"A damaged ship, cargo that's cancelled at the last minute, storms - it's up to you to solve the problem, whatever it is"
“Trust is something you have to earn, and we do”
“I had almost finished my study programme in International Business and Languages when I saw a job opening for 'chartering broker, m/f'. I decided to call about it. During the call, Jaap Teekman told me that they had only ever hired men in that position, but that they now wanted to see whether a woman could do the job. I was up to the challenge. On my first day, the manager at that time, Jan Windt, had alerted the staff that a woman would be joining them and that they had better watch their jokes and language. That lasted about a day at most, but I'm still here and I can't imagine better colleagues than mine.
A chartering broker's day is unpredictable. A damaged ship, cargo that's cancelled at the last minute, storms - it's up to you to solve the problem, whatever it is. It’s the unexpected nature of the work that makes it so much fun, but it can also get very hectic. That’s when you really need a team that you can depend on. And to think that I once wanted to be a schoolteacher!
I've built special relationships with customers over time. I'll always remember a visit to a customer in Norway years ago. They had a litter of Norwegian forest cats. They wanted to give me one, but I had to get it back to the Netherlands myself. Captain-owner John Beikes (MV Priscilla) was moored in Farsund. He was willing to take the cat back to the Netherlands for me. Two days later, I went to Rotterdam to carry it off the ship. I just popped it into a bag and walked off. It’s hard to imagine doing that today.
What I like best is when customers first come to us with a minor job and then keep coming back because they know they can rely on us. That trust is something you have to earn, and we do. A lot of the time we’re just too modest. We’re so flexible, and with our 180 ships, we always come up with a solution. That’s something we can really be proud of.”