European expansion for Iskes
Iskes Towage & Salvage has announced a flurry of news concerning expansion at ports in the Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands.
Recent years have seen a succession of takeovers and consolidations in the towing industry, particularly the shiphandling sector. Operators are under constant pressure to deliver cost-efficient support to what in the worst of weathers can be the difference between ships berthing and sailing or remaining at anchor or alongside.
An example of this new reality is where growth in the size of container ships results in reductions in port calls (and subsequent towage acts) while at the same time requiring an increase in power and capability from the attendant tugs. As mentioned, consolidation and takeovers are examples of how tug operators are responding to the challenges with Ijmuiden-based Iskes Towage & Salvage choosing both consolidation and independent expansion.
The first announcement concerns establishment of a joint venture between Portuguese company Rebonave Towage and Maritime Assistance and Iskes to form a new company bearing the name Port Towage Lisbon. Both companies have a large and varied fleet of tugs to call on to serve the port with Iskes’ Peter Rondhuis, MD of the new venture commenting: ‘Portugal and Lisbon play an important role in the maritime world, not only in the history but also today and in the future, with nearby crossroads to Asia, Americas and North-Europe the location is very strategical. We are very proud that Rebonave have chosen us to be their partner in their country and we hope that we can provide our clients the best possible service, on a growing global network.’
The second expansion for Iskes has seen the ASD tug Arion leave its homeport of Ijmuiden to commence operations at the port of Lübeck Travemünde on Germany’s Baltic coast. The move followed consultation and negotiations with companies using terminals in the area, along with pilotage and local authorities. Travemünde is a busy port for roro vessels which along with larger vessels using Lübeck will benefit from the new service.
Finally, Iskes state it is drawing on its wide experience of port towage in various locations to establish a new operation under the name Port Towage Groningen (PTG) to operate a modern tug fleet in the ports of Eemshaven and Delfzijl. The service started at the request of stakeholders in order to accommodate and provide clients with ‘an alternative, flexible and international towage service provider.’
Peter Rondhuis is also MD of this new venture and adds a personal perspective in commenting on the news stating: "It is great to see that the ports are flexible and growing! For me personally it brings additional pleasure being able to operate in the ports where I was born and raised!".
By Peter Barker
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