What is the most striking, startling or surprising development in the maritime sector that caught your attention lately? And can you explain why?
The most striking must be the announcement of P3, the new alliance between Maersk Line, MSC and CMA-CGM. It shows that in difficult times anything can happen. Reducing operational cost has become a prime objective for shipping lines globally pushing emotions aside. The development is in particular of interest to the port of Rotterdam as all of these shipping lines have direct or indirect interests in container terminals in this port. I believe that this development really could become a ‘game-changer’ in our industry.
How did you get in your current position at Kramer Group?
My father Marcel J. Kramer is the founder of this company and he retired 12 years ago. I became CEO in 2001 when we moved our main office to the Maasvlakte at the location of the Rotterdam Container Terminal (RCT). Here we are centrally located vis-à-vis our various activities such as Delta Container Services and Kramer Delta Depot, both at the tip of the Amazone Dock. Apart from these we also maintain our activities at the Kramer Home Depot at Eemhaven and in our reefer servicing company Seamark.
What is your personal highlight in 2013 that makes you proud?
On the 11th of May this year I celebrated my 40th birthday in Spain with my entire family, I am proud of the bond we have together.
What are the biggest challenges for Kramer Group this year?
The start of operations at Maasvlakte 2 is getting closer and the Kramer Group is actively preparing for the launch of a Barge Service Center at the location RCT. This service center will facilitate the movement of smaller quantities of containers to and from the main terminals at Maasvlakte 1 and 2. Without such a facility, barges have to call at many more terminals in the future and the deepsea container terminals would have to handle many more barges with smaller volumes. We are also developing such concepts for rail and feeder containers with similar advantages. Internal lanes that connect the deepsea container terminals and the Kramer Group are a necessity to meet the challenging modal split targets.
What makes your work very special?
There are two aspects which makes my work special: in the first place the people working for our family business. Most people want to know who they are working for, not just a name or an institution but something they can relate to and rely on, like at our company. Secondly the Port of Rotterdam with all her charms and beauty: every day I drive to work I am astonished how this port has grown over the years and will continue to grow over the years to come.