Good employees are indispensable for a successful company, but how do you ensure that you recruit and retain the right employees? Prof. dr. Dr Lidewey van der Sluis has already inspired the HR staff and management of Wagenborg with her insights into the interface of business economics and strategic talent management. Now she also shares her ideas with Wagenborg. “From an employer’s perspective, I see a working relationship as an investment in the human capital of a company. Such an investment should pay off. You can’t take that lightly.”
The ‘Wagenborg Attitude Training Experience & Responsibility Programme’, or WATER program, was launched in autumn this year. With this tailor-made training program, Wagenborg works on the leadership skills of its captains and officers. “The role of the captain and officers has shifted significantly in recent years from pure seamanship to a management position. Since people management is underexposed in nautical training, we are looking for ways to develop this”, says Mark Hoving, Senior Operational Manager Wagenborg Crew Management.
The shipping industry is and will remain cyclical. Good and bad years alternate. As a shipping company, it is therefore not that easy to remain profitable in the longer term. Especially considering all the environmental requirements and expectations that are set today. In addition, shipping is capital intensive, whereby appropriate financing is inextricably linked to the future of shipping. We talk to Bert Kuiken (Commercial Director) and Joep Gorgels (Global Head of Coverage Transportation & Logistics) of ABN Amro about mutual expectations, challenges for the future and the “Poseidon Principles”.
“Making our company more sustainable every day for current and future generations.” With this ambition, Wagenborg presented its sustainability policy at the end of 2020. We will talk to CEO Egbert Vuursteen and CFO Jeroen Seyger about good entrepreneurship, taking responsibility and greening at Wagenborg.
While TNO Business Developer and researcher Jurrit Bergsma still wondered two years ago whether ocean shipping would switch to sustainable energy carriers, now, he says, the question is mainly when the sector will switch. “From a technical point of view we are well on the way, now it is important to gain the trust of the ship owners with proven scalable concepts, and to make it financially feasible, so that we can take the next step in practice.”
Polluting ships, an outdated sector and menial work: that is the average image of maritime shipping portrayed in the media. “Incorrect and unnecessary”, says Annet Koster, Director of the Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR). “The general public is unfamiliar with Dutch maritime shipping, so it’s high time we tell them just who we are, what we do and what course we have set for the coming decades!”
Jan van Dam is not only a shipowner and trendsetter in terms of sustainability, but Jan van Dam is also a keen sailor. So when he heard about wingshaped elements which would theoretically result in 8 to 10 percent less fuel consumption on board his ships, he decided to turn his ship Ankie into a pilot ship.
Months away from home, stuck on a ship where you could have disembarked if only you were allowed to, food and medication running out and no direct contact with your family all that time. Covid-19 has trapped hundreds of thousands of crew members at sea for many months. They are accustomed to an extended stay away from home, but not this long. According to the most recent estimations, around four hundred thousand crew members are stuck on ships they are not allowed off. This is a massive number in a sector which employs around 1.8 million people. It has however become daily reality, also for Marianne Klat, Senior Crew Manager at Wagenborg in Delfzijl.
Technical innovations make it possible to optimise trips by choosing the best route for example and sailing at the most efficient speed. It will also be possible to use the fleet as a whole even more efficiently, for example through smart planning programs in the office. This not only renders shipping more sustainable but also increases the international competitive position. Wagenborg is therefore working hard on the options for digitisation and smart shipping. We’re talking to Eldert Heijkoop (Manager Operations Chartering) and Maurice Stokhof de Jong (Contract Manager Projects & New build) on more efficient voyages, remote maintenance, smart navigation and planning software, as well as significant fuel savings.