Sea-Land Chemical Co. Celebrates 50th Anniversary: Westlake-Based Specialty Chemical Supplier Takes Time to Thank Customers, Suppliers and Staff

January 22, 2015

Sea-Land Chemical Co. is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1964 to supply chemicals to the lubricants industry, Sea-Land has grown into an international, employee-owned specialty chemical distributor. Today, the firm has clients on three continents and over $100 million in annual revenue.

Sea-Land Chemical Co. was founded in Cleveland in 1964 by John Hetchler. The company started by supplying lubricant additives derived from natural sources from the sea and land. Over the years it expanded its territory from the mid-west to encompass all of the United States as well as Canada, Mexico and Europe.

“We are very proud to celebrate this milestone,” said Sea-Land Chemical Co. president Joe Clayton. “Many things have contributed to our success over the years: the dedication of our staff, our ability to seize opportunities and our experience within key industries. However, we could never have reached this point without the steadfast support of our customers, business partners and employees. We owe them all a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

Today, Sea-Land Chemical Co. occupies a unique position between their business partners and customers. As an extension of their business partners sales and marketing departments, they are an important source of product and technical information for their customers. As a specialized distributor, they bring valuable insight to their business partners, assisting in the process to engineer new products to meet market needs.

“Even with the advent of many new technologies, this industry is as much about relationships, knowledge and customer service as it was when we started,” Clayton said.

In June 2011, Sea-Land made the critical step of creating Sea-Land Chemical Europe, Ltd. and Sea-Land Chemical Canada, Ltd. These subsidiaries were designed to serve lubricant blenders in their respective territories. Today, these firms have a growing presence among small-to-midsized lubricant companies in a variety of geographical markets.

“The future looks bright and we continue to build. Our business is growing consistently in our core markets, and we are expanding into new industries like water treatment,” Clayton said. “Our subsidiary markets are doing well and we are exploring new markets in Asia.”

Clayton attributes much of the company’s success to the longevity and expertise of its employees and the support of its board of directors.

“Our senior executives have an average of 20 years of service with the company. The overall employee average is over 10 years, and we continue to hire aggressively. Our board adds a level of governance and structure that has been critical as we have expanded our operations. It’s very much a team effort.”