Martin Bloem

It is lonely at the top - Harry Doze - Martin Bloem - Marstrat

It’s lonely at the top

Harry Doze, Martin Bloem |

Decision making at C-level can be a lonely affair. Often the most important decisions owner or board makes, are done by a small number of people. The reason for this is that it is just impossible to share information in public. Tall because of NDA’s with future partners, a public listing, personnel issues or competitive reasons. Consequently, only the majority shareholder or board members carry the burden of crucial decisions for the company’s future.

But what to do when crucial information is needed on maritime markets, or a second opinion is being asked? This is where the partners of Marstrat come in. The partners of Marstrat provide objective feedback with regard to strategic plans or executive decisions on a strictly confidential basis. Thanks to long time experience in executive positions in maritime business, Marstrat has the knowledge to assess or discuss strategic and executive discussions. Not in order to tell what you want to hear. But to give their own opinion, like it or not.

Our forte is in strategic decisions, road maps, and feedback based on knowledge, feeling and experience in marine and offshore markets. Investors, shipowners, shipyards and maritime suppliers lean on this expertise. This is the portal to a healthy discussion, which results in a balanced decision. Both in the past as in the present.

Marstrat also fills in supervisory board positions, and gives special attention to the organisation, legal department and knowledge of the shipbuilding and shipping markets.

It will always be lonely at the top, but it can be comfortable as well – when a Marstrat partner backs up your decision.

SmartHolland Day web

Smart Maintenance Business Lunch, The Next Steps

Martin Bloem |

If you are interested in smart maintenance of your maritime assets, we invite you to join the Smart Maintenance Business Lunch. This high level event will take place on Wednesday September 5th 2018 in Hamburg. The lunch is co-organised by leading European companies and is part of the Smart Holland Day at SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair.

Combining serious topics with good food and excellent networking opportunities will be the formula, just like the successful event two years ago. In this edition, industry experts will share their views on how to turn data into revenue. Apart from getting acquainted with the latest insights on these topics the gastro lunch is the perfect opportunity to entertain your guests. Reserve your company table now, in order to get the best placement possible in the room.

The Dutch ambassador to Germany, HE Wepke Kingma, will perform the opening speech in the presence of  the Vice-Mayor of Rotterdam and the Vice-Mayor of the Drecht Cities.

Program Smart Maintenance Business Lunch, The Next Steps

The event is moderated by Mrs. Mai Elmar, executive director of Cruise Port Rotterdam and chairwoman of the Maritime Board Rotterdam.

  • 11.30 hours: Doors open
  • 12.00 hours: Opening speech HE Mr. Wepke Kingma, the Dutch ambassador to Germany
  • 12.05 hours: 1st pitch on behalf of Royal IHC; Valorisation of smart maintenance
  • 12.20 hours: Starter
  • 12.35 hours: Presentation ‘Rotterdam Maritime Capital of Europe’
  • 12.50 hours: 2nd pitch on behalf of Siemens; Cross-overs in smart maintenance
  • 13.05 hours: Main course
  • 13.30 hours: 3rd pitch on behalf of IFS Benelux; Young professionals in maintenance
  • 13.45 hours: Walking desert and networking
  • 14.00 hours: Closing ceremony

Make a reservation

Target audience

Decisionmakers from the international maritime industry are invited to participate in the event.


Radisson Blue Hotel*
Marseiller Str. 2
20355 Hamburg

*Walking distance of the Hamburg Messe


Maximum attention: order your own company table* for only € 1500,- excluding VAT.
Single seats: join individually or with your clients for € 100,- excluding VAT per person.

 *seats 10 people

Additional information

Feel free to contact Bianca Visser of Marstrat for inquiries via or +316 414 027 42.


The Smart Maintenance Business Lunch is organised by Marstrat, IFS Benelux and Netherlands Maritime Technology and part of the Smart Holland Day.

This non-profit event is made possible by:



Talking tugs

Martin Bloem |

Over the past ten years, the world fleet increased from roughly 75,000 ships to almost 95,000 (+26%). The total gross tonnage went from 773 million to 1,300 million (+68%). Typically when tonnage grows faster than number, average ship size goes up. In order to manage this fleet rise, tugs are needed. Consequently, worldwide tug capacity would go up. In fact that is exactly what happens over the past ten years. The number of tugs in the world grew with 47% from 13,000 to 19,000 and GT grew in the same pace (+53%).

