"The peace and quiet on the bridge once back on the open sea – after the hustle and bustle of the harbour and at departure – is something that I continue to find magical"
"I came back knowing for sure that the cargo and the ship are in extremely good hands"
“I came into contact with the world of shipping while studying business administration in Rotterdam. I was bitten by the bug back then and it’s never left me! After my military service, I started working as a trainee with Royal Nedlloyd. At about the same time, a fellow student had joined Wagenborg and we regularly exchanged enthusiastic stories about our two proud Dutch shipping companies. In the years that followed, I occupied various operational and commercial positions at Nedlloyd – later P&O Nedlloyd and Maersk Line – and really enjoyed the work. In 2008, I was given final responsibility for the container shipping activities in the Benelux and Switzerland.
Contribute to the long-term succes
After six years I had the opportunity to do something completely different. In 2014 I started as managing director at Van Hessen, a nice family business in the meat processing industry. Some people would find that a strange choice, but for me it was a logical step because after 17 years with what was now a big Danish multinational, I wanted to gain experience in a Dutch family business. At the same time, I was able to maintain my ties with the maritime world by becoming a supervisory director at Wagenborg during the same period. As a supervisory director, I got to know the entrepreneurial culture, the no-nonsense mentality, and the enthusiasm of the Wagenborgers. I didn’t need to think very long when Egbert and Rob asked me to contribute full-time to the long-term success of the company. I’ve proudly been Royal Wagenborg’s Chief Operations Officer since October 2017.
So what’s been the best thing so far? One of the highlights was my recent trip aboard the Volgaborg. After many years working for a container line, it was interesting to experience the difference between an ‘in-and-out’ port visit by a container ship – loading/unloading a certain part of the cargo – and a multi-day port stay by a multipurpose vessel – loading/unloading the entire cargo and preparing the holds for the next voyage. And the peace and quiet on the bridge once back on the open sea – after the hustle and bustle of the harbour and at departure – is something that I continue to find magical. Moreover, I came back knowing for sure that the cargo and the ship are in extremely good hands with the crew, who in turn are excellently supported by our shore-based organisation. That gives me the confidence and enthusiasm to work together to get even better at what we do.”