New business in the Binnenhaven
Dynamics is a common feature of any port area. The port’s industrial and logistical activities often change, depending on the economic situation and influenced by the supply and demand of raw materials and goods.
A fine example of this is the recent development of the Binnenhaven. Situated in the city of Vlissingen, this location was in somewhat of a sleeping mode for many years when it comes to industry and trade. But the recent growing offshore wind activities in the southern part of the North Sea, together with its opportunities for ample companies, is turning the Binnenhaven into a vibrant area.
A company that recently started its activities here is MSV, which stands for Maritime Support Vlissingen. Lenny de Bloeme-Gerards is the enthusiastic Business Unit Manager taking large steps in order to position the new company in the market. MSV was founded in August of last year, aiming at the growing demand for tender services in the southern North Sea region. Mrs de Bloeme-Gerards joined the company in February of this year. “We noticed a growing interest in tender services in this region. Not just because of the growing number of offshore windfarms, but also because of, for example, crew changes and store supplies for all kinds of vessels.”
“We can swiftly and flexibly service a wide area from Vlissingen. First of all, we offer tender services for which we use our own vessels and vessels rented from DCS Maritime. Not just for crew changes, but also for bringing marine surveyors on board of vessels for inspection. The services provided are for our own customers, as well as for shipping agents in and outside of Zeeland. We also offer CTV mooring space, office space, and storage and transshipment facilities for among other things equipment and spare parts.” The company has advanced plans for a new building for offices and warehousing. The proposed location is the Binnenhaven, where the company is currently using temporary office facilities. “We have part of our vessels moored in the Binnenhaven and we have storage facilities there as well”, Mrs de Bloeme-Gerards explains. “It is obviously nice to be close to our vessels. Apart from this, the Binnenhaven is an ideal place, close to the city of Vlissingen and within a stone’s throw from the train station, which is very convenient for our customers.”
Out of the box
Mrs de Bloeme-Gerards believes the future looks bright for MSV. “We see many possibilities to extend our services. So much is possible in this region”, she says. “This not only involves services towards the North Sea or Western Scheldt River. From our terminal, we are just a short sailing trip away from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. We are now investigating consolidated transport services to the abundant companies located over there. This could be faster and cheaper compared with trucking through the Westerscheldetunnel. This could be ideal for small cargo, such as spare parts, tools, and equipment.” It is this out-of-the-box thinking that characterises the people behind MSV.
With the planned newbuild premises, the company wants to further extend its onshore services to customers as well. “In our new building, our customers will find up-to-date and first-class individual offices and storage space, along with shared facilities. This makes our model cost both efficient and effective for our customers. Using skilled technicians from within our company, we will also offer maintenance and repair services to vessels”, Mrs de Bloeme-Gerards continues. “And upon request, we will furthermore have available space to provide accommodation.”
One of the big challenges for MSV is the fierce competition. “With the upcoming offshore wind industry, it is no surprise that many companies are following the pack and other ports are offering services as well”, states Mrs de Bloeme. “But North Sea Port has an excellent proposition and by working together with other companies we have lots to offer. To stay ahead of other ports, the companies in our port area should be prepared to collaborate, hereby offering the best package