World fleet of tugs 2017 - Marstrat

Sofar for the good news. Positive as it looks, a further examination learns that since 2014 the average age of tugs goes up from 21.7 years to 23.4 years. In four years time the global fleet aged on average with 1.7 years. In the years before an opposite trend was visible.

Slightly disturbing is the number of new tugs delivered to the market. In the good old days a monthly delivery of 50 tugs was shown, with a peak of close to a stunning 200 in January 2013. Now monthly worldwide deliveries of 20 ships with no significant peaks are the new normal.

It seems the tug market shows signs of overcapacity. Probably this is caused by a high contracting activity and subsequent deliveries in the period until 2012. After this years new orders almost lineary decreased to the depressed numbers nowadays. On the one side it appears the tug fleet is too numerous and needs rationalization given the increasing age. On the other hand, the drivers of the tug market show positive signals again: oil prices are going up with increased offshore and terminal operations. Moreover, the world economy and seaborne trade show clear signs of recovery. Beyond the horizon there is hope.

There is surely hope for shipyards in the longer term, but in the short term the construction of tug boats is expected to remain expressively weak. In this market only a few dedicated shipbuilders can survive. My bets are on Damen Shipyards Group because of their economies of scale, standardization, diversification, unique approach to R&D and their unbeatable marketing power in upcoming regions across the globe. We cross our fingers for the future, but we are confident for the winners.

Tug deliveries 2017 - Marstrat

Investment Guide Deal Drecht Cities

Regional maritime policy emerging

Martin Bloem |

A new phenomenon is rising in The Netherlands: regional initiatives for promotion and policy specifically focused on the maritime sector. Recently, Rotterdam started the branding campaign ‘Maritime Capital of Europe‘. The city started up a top level Maritime Board for attracting new business from abroad. The Drecht Cities are active under the brand ‘Drecht Cities Maritime Delta‘, and West Holland. Schiedam, a city next to Rotterdam, is starting an initiative and in the North of Holland, the Province of Groningen is gearing up with a new campaign.

Marstrat’s Martin Bloem is specialist in regional maritime partnerships, and was co-founder of the Drecht Cities Campaign. His explanation of the new trend is simple: “International competition is getting stronger and stronger. Not only at company level but also between governments. Maritime companies create jobs and welfare, with a large economic impact. In this context, governments do not want to sit on their hands.

Typical subjects of regional policy are economic promotion and acquisition, Small and Medium sized Companies (SME) policy, education and technology, and creating a favorable business climate in general. Active politicians with heart for the industry often initiate regional policy. While governments with strong support of industry carry out first investments.

Marstrat is able to set up local or regional maritime initiatives in Europe or beyond. Bloem: “We can take it from a first idea, through campaign set up, to the physical program management. If more regions join, at the end of the day we would create a true, flourishing maritime economy of regions.

Smart Maintenance Business Lunch Europort 2017 - Marstrat - IFS

Smart Maintenance, what’s next?

Martin Bloem |

On November 8th maritime consultancy firm Marstrat and software provider IFS will host the second consecutive Smart Maintenance Business Lunch at Europort 2017 in Rotterdam. In line with the fair’s main theme ‘maximising vessel performance’, this year’s topic of the business lunch is: ‘Smart Maintenance, what’s next?’

Early September 2016 Marstrat and IFS organised the first business lunch at SMM Hamburg to put ‘smart maintenance’ as a topic in the limelight. The event was attended by high-level representation from the maritime industry, knowledge institutions and governments. Marstrat and IFS are looking forward to organise another successful event with an impressive panel of industry experts.

The Dutch are renowned for a constant eye to search for innovative new solutions as well as the willingness to experiment with new technologies. Combined with a flexible attitude and drive to join forces in project specific coalitions. This mentality proves to be a valuable asset for developing innovative ‘out of the box’ solutions. Current developments like autonomous shipping and the rapid increase of offshore windfarms call for smart solutions, creating opportunities for the Dutch maritime industry. Existing methods and techniques are often product based. While these opportunities call for a ‘system approach’. By making smart combinations and coalitions Dutch companies can play an important role in finding high quality solutions. Digital transformation is becoming a leading factor, creating more and more opportunities.

