Sailing the Seven Seas

By Willem-Jan Hamers
Managing Director at Redwise

Have you ever thought about the first journey of a ship, her maiden voyage from the shipyard to its owner? Ordering a new build vessel at a shipyard is one step, having the ship delivered at the place of destination is a whole different leap. The Dutch enterprise Redwise Maritime Services assists ship owners and shipyards in the transport of their vessels from one place to another.

What has begun in 1906 with a steam tug from the Netherlands to Argentina, has now become the main business activity of Redwise Maritime Services. The company annually delivers over 50 ships, new builds as well as trading vessels, to destinations all around the globe. According to Willem-Jan Hamers, Managing Director at Redwise, the enterprise plays a leading role in an often unknown niche market.

“Ship owners and ship managers are mainly focused on navigating a fixed shipping route or operating in a specific area. When a new ship is added to the fleet, however, these companies may not have the expertise, personnel or time to pick up their own new asset.”

Redwise offers a practical solution by providing a skilled and experienced crew who are eager to navigate any requested vessel safe and in sound condition to any destination worldwide. Redwise Maritime Services does not only conduct ship delivery. Crew management and maritime recruitment are the other pillars of the company.

Jessica Meijntjes, HR Manager at Redwise, explains: “In the 1980s we became the first enterprise in the Netherlands to provide personnel on temporary basis to ships sailing the Dutch flag.

Taking the ferry from Turkey to Toronto

Redwise often delivers ships that are built to operate in a restricted area or for a specific purpose. For instance, over the past two years Redwise had the so called LNG/Diesel Project, where several dual fuel ferries and Roll-on/Roll-off vessels were delivered from shipyards in Europe to the Canadian East and West coast.

Willem-Jan Hamers explains about the importance to know the details of the customer’s ship in order to provide a smooth delivery.

“Because of the growing importance of harmful emission reductions, owners are stimulated or forced to order fuel-efficient vessels complying with the highest standards for reducing NOX and SOX emissions when renewing their fleet. Choices vary from the use of scrubbers to alternative fuels as LNG or distillates. For the 6 LNG/MGO dual fuel vessels, we send our employees to the engine manufacturers in Finland, training institutes in Poland and the Falck training centre in Rotterdam. First in order to become familiar with the new techniques of LNG driven vessels and for safely handling the LNF+G fuel itself.”

Since the Canadian vessels were constructed for domestic shipping, Redwise took stringent measures to prepare the vessels for ocean voyages ultimately resulting in a timely and safe ship delivery to full satisfaction of the client, classification society, underwriters and the flag states.

Rick van Diermen, Second Engineer All Ships at Redwise, shares his experience about one of these trips to Canada with the LNG/Diesel Project.

“When our team first arrived at the shipyard in Turkey, it was crucial to prepare properly and expediently for the journey ahead. This meant that we had to get familiar with all machinery, equipment and safety features on board and navigating the vessel. How to start, stop bunker, move it forwards, backwards, and turning around etc.”

At the same time, the crew kept in close contact with our employees at the office in the Netherlands. Rick continues: “Our accompanying superintendent and colleagues at the office in Huizen are of great support to us in order to organize all necessary preparations, certification, equipment, stores and provisions before departure. In case of the ferry journey with limited accommodation, they also provided inventory, tools, beds and cooking utensils, so we would be able to stay on the vessel for more than a month.”

Photo by Rick van Diermen


Navigation Starts and Ends with Communication

The interaction among the crew on board and the colleagues on shore as well as between Redwise and the customer are the key to a successful ship delivery. As an experienced ship deliverer, Ger Voets, General Manager at Redwise, understands the situation of the crew better than anyone else.

“From departure to arrival we maintain in continuous contact with our Master on the vessel. After ensuring all preparations are done to our satisfaction, we continue to assist the Master and the crew during their journey by providing them with information on the safest and most economical route, technical support, client feedback, etc.

Especially with vessels that are not built for ocean going voyages, such as the ferries from Turkey to Canada, communication between office and ship is paramount for a safe and sound delivery.”

Whilst en route the customer receives an update daily about the transport of the vessel. Ger Voets: “We inform the customer on daily progress, about any problem on board or changes in the estimated time of arrival. Since the vessel should be able to be put into service as soon as possible after arrival, or may be  a new acquisition for the ship owner or operator, all feedback about the vessel and her performance is regarded as extremely important.”

Note: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of World Maritime News.

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