market of deck machinery manufacturers, it is not easy to break through and remove a strong competition, many times, with a longer tradition than that of DMT. We asked Piet how he faced the challenges and what were the main values that guided him: ”We were always true to our clients; we have dedicated our knowledge and efforts to find the best solutions for them and we offered prompt answers to their requests. I believe that this availability and openness to providing support have differentiated us from our competitors. Our motto «No concessions on quality» is at the heart of everything we do, regardless of we refer to the equipment that we produce or to the services that we provide”.

What is DMT most proud of today and what are your major plans for the future?

A company that started with few people but lots of energy, knowledge, and enthusiasm, has put Romania in the spotlight, in a wide range of countries with world-renowned manufacturers. Certainly, the journey was not easy, but we asked Piet what are the main things that DMT is most proud of. „We take pride in our energetic, dedicated, and professional team who succeeds to accomplish our customers’ expectations, no matter their location in the world. Despite the constraints of a market focused on low prices, our team manages to highlight our strong points and to convert the opportunities into achievements for the company.” As for the future: ”We focus our efforts on innovation, new solutions, and aligning to the strong trends in the market-leading to eco-friendly equipment. We continue investing in machines and technologies that will allow us to make our ideas come true.”