Successful first meeting of Dutch regional maritime clusters

Nederland Maritiem Land and Marstrat BV took the initiative to connect the leading Dutch regional maritime clusters. During a successful meeting on the 9th of June various regional administrators worked on identifying cross-regional challenges, intensifying cooperation, and to share lessons learned.

The first steps towards a nation wide plan for recovery were set. The meeting was organised by Nederland Maritiem Land (NML), the network organisation of the Dutch maritime industry.

Marstrat is closely involved with the maritime clusters of Rotterdam, Drechtcities and Groningen. According to Marstrat-partners Harry Doze and Martin Bloem it is important to increase the involvement of regional administrators with the maritime industry. ‘Every region and municipality has its own DNA. Common interest can be found in the shared ambition and increased attention to support the maritime industry. Therefore it is important to connect and involve regional administrators to navigate away of the current crisis. Together with NML the regions are able to get topics such as nitrogen, industrial policy and maritime education on the agenda of national administrators in The Hague’

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Regional Maritime Clusters empower people, industry and governments

The maritime sector is a truly global industry. It is driven by large financial interests, and funds run from major port cities like Singapore, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Shanghai and Hongkong. It is here where the big money game is played, and where global interests meet. In a vibrant setting of commodity traders, ports and terminals, shipowners, shipyards and related financial or legal services.

This Champion’s League is highly interesting to play in. However, these hotspots do not fully explain the full impact of the maritime industry. In the EU alone, over 5 million people are employed in the sector, and they certainly are not all working in the big cities. This can be explained by the fact that many maritime activities takes place in coastal regions outside the large cities. They can be found around specific concentrations such as shipyards and related industries. In fishing communities, around offshore ports, marinas. Or even away from the coast in inland navigation communities.

In these local or regional communities, the stakes are as high as they are vulnerable. During the Corona crisis several governments took action to support their local industries. Nonintervention was no option. The social impact would have been too high. Therefore we can see increasing efforts in sustainable technology developments, automation, maritime training, collective marketing, and alternative ship finance.

In this thematic approach, the role of governments is often important, and as soon as public support becomes a real option, governance and organisation issues emerge. Within North and West Europe, Marstrat consultants witness an increasing demand for consultancy services by local and regional parties. They seek advice on the setup of public-private co-operations, formal and informal influence structures, and funding.

Marstrat partners are involved in national maritime networks (Dutch Maritime Network/Maritime by Holland), regional maritime networks (e.g. Rotterdam Maritime Capital of Europe, Drecht Cities, Groningen Maritime Board) and as an advisor to public and private stakeholders outside the Netherlands. If you are interested in setting up a professional regional maritime cluster, please contact us for a free of charge consultation.

Never Waste a Good Crisis, Be Ready For The Virtual Transformation

The Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport expects no large events will be allowed for the next year. Without major trade shows it will be a challenge to maintain and develop business networks as well as launch new products and services.

How can maritime companies present themselves, build their network and meet their prospective clients? The basic rules of business have not changed. But to be successful we have to adapt the way of working.

Digital tools already had a big impact. Everyone is using video conferencing internally and to communicate with existing contacts. Webinars have become a common way to be informed in larger networks. But how can similar tools be used in early stages of the marketing and sales process? How can they replace trade shows and in person meetings?

One way to fill the gap is to develop virtual events and it is expected that they will revolutionize our way of doing business. Existing event organizers will try to come up with solutions trying to save their collapsing business models. More creative initiatives could come from new players in this market who don’t have the need to protect their old pricing policy. Companies who are successful in defining their virtual strategy will have a comparative advantage.

This crisis also created opportunities. This is the time for trade associations to gain control and steer the developments in a direction which is in the best interest of their members. But also individual companies can develop digital marketing and sales strategies using virtual technology. The ones with the best solutions gain marketshare.

Marstrat is at the forefront of these developments. Together with associations and individual companies we prepare virtual events and marketing and sales processes are being digitalized. We help to create new concepts, select software, execute pilot projects and organize the implementation. We focus on the experience of the buyer and find the best way to support the visitors’ journey. We believe that – also in the digital world – meeting real people in real time are crucial to create trust and doing business.

Should you wish to speak with our team, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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How to survive your maritime business during the COVID-19 crisis and thereafter

As maritime consultants to shipyards, shipping companies, investors, equipment suppliers and the government we are continuously analysing how the future of our industry will develop in the short and long term.

Some principal questions arise for many decision makers in our industry.

  • How can working practices in shipbuilding and related manufacturing processes adapt to an economy with social distancing? Will robotization plans accelerate ?
  • Will demand for transport such as oil, steel and manufactured goods continue to grow as before COVID-19? How can my shipping company as a result of this sustain a period of reduced turnover and how can I financially survive?
  • How will the supply of shipping capacity adjust to the new demand? There are currently hardly any new orders for newbuild vessels. How long will this situation last and what scenario’s should I run to determine my funding gap?
  • Will the cruise market come back to life and will consumers in the future still want to be entertained with 1,000+ people on a ship? Will the superyacht market benefit from this and how can I enter this market?

The innovative Dutch maritime sector can play an important role in transforming some of the developments reshaping our industry for the future. European governments are providing support in various ways and are expected to do more in the months to come.

A quick reset of our industry can accelerate better and more sustainable working processes and products. We believe a crisis is the moment to adapt quickly and turn challenges into opportunities for the post-corona economy.

In the end this crisis is unique and affects the global maritime industry and therefore you want your business to come out stronger relative to your competitors.

We will provide you with regular updates on key developments during the COVID-19 crisis, via our website and social media, so stay tuned.

