“Rivermaas is deeply committed. They think along with you, look to the future and are open to innovation.”
A LOAD OF EXPERIENCE
As Rivermaas sees it, the strength of the network makes the difference in the rapidly changing shipping sector. Vertom Shipmanagement is one of our network partners. They are responsible for the cargo, we are responsible for the cargo ships. The cooperation with Vertom gives commercial management new meaning in shipping.
It is important to Rivermaas that the ships are used as efficiently as possible and that they always have loading orders. The company’s ships were built for bulk transport. It is in this segment that Vertom has a great deal of experience and a large network of clients. They have been operating in the shipping sector for more than forty years, working worldwide with a team of sixty employees.
“It is important for us that we offer our customers good ships to transport their cargoes with. Rivermaas provides an excellent addition to the fleet of about seventy ships that are currently freighted by us. That’s not only because of the ships and the tonnage, but also because of the knowledge, experience and service offered by Rivermaas,” says Dave Venstra, operator of Vertom.
Vertom’s challenge is to make shippers the most competitive offers possible, even if there are not many cargoes to transport, while still ensuring that the shipping company can have healthy returns.
“Of course we are highly dependent on all kinds of factors, such as oil prices. But our network lets us ensure a proper flow of loading orders, based on various contacts. We also stand out clearly in making sure that ships are unloaded rapidly and go to the port of loading quickly after unloading. There they receive cargo again, after which they’ll sail off quickly.”
Vertom therefore maintains contacts with brokers in the harbours, making sure (with their help) that pilots are available and also taking responsibility for purchasing fuel for the ships, for example. Communication with the clients who have cargoes and with Rivermaas as the shipping company is very important for this.
“If costs have to be incurred, for instance for cleaning the ship or for overtime, which may occur now and then, we have to discuss it with Rivermaas, of course. And if the ship literally gets into stormy waters, then the owner of the cargo would like to know that too. It’s because we cooperate well with Rivermaas that we can find solutions that benefit all parties and that we can communicate quickly with all parties involved,” explains Venstra.
The requirements of charterers are getting more and more complex, which calls for even closer cooperation. The quality of the ship’s hold, for instance, should not only meet the requirements but preferably also exceed expectations.
“Of course, if you’re transporting a bulk cargo of scrap metal, other requirements apply than for a cargo of rice. The hold must be very clean for rice. It is in principle the responsibility of the shipping company, but ultimately our name will be at stake too. Two-way trust is therefore important,” says Venstra as he sketches out the daily challenge in the operation.
According to him, Rivermaas manages to stand out in that regard. “The quality of its services is very good. And that’s mainly because of the commitment of the people at Rivermaas. They have a lot of experience, are open to innovation and they think things through with you. We always manage to get in tough and we’re immediately involved if something’s going on, certainly if it’s cargo-related.”
The fact that one of the offices of Rivermaas is in a Vertom building in Rhoon helps, of course. “We can simply pop across into each other’s offices, and if you know each other well, you’re more likely to come up with ideas and solutions that make the difference. It’s reassuring for Rivermaas that we make sure there are cargoes for the ships. And it’s reassuring for us to know that the cargoes are in good hands with Rivermaas.”