Connectivity and real-time data communication are distinguishing drivers. Especially developments like Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud Computing. The availability of real time data increases rapidly. To be able to gain advantage from this data, it needs to find its way to centralized and intelligent systems. Creating competitive advantage through data analysis calls for clever interpretation strategies. Answering questions like: what would be the best next step? How can individual company initiatives be brought to the next level? How to develop industry standards? How to train and develop the workforce and how to evolve ICT solutions? In other words: WHAT’S NEXT?


Due to circumstances this event was cancelled.


Smart Maintenance Business Lunch 2016 : a recap

Martin Bloem |

On September 7th the Smart Maintenance Business Lunch was held in the Radisson Blu Hotel next to the SMM venue in Hamburg. The three course theme lunch, welcomed over 100 executives from the international maritime industry. It offered opportunities for networking as well as learning from the sector´s frontrunners on the subject operational excellence and cost reductions through smart maintenance.

The event was opened by Mrs. Monique van Daalen, the Dutch ambassador to Germany, who also held a key-note speech on opportunities the German market has to offer to the Dutch Maritime industry. The ambassador was followed by the inspiring launch of Drecht Cities Maritime Delta, presented by ´founding father´ Mayor Richard Korteland. For the business lunch, two expert panels comprising of leaders from industry’s value chain, were drawn up. Marstat’s Meindert van Genderen proved to be a skilful moderator of the panels that discussed challenges, opportunities and latest developments connected with smart maintenance.

The first panel included AIDA Cruises´ Dr. Monika Griefahn, Commodore Peter Knipping of the Royal Dutch Navy, Martin Gunnarsson of enterprise software solution provider IFS and Pieter Boersma of the applied scientific research organization TNO. The panel discussed feasibility and challenges that come with improving operational excellence and cost reductions through smart maintenance. The overall consensus is the technology is available and ready to be implemented. Willingness to implement and rely on technology is the limiting factor.

The second panel included Fred van Beers of Blohm + Voss, Wouter Kruijt of Royal IHC, Timothy Nichols of Siemens, Patrick van Eerten of Royal Boskalis Westminster and Hans Voorneveld of maritime network organization Netherlands Maritime Technology. These industry leaders shared their views on feasibility and opportunities. The outcome was that the current situation urges the industry to approach maintenance in a holistic way. Today, maintenance is all about connecting and interpreting information in a clever way, resulting in more efficient maintenance and lower operational costs. Innovating in this area with the complete value chain, including research and knowledge parties, creates opportunities that could lead to a strong competitive edge when executed properly.

The Smart Maintenance Business Lunch was organized by IFS and Marstrat BV. It proved to be particularly interesting to the participating guests as various leading maritime organizations openly shared insights on their respective businesses and their perspective on the distinguishing factor of smart maintenance. This enables other organizations in the value chain to learn and benefit, resulting in increased operational efficiency in the challenging maritime environment.


SMM Smart Maintenance Business Lunch - Marstrat IFS

Dutch Maritime Industry Poised to Take Advantage of Smart Maintenance

Martin Bloem |

IFS and Marstrat host a business lunch on Smart Maintenance at the SMM in Hamburg

IFS, the global enterprise applications company, and Marstrat BV, maritime strategy consulting firm, are challenging maritime branch experts to consider market innovation using smart maintenance. During the world’s largest maritime trade fair, SMM in Hamburg, they will organize a business lunch on 7 September, with 150 experts from the industry value chain. Monique van Daalen, Dutch ambassador to Germany, will open the Smart Maintenance Business Lunch.

‘Smart maintenance’ is the theme of panel discussions, supervised by a professional moderator. The wide variety of maritime businesses provide a broad view of this theme and stimulate a multi-disciplinary exchange of knowledge and innovation. Participating speakers are employed by shipyards, shipping companies, contractors, maintenance companies, and important suppliers. The business lunch is powered by Royal Boskalis Westminster, Croonwolter&dros, Royal IHC, Drecht Cities Maritime Delta, Netherlands Business Support Office Hamburg, Netherlands Maritime Technology, Siemens, Marstrat and IFS Benelux.