Should you wish to speak with our team, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Hein Velema joins Marstrat as partner

Marstrat is pleased to announce that Hein Velema has joined as a partner as from 1 April 2020.

Hein is a strategic consultant and specialized in the superyacht industry. He will strengthen and complement the Marstrat team with his ample experience in this subsector of the maritime market.

Raymond Ko: “The Netherlands holds a prominent position as high-quality manufacturer and supplier of superyachts. The market has a long-term favorable outlook and we are happy that we have Hein on board to advise clients in this industry to perform better”.

“The moment to make this step in the middle of a European lockdown is special” says Hein. “It is a time of change and companies who can adapt faster will have a competitive advantage. Marstrat has the expertise to help those companies to make that change. I am proud to be part of the team”.

Hein has a master degree in economics and was a business consultant for a decade before joining superyacht builder Feadship as a director in 1996. Hein was responsible for coordinating all sales activities, marketing and the foreign offices. The last four years at Feadship Hein was also general manager of De Voogt Naval Architects, the in-house design and engineering company.

During the 11 years at Feadship Hein was also active in HISWA, the Dutch yachting association and he was the founding president of SYBAss, the superyacht builders association.

In 2007 Hein joined Fraser Yachts in Monaco as commercial director and was promoted to CEO early 2009. Hein was one of the founders and vice president of LYBRA, the large brokers association.

Over the last years Hein worked internationally with various companies as a business consultant or interim manager: ISA Yachts (Ancona, Italy), Thompson Westwood White Yachts (Monaco), Engel & Völkers Yachting (Luxembourg), ICON Yachts (the Netherlands), Yatco and IYBA (both USA), Vessel Value (UK) and a family office (Middle East).

Currently Hein hosts a series of webinars in collaboration with SuperYacht Times for the superyacht community. Hein is presently based in Monaco and will move to the Netherlands in the coming months when the current critical corona situation has stabilized.

Coronavirus – Contingency Plan & Guidelines for Dutch vessels

The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate published a Contingency Plan and Guidelines in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which applies to all ships flying the Dutch Flag.

They considers the COVID-19 outbreak to be a force majeure situation and wanted that ships registered under the flag of the Netherlands are able to continue to operate despite possible expired certificates caused by the current COVID-19 situation.

This Contingency Plan provides information regarding postponement of inspections and extending the validity of mandatory certificates due to difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jenny Coenen and Harry Doze help the Northern NL shipbuilding cluster to become more competitive

The Northern shipbuilding cluster in the Netherlands is keen to actively cooperate, as was shown during a lively breakfast meeting between trade association NMT and the Groninger Maritime Board at the end of December in Groningen.

Marstrat’s Jenny Coenen and Harry Doze are is actively involved in initiatives to improve shipbuilding in the North of the Netherlands, through a role in the Maritime Board and ample expertise in the field of innovative shipbuilding, the local maritime market and financing.

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Launch of NL flag website by Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen

On Thursday 7 November, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen officially launched a new website: www.nlflag.nl. The launch took place at the NL flag stand at Europort, the leading maritime exhibition for special ships in Rotterdam.

The NL flag website is the all-encompassing information portal for the registration of sea-going vessels and superyachts under the Dutch flag. The portal is publicly available without restricted access and provides information on the vessel registration and certification process, manning requirements and the Netherlands’ shipping and tax policy.

The Dutch government has the aim to increase the number of vessels flying the Dutch flag, currently over 1,220, in order to continue to strengthen the maritime cluster in the Netherlands and to further develop maritime related economic activity and employment.

Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen: “The Netherlands has a rich maritime heritage and a strong performance in water management and maritime business. We are front runners with respect to innovation of the shipping sector. With a ship register ranked in the top of the Paris MoU, the Netherlands remains well represented at the International Maritime Organization with its main purpose of safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.”

The launch of the website coincides with the start of the promotion campaign of NL flag which is executed by Marstrat on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

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Marstrat and Damen Shipyards Gorinchem host Finnish business delegation

On Monday 4 November 2019 Marstrat and Damen Shipyards Gorinchem hosted a Finnish business delegation (Team Finland), eleven companies were led by their State Secretary for Economic Affairs.

The aim of the meeting was to learn more about autonomous vessels, the construction of cruise vessels and smart ports, in both Finland and the Netherlands. Various other topics were raised, such as advanced maritime solutions, digitalization, partnerships, sustainability and research.

Damen also elaborated on their new Engineering office in Helsinki, Finland. Specials thanks to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland and for a very successful afternoon of discussions and networking.

Marstrat continues support of Maritime Awards Gala

Rotterdam based maritime consultancy firm Marstrat has supported Maritime Awards Gala (MAG) over the years and became Gold Sponsor for the first time in 2018. Marstrat confirms to continue the sponsorship agreement in 2019.

Marstrat and MAG share the same vision when it comes to appreciating the significance of the Dutch maritime industry: from creating world class innovative solutions and highly advanced shipbuilding to realizing sustainable maritime solutions with the strong support of finance providers. Marstrat has been involved in various mandates promoting the Dutch maritime sector internationally and has been guiding companies and the public sector to develop maritime business activities locally.

Every year almost 900 maritime professionals attend the annual networking event to celebrate the innovative power and achievements of the Dutch maritime industry. The event hosts five prestigious awards in the categories designer, innovation, ship-of-the-year, shipping and student innovation.

Marstrat is a strategic consultancy firm based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands that provides a unique combination of business, financial, and operational expertise to the maritime sector. Marstrat simplifies, organises and supports in order to solve your cross-disciplinary maritime challenges. Marstrat’s partners speak the language of the sector and understand the international markets. They have extensive experience, and an undisputed track record in the maritime sector.