Vertom Tanker Chartering – the odd one out
26 November 2020
“My passion for shipping started when I was still a young boy. How and when exactly I can not remember. I might have read a boy book about adventures on sea that was really good. Either way, it was already at that age that I wanted to work in shipping. So that I am now working for Vertom, is right up my alley.” These are the words of Henk Mooij, Commercial Manager at Vertom.
“Even though this type of work is right up my alley, the department I work for, tanker Airfreightment, doesn’t really fit in that well in Vertom’s ally. We are a little bit of the odd one out. Vertom is of course widely known as a specialist in dry loads, while we also do wet loads. And while Vertom has many of their own ships for dry cargo, we mediate in tankers of other shipping companies. But that is also about where the differences end. We are a full department within the company and a nice addition to the other company activities. We also collaborate a lot with other departments. For example, it often happens that one customer might have both dry and wet cargo. We then take on the job collectively as different departments.”
“As an estate agent, we function as the middle man between shipowners, manufacturers and merchants from companies such as Shell and BP but also for many other smaller companies. It is our task to land their jobs and to match them. That doesn’t happen by itself. As an estate agent, you need to proactively work in order to get into – and stay in contact with all merchants. Jobs don’t just magically appear.”
“I myself find it important that I don’t just call the merchants to make small talk. I want to have something to bring to the table. And I very often do. As an estate agent, I get to know a lot about certain developments in the market. This is knowledge that our customers can use to their advantage. I then also hope that in return they will think I deserve to arrange a ship for their cargo. Even though competition in our sector is quite fierce, customer goodwill still plays an important role. In the 40 years that I have been working in the cargo shipping industry, I have been able to use a strong and solid network of nice relations.”
“At the end of course everything comes down to making a good deal where all parties are happy. In order to achieve this, it is an art to transform a ‘no’ into a ‘maybe’ and to eventually meet each other somewhere in the middle. The best are the deals for long-lasting contracts and the deals whereas an estate agent you really got to contribute something valuable by noticing certain trends in the market and with this helped arrange an even more attractive deal.
“I secretly do get extra satisfaction from the assignments where I win from a competing estate agent. I can really enjoy this. It will last for 5 minutes and then I continue. But when I lose it takes me a bit longer to recover from the disappointment. Unfortunate; but on the other hand, it also keeps me sharp. This kind of passion, by the way, I find exists with my whole team. This ensures a nice and healthy work atmosphere.”