2024 – Jubilee year

It’s yet another significant anniversary for our organisation. 2024 is when we can celebrate our 30th year. In 2019, we ‘went to town’ to celebrate our silver jubilee, organising a party for our clients on the stylish passenger liner, the SS Rotterdam, plus festivities for our members in Leusden. 

At the time, a richly illustrated book was also published, describing the history of PTC and developments over the previous 25 years. 

This jubilee publication is still available, free of charge, for anyone who is interested. 

It would be going too far to reiterate the history detailed in the book here, but a glance back at the period from 2019 – 2024 and the developments that our organisation has had to deal with at this time does seem appropriate in the context of the 30th anniversary. 

A recap of the past five years wouldn’t be complete without reference to the coronavirus pandemic situation and the consequences it had on how the office works. There was an impact for the people on board the vessels, although this was not profound.  Of course, not being able to visit friends and family took its toll, but day-to-day work remained largely unchanged. The people working at the office were in very different circumstances. 

Work in an office that is focused on logistics is 90% made up of contact with others. 

These others could be clients or service providers or, indeed, colleagues.  The people in the office try to solve the logistics puzzle every day as a team, so that clients and members alike get the best possible service.  There is only one way to solve this puzzle: thorough discussion with colleagues and awareness of what others are doing. 

So the requirement to work from home, in 2020, presented a range of problems. 

By acting quickly and accurately our office manager Jeroen Wolswijk could put the technology in place to facilitate working from home. 

The dedication and flexibility demonstrated by our staff consequently ensured that, despite trying circumstances, services could still be provided at the customary high level.  

The developments in the field of sustainability and all that implies, such as innovation, legislation, questions from clients and members, grants etc. took on such large proportions that, in 2021, we decided to combine all these aspects in a single position. Since June 2021, Ella Hofs has occupied the position of Sustainability Manager. 

She closely follows external developments and notifies clients, members and the board of these, but is also the driving force behind the PSST (PTC and Sustainable STep-by-step plan) recently presented to members.  

A plan in which actual targets for sustainability are set within the organisation, with a description of how these targets could be hit. 

The most recent development in the field of sustainability is the decision to actively tackle sustainability reporting under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The CSRD is an EU directive under the terms of which large-scale companies are obliged to keep a record of sustainability reporting from 2024. From a legal point of view PTC is not yet obliged to do this, but to be prepared for the future and to be able to meet the likely demands of larger clients it has been decided to pursue this actively. 

The Cargos software, developed entirely in house, is nearing completion. 

The development of this tool has cost plenty time, money and energy, but the new program provides automation for all the work we do at the office, so that data can be processed more quickly and arranged clearly. 

This will enhance transparency not just for our staff, members and board, but also for our clients, thanks to the client portal. This new system enables us to meet the demands made nowadays of logistics organisations, both in the field of transparency and in terms of sustainability. In short, our computer system means that we are ready to face the future and able to provide logistics services to a high level. 

In the past five years our organisation has grown further, in both size and sales. 

On the one hand due to the efforts and standards set by our acquisition manager Claudio Simbula

Claudio is able to use the opportunities presented by the market to good effect and is capable of sensing what existing and prospective clients want in the area of logistics, converting these wishes into concrete solutions. 

On the other hand, robust growth has been achieved by the takeover of the Den Breejen freight booking office, which largely operates on the cattle fodder market, a market in which PTC had not previously been active. 

In future, too, the aim of growth will continue to guide policy making, and opportunities and challenges will be embraced where possible. 

To be able to keep the fleet at the desired level of both quality and size, in 2022 Johan Cornet was asked to take on the position of Fleet Manager. Johan responded positively to this request and assumed this difficult post. Difficult, because inland waterway transportation and, as a result, PTC, is starting to be confronted with the effects of an ageing workforce, in common with other sections of society. Natural turnover, with young shipowners joining the fleet to replace those retiring, is much lower than it once was. Another factor is the decline in ‘smaller’ vessels as a result of scrapping or other reasons. 

Vessels lighter than 3000 tonnes are rarely built from scratch any more, although vessels of this kind are disappearing from the market. That makes it increasingly difficult to comply with demand from clients who, on occasion, want us to carry smaller cargoes. Johan’s wide-ranging knowledge and experience in the market for inland waterway transportation means that he is the right man in the right place to tackle this problem head on. 

Due to the continuing aim of growth and the restricted opportunities for expansion at our current site, it has been decided that we are going to move to a larger building. As of April 2024, PTC will be given the keys to the building at Scheepmakerij 100, Zwijndrecht. 

It’s a nice location, on the waterfront; altogether an inspirational atmosphere, we trust. 

On the current timetable, after the necessary building work, PTC will move to the new building in July 2024. 

These things will, of course, be given the attention they deserve at that point. 

Assessing the developments over the past 30 years, in which our organisation has grown from a blank sheet of A4 to an organisation with a turnover in excess of EUR 32m, in which a total of more than 80 people and their immediate families earn their crust, a little pride certainly seems justified. 

Naturally, things have gone wrong and other things could have turned out differently or should have been done another way, but the general tendency can only be described as positive. 

So, in this spirit of positivity, we are facing the future with a large helping of confidence and enthusiasm under the auspices of our good old motto, ‘stronger together’! 

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for the exceptionally fine collaboration, and the faith that so many of you have had in us for so many years. But, naturally, we also appreciate and would like to thank our members, staff and board members for their dedication, flexibility and constructive partnership. Without all these, there could be no PTC! 

I would like to wish all a safe and prosperous voyage, in every sense, as we set course for the next jubilee! 


Wim Bennik