The Dutch maritime industry consists of twelve world leading sectors: ports, offshore, maritime suppliers, shipbuilding, ship operating, dredging, maritime services and knowledge institutes, inland shipping, Royal Navy, watersports and fisheries. Together, this EUR 23.2 billion industry comprises 21,265 companies employing 263,328 people in 2019.
Nederland Maritiem Land, also known as Maritime by Holland, connects the individual sectors within the maritime community. It is the catalyst for cooperation between sectors and also with government and knowledge institutions.
The Dutch economy scores high in global innovation rankings – a position that is certainly reflected in the maritime sector. Arjen Uytendaal, Managing Director of Nederland Maritiem Land, shares his perspective on the strengths of the maritime cluster and the added value of the Dutch ship register.
Mr. Uytendaal, you represent the wider maritime cluster in the Netherlands, can you describe why this cluster is unique and valuable for the industry globally in the future?
“The maritime sector has been a significant part of the Dutch business community for centuries thriving on the core principles of cooperation, innovation and entrepreneurship. Over the years, the sector has become a global leader in delivering innovative solutions to the international markets. By flying the NL flag you become part of this close knit network as well as capitalize on the strengths and reputation of the cluster."
A strong Dutch shipping register (NL flag) is important for the Dutch maritime cluster. What do you believe are the benefits for Dutch but also foreign shipowners to fly the Dutch flag?
“Registering your vessel in the Netherlands offers many advantages. Apart from a comprehensive ship registration solution, you become part of a strong maritime network that covers a complete and strong maritime cluster. Including world leading knowledge institutes, R&D centers and an active community of maritime start-ups. With a 3% share of the total added value to the Dutch economy we have a strong voice whether it is in The Hague, Brussels or London to the benefit of the shipowner.”
How can the Dutch human capital factor contribute to shipowners in an environment where crew and captains are sourced from all over the world?
“Traditionally the Netherlands has been a maritime nation. For generations people have grown up with water. The country has an impressive track record of harvesting benefits that derive from this including dealing with the challenges of the seas. In every family there are, one way or the other, historical links with the maritime sector. It is in our DNA. After life at sea many seafarers continue their careers at land based maritime positions. Creating added value to the industry by sharing valuable knowledge and experience.
So when you meet the ‘Dutch’ they speak from experience, whether they work in ship design, engineering, or perform model tests, when building a new ship, maintaining and servicing your ship, or supplying it with new equipment and parts. When arranging the insurances, legal or finance services they all have a connection and feeling with the sea. Including those who work at the authority, regulator and inspection. More than 5% of the total population works direct or indirect in the maritime sector including ports.”