Shipyard Process Improvement - Jenny Coenen - Marstrat

A day in Shipyard Process Improvement

Jenny Coenen |

The last years Marstrat allocated a significant part of its consulting capacity to operational management in leading shipyards. One of the leading shipbuilding companies in the Netherlands used the Marstrat expertise in a major change program. A more cost-effective process, with better re-use of information and better exchangeability of personnel between different business units was the goal; a complete new ICT landscape architecture was the means, and is now being implemented. Marstrat partner Dr. ir. Jenny Coenen gives an insight in the daily challenges of a complex program.

The extent of shipbuilding processes is definitely wide-ranging. It goes beyond the production facilities and logistics one usually associates with building ships or offshore installations. In fact, the main challenge is the interface between departments, process stages or software applications, requiring smart and edgy solutions.

In order to change the extensive process of defining and making a complex product as a ship it should first be properly mapped out, in both the as-is and future state situation. Data architecture should be designed, functional specifications should be written; all even before new software can be selected and evaluated. Then, the aforementioned interfaces and all required customizations to make it work for a specific shipyard organisation, have to be specified and configured. To proceed you have to migrate data and develop training material. And then, to maintain this new situation, you need to have a proper strategy for data and process quality management. Marstrat contributed to all these elements, also for less conventional ingredients like for instance development of ‘serious games’ and data cleansing.

All this doesn’t imply that we consider more ‘classical’ production topics like production automation, shipyard logistics, scheduling and simulation as ‘out-of-scope’. But it is hard to separate this from a solid information infrastructure and that is exactly with what we can help you.

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.

Alternative Ship Finance Raymond Ko - Marstrat - Maritime Strategy Implemented

(Alternative) Ship Finance

Raymond Ko |

Traditional ship finance for more than a century is based on financiers, the banks, taking a first priority mortgage on the ship. This proved a good way of lending to the sector, providing security in case the shipowner cannot pay back. The characteristics of the ship (valuation and ability to generate income) determine the amount of finance should be made available, how this is repaid and at what price (interest margin). International ship finance banks have mainly funded the global ocean going fleet. The Dutch banks are still amongst the leading players. Also regional shipowners involved in coastal and inland transportation have been solely depended on local bank funding in case of limiting own sources.

From the start of the financial crisis in 2008 and due to continuing overcapacity in many of the shipping markets the financing capacity from traditional banks in Europe and US have reduced. The private and smaller shipowners find it especially difficult to obtain bank financing. Marstrat has assisted owners in the financing, refinancing and restructuring of various vessels and have involved alternatives to bank funding to in order to survive or to ‘make the deal work’.

An example is funding from institutional investors such as pension funds or insurance companies, making capital available for the longer term (matching with the life of the ship). Regulatory requirements like Solvency II for insurance companies may work out more favorable than the shipping banks’ regulatory framework in the near future (Basel IV), therefore offering attractive cost of funding for the shipowner and attractive risk-return for the institutional investor.

Increasingly there are alternative fundings available from private high net-worth individuals as well as from direct lending platforms and Chinese funds, depending on the vessel and the sponsor’s business model. Financial institutions can act as intermediary or advisor in accessing new sources but are often available for the ‘big players’.

Marstrat acts fully independently with hands-on advice and strong network in the financial market. We have the complementary advantage of fully understanding you maritime business needs.

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:


Jenny Coenen

Announcement – Ubald Nienhuis & Jenny Coenen

Jenny Coenen |

Mr. Ubald Nienhuis PhD MBA, partner of Marstrat since its inception in 2015, has decided to pursue a new challenge. Ubald has been very successfully leading various projects in the field of shipbuilding and process design and acted as advisor on performance improvements of leading players in the maritime (construction) sector.

As of May 1, 2018 Ubald has assumed the responsibility as head of Shipbuilding in the Executive Committee of Royal IHC. We are grateful for Ubald’s valuable contribution to Marstrat over the years and wish him all the best in his new role.

Mrs. Jenny Coenen PhD,  consultant at Marstrat since 2015, has been promoted to partner as per June 1 2018.

Jenny combines a solid background in shipbuilding and technological processes with both analytical skills and creativity. As an experienced consultant, trainer and lecturer she worked in both research and industry projects, in ship production and shipyard processes. Jenny is skilled in the fields of maritime processes, data, operations and risk management and adds value to teams that need support in structuring complicated problems. She was affiliated with IHC Dredgers (part of Royal IHC) as Development Engineer and with Technical University Delft as Assistant Professor. Jenny holds an MSc degree in Maritime Engineering and a PhD in Ship Production from TU Delft.

We wish Jenny all the best in her new role. The Marstrat office can be contacted for any requests for consultancy services in Jenny’s field of experience.


Marstrat – Gold Sponsor of the Maritime Awards Gala 2018

Raymond Ko |

Marstrat proudly announces to be Gold Sponsor of the Maritime Awards Gala 2018 (MAG). The Rotterdam based maritime consultancy firm has been a participant of the MAG over the years and is honored to support this year’s edition which will take place on Monday 12 November at the Taets Art and Event Park in Amsterdam.

Marstrat and MAG share the same vision when it comes to highlighting the significance of the Dutch maritime industry: ranging from creating world class innovative solutions and highly advanced shipbuilding to realizing sustainable maritime solutions with the strong support of maritime 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 business activities locally.

MAGEvery 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-yearshipping 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.

Photo credit: Ruud Aantjes – Navingo


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