Why vetting is valuable
Sustainability & Safety

Why vetting is valuable

Customers or their customers increasingly choose to engage a vetting company before entrusting their valuable cargo to one of our vessels. Such a vetting company checks the quality of our organization, services and ships. That means another check that costs us a lot of time and energy, in addition to, for example, the checks of Flagstate, Portstate and Class. Nevertheless, we are happy with this extra check. Nautical Operations Manager Eldert Heijkoop explains why.

Heijkoop: “Vetting organizations like RightShip go a step further than other agencies. They go deeper into causes, ask questions to find out the underlying causes of an incident or deviation. These are often the questions that are more difficult to answer. When these questions are asked by colleagues, there is not always an answer. RightShip keeps asking until such an answer is on the table to help us learn from it. In this way they lift our incident investigation to a higher level and we can improve our quality level even further. That is why we have been an official Member of Rightship for a year now.”


While vetting has been common practice in the tanker world and offshore industry for years, it is still relatively new in the world of general cargo. For the Wagenborg colleagues, this requires a switch in thinking and acting. “We are busy instructing colleagues to complete General Reports according to RightShip’s requirements; to immediately record information properly and to take an even more critical look at incidents and possible underlying causes. This is how we try to anticipate RightShip’s questions. That is not always possible, but we also learn from that: next time you will ask those questions yourself.” All efforts pay off. Last year, 67 of the 70 applications were approved.

Heijkoop still sees a disadvantage of the current checks. “Vetting organizations often use the same guidelines for all ships. That is not always logical. Our 10,000-tonners cannot be compared in many respects with 200,000-ton bulk carriers. An example: RightShip automatically places ships older than 14 years and can carry more than 8,000 tons in the relatively low class 2 until the ship has been physically inspected. Our ships sometimes call at 50 ports a year and are inspected that often. Then you may wonder whether that class 2 classification is justified. That is very different from large bulk carriers, which sometimes only call at 5 ports in a year. It would be nice if that distinction were made, because basically we are very happy with the extra pair of eyes from the vetting organizations.”

"They go deeper into causes, ask questions to find out the underlying causes of an incident."

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