Dutch companies differentiate by being agile, experimental, and by cooperating in alternating coalitions. New developments in the Dutch maritime industry are mostly driven by cost consciousness. Now that fuel prices have dropped, there is more interest in decreasing operational costs of assets through preventative maintenance and shore-based directions. Developments such as autonomous sailing and the expansion of offshore wind parks are stimulating the need for smart solutions. However, the available methods and techniques are often product-related, while there is a need for system solutions. Dutch companies may play an important role in solving this issue.

SSM Hamburg is the largest international trade fair of the maritime industry. More than 50,000 professionals worldwide visited the fair in 2014. The Netherlands is well-represented thanks to a Holland presentation of nearly 1,000 m2, many individual stands and visitors from our country, the presence of a marine ship, a hospitality program and a network reception.

The Smart Maintenance Business Lunch is free for official invitees; entry price for other interested parties is 95 euros. Detailed information can be found at

Drecht Cities Maritime Delta

Drechtsteden gaat internationaal als Drecht Cities Maritime Delta

Martin Bloem |

De regio Drechtsteden gaat zich nog deze zomer internationaal profileren om meer bedrijven naar het gebied te trekken. Via DEAL! Drechtsteden wordt een nieuw merk gelanceerd: Drecht Cities Maritime Delta. “De Drechtsteden heeft een internationale identiteit hard nodig”, aldus directeur Martin Bloem van DEAL!. “We kunnen in de Drechtsteden juist internationaal het verschil maken met onze krachtige maritieme en logistieke sectoren.” Er komt ook een nieuw logo bestaande uit een blauwe driehoek met in de hoeken waterdruppels. Daarmee wordt de delta rondom het Drierivierenpunt van Oude Maas, Noord en Beneden Merwede gesymboliseerd en het water dat ons verbindt.

DEAL! Drechtsteden heeft van de zes samenwerkende gemeenten de opdracht om meer bedrijven van buiten de regio te interesseren om zich in het gebied te vestigen. “We zijn daarmee op de goede weg, want er is al veel interesse. Zo verbond onlangs nog het gefuseerde internationale bedrijf Zimmer Biomet zich definitief aan de Drechtsteden.”

De keuze voor het Engelstalig merk ‘Drecht Cities Maritime Delta’ is ingegeven door het feit dat met name bedrijven die actief zijn in de maritieme en logistieke sector Engelstalig communiceren. “Daarom hebben wij ook het verhaal van de Drechtsteden van verleden tot heden in het Engels opgezet”, aldus Martin Bloem.

In de zogeheten ‘corporate story’ wordt onder andere een verband gelegd tussen de Sint Elisabethvloed in 1421 en de technische oplossingen zoals dijken en baggeren, die in de periode daarna in Nederland zijn toegepast en door de eeuwen heen steeds innovatiever werden. “De historie heeft ons lessen geleerd.” Voorbeelden van internationale oplossingen die vanuit de Drechtsteden zijn aangeleverd worden ook genoemd: het opspuiten van Palm Islands, de kunstmatige schiereilanden voor de kust van Dubai, de verbreding van het Suez Kanaal en de nieuwe sluizen in Panama. Naast de technieken van Boskalis, Royal IHC, Oceanco, Heerema en Fokker Aerospace wordt ook de nauwe band met de honderden toeleveranciers aangeprezen.

“Het is een feit dat we hier in de Drechtsteden krachtige maritieme en logistieke sectoren kennen. Plus een unieke arbeidsmentaliteit. Daarom is het voor internationale bedrijven heel goed om zich juist in ‘Drecht Cities Maritime Delta’ te vestigen en daarbij aan te sluiten”, aldus directeur Martin Bloem.

De eerste zichtbare presentatie van ‘Drecht Cities Maritime Delta’ staat gepland tijdens de grootste internationale maritieme vakbeurs SMM die van 7 tot 9 september a.s. in het Duitse Hamburg wordt gehouden. Dan zal er ook een film over het gebied in première gaan en wordt een Engelstalig magazine gepresenteerd waarin de zes gemeenten van de Drechtsteden zich profileren.

