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MARITIME SERVICES | PORTRAIT

Remaining at the Helm

Financing services, ship management, affreightment, crewing – JR Shipping are competent in all disciplines. Last year the Dutch company celebrated its 15th anniversary

H arlingen in the Dutch province of Friesland is a popular place of business for shipping companies. More than 30 smaller shipowning companies are headquartered here. And there is a larger one too: JR Ship- ping. Founder Jan Reier Arends, a descendant of a family of shipmasters, went to sea at the tender age of 16. Life on board was quite his thing, and ships continue to be the bread and butter of his entire family: both his father and his brother are masters running ships of their own. In 1993, Arends bought his first vessel, a 3,000-tonne motor coaster. In 1996, he added two more ships of the same type. When the Dutch government introduced the tonnage tax in 1997, many owners were discouraged from ordering new ships. But Arends did the opposite – he ordered his first newbuild. 15 investors joined him to finance the project. Today, 3,600 investors put their trust in JR Shipping by contributing cap- ital to finance his fleet.

years. Arends personally manages his current fleet of 22 vessels, making all the arrangements for cargo and crew as well as for financing. His company headquarters are situat- ed in an ideal place: Harlingen, a city with a comprehensive maritime infrastructure, is located centrally and home to numerous shipyards, shipping companies and banks. Even Arends’ staff is mostly from the region.

Early Specialization

Reading the signs of the times, JR Shipping specialized on feeder shipping early on, taking on containerized cargo at the big hubs and ensuring the flow of goods to major sea- ports. By contrast, many competitors in the Netherlands were focused on general cargo. Feeder vessels were usu- ally operated by large shipping companies only. After all, a containership involves substantially more capital invest- ment than a motor coaster.

Arends’ entrepreneurial determination has been the driving force enabling JR Shipping to emerge as an inter- nationally respected shipping enterprise within just a few

In the late 90s, Arends once again expanded his en- terprise – and added a new face to his team: Sander D. Schakelaar, who is now a co-owner and Managing Direc-

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nonstop 02/2009

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