Over de Drechtsteden
De regio Drechtsteden bestaat uit zes gemeenten, die samen een aaneengesloten stedelijk gebied vormen aan de zuidrand van de Randstad. De Drechtsteden gemeenten hebben alle zes een oorsprong aan het water en zijn van oudsher specialisten in de maritieme sector. Veel werkgelegenheid zit in de maritieme maakindustrie. De maritieme sector groeit nog steeds in Nederland. In de maritieme monitor van 2015 kwam zelfs naar voren dat maritieme bedrijven in 2014 beter presteerden dan de Nederlandse economie als geheel. Ook de transport- en logistieke sector is vanaf 2015 weer aan het groeien.

Over DEAL! Drechtsteden Promotion & Investments Agency
DEAL! is een initiatief van de zes Drechtsteden gemeenten en de Regionale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Drechtsteden (ROM-D). De doelstelling is om nieuwe impulsen te geven aan de economie in de Drechtsteden en de werkgelegenheid te stimuleren. DEAL! ondersteunt bedrijven die zich willen vestigen en/of uitbreiden in de Drechtsteden en promoot de regio te promoten als optimale vestigingsplaats voor bedrijven, in het bijzonder de maritieme en logistieke sector.

marstrat strategy

Marstrat strategy session : Think & Drink

Martin Bloem |

The first Marstrat strategy session organized last August, will be followed up this year again. Under the title ‘Think and Drink’, Marstrats five partners will challenge the audience with some provocative statements on international maritime developments.

Last year the session was organized at Hotel New York in Rotterdam. The combination of social networking and more serious exchange of thoughts led to a very positive response. One of the partners remarked: ‘Networking is a profession. It is essential to the success of every maritime company.’ Topics like innovation strategy, finance and shipbuilding processes were discussed, giving the clients more insight into the cross disciplinary approach Marstrat stand for. The exact date and venue of the next meeting will be announced shortly.

maritime quickscan myanmar

Mogelijkheden in Myanmar – Maritime Quickscan Myanmar

Martin Bloem |

Gorinchem, 31 maart 2016. Zo’n 30 deelnemers uit de maritieme sector waren vandaag aanwezig bij Damen Shipyards in Gorinchem om uit eerste hand te vernemen wat de resultaten van de maritime quickscan  Myanmar waren. Professor Charlie Than, voormalig rector van de Maritime University Myanmar heeft samen met Marstrat Maritime Consultants op verzoek van Nederland Maritiem Land en het Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu het onderzoek uitgevoerd.

Na een korte introductie door Gijs Busser van Damen Shipyards vertelde professor Than welke maritieme aspecten onderzocht zijn in Myanmar en welke kansen er liggen voor de Nederlandse maritieme sector. De conclusie van het onderzoek is dat Myanmar nog aan het begin staat van de maritieme ontwikkeling en dat er voldoende kansen liggen voor de Nederlanders op onder andere het verbeteren van de toegankelijkheid van de haven en de waterwegen, het opzetten van offshore support centers, scheepsbouw en personeelsopleiding. Professor Than raadde de aanwezigen aan om onder de vlag van Maritime Hotspots een integrale agenda op te stellen met de Nederlanders en te verkennen wat op korte en lange termijn realiseerbaar is.

Hierna gaven Bas Hetterscheid (Peterson) en Martine Flokstra (Artsen Zonder Grenzen) nog hun eigen kijk op Myanmar, waarbij de heer Hetterscheid inzoomde op de offshore logistieke mogelijkheden en huidige ondernemingen en mevrouw Flokstra de humanitaire kant van Myanmar toelichtte. Vandaag werd voor het eerst in 52 jaar een democratisch gekozen regering geïnstalleerd. Toch waren er ook tips om nog voorzichtig relaties met Myanmar aan te gaan. Met de transitie van de regering is er ook een groei in fricties tussen etniciteiten en de gezondheidszorg kan verbeteren. Mevrouw Flokstra riep de bedrijven op om vooral zaken te gaan doen, maar niet vergeten te kijken naar de humanitaire kant van het land.

Martin Bloem, dagvoorzitter, sloot de middag af met een korte vragenronde en een samenvatting. Daarnaast gaf hij Wouter Jurgens de kans om zichzelf voor te stellen als eerste Nederlandse ambassadeur in Myanmar. De heer Jurgens gaf aan dat de Ambassade open is for business om Nederlandse bedrijven te helpen zich in Myanmar te vestigen of zaken te doen met Myanmar.

Kortom een geslaagde middag met volop kansen om diverse mogelijkheden van samenwerken in Myanmar te gaan realiseren.