Seafarers on the JR Shipping fleet are true members of our shipping company, says Arnoud van den Bos, Head Crewing Department since 1 April. He can know. As an experienced captain, he has sailed on various vessels of our shipping group for the past 17 years. Arnoud had been looking for work ashore for some time and did not hesitate when our management asked him to lead the Crewing Department. “It is a wonderful challenge to facilitate and support my colleagues at sea in this way.”

Arnoud van den Bos, Head Crewing Department JR Shipping:

‘Anyone who sails for JR Shipping is a true member our shipping company’

Arnoud van den Bos (58) studied at the Maritime Academy IJmuiden and has been captain since 1990. Most recently on board of container feeder vessel OOCL Rauma. He was at sea when Russia invaded Ukraine. As captain, he was immediately available to advise and assist his crew, who came from the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, and the Philippines.

“Listen well, keep calm, offer support and arrange what you can arrange”, is how he summarizes his role. “There were great concerns on board, but everyone did their best to break the tension. The collegiality on board JR Shipping vessels is amazing.”

The right man in the right place

His calmness, accessibility and natural ability to think in terms of possibilities and solutions make Arnoud the ideal crewing officer. And his 30 years of experience at sea, of course. He knows our company; he knows the people. In recent years, he came in several times to temporarily strengthen our Crewing Department. So, he knows the ropes.

“I like to help ensure that all the pieces of the planning puzzle fall into place. When the management asked me for this job, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. An opportunity like this to keep in touch with life at sea from ashore is exceptional. And if I get homesick for ‘sailing a boat’, I just go along again.”

Experienced crewing team

Arnoud will lead an experienced team consisting of Roxanne Wiegmans, Laura van der Veer and Margo van Drooge. JR Ship Crew is the employer of more than 45 Dutch seafarers and offers stable work through crewing agency Marlow Navigation to more than 380 seafarers with predominantly Russian, Ukrainian and Filipino nationality. Arnoud: “Both Dutch and non-Dutch seamen enjoy sailing with our company. At Marlow we have our own permanent pool. This includes people who have been rotating on our vessels for more than 10 years.”

The crewing team is responsible for the staffing of both the JR Shipping vessels and SeaZip Offshore Service vessels. Two completely different worlds, according to Arnoud, but in both cases the involvement is great. “Container feeder shipping is intensive. You work a lot of hours and must focus 100%. To manage this properly, frequent contact between our teams ashore and the people on board is essential. I will personally commit myself to that.”

‘No-nonsense shipping company’

Arnoud quickly answered the question why professionals like to sail with shipping company JR Shipping. “We are a no-nonsense shipping company. Nobody is on his own terms, not the management, not the officers. We work hard, sure, but we also laugh a lot. The atmosphere on board is open, informal and respectful.” To convey that atmosphere even better, Arnoud refers to our corporate video We are JR Shipping.

The priority for Arnoud is to deal with the consequences of the situation in Ukraine. “We know where almost everyone is, what any bottlenecks are, and how we can guarantee workable planning procedures with ad-hoc solutions. We are in permanent consultation with Marlow and proactively seek contact with our crew members, including seafarers on leave. We offer additional communication bundles and personal support. Furthermore, we can only hope that the violence of war will soon end.”

‘Our seafarers are our capital’

If Arnoud van den Bos looks beyond the crisis, he sees various challenges for him and his team. He is thinking of more customization in the guidance of seafarers, learning to deal with new techniques aimed at sustainable sailing and of the influx of new maritime talent through co-operation with nautical schools and facilitating internships.

“Enough to manage. First, we will catch our breath, then together we will look at what it takes to remain one of the best maritime employers. And of course, we focus on our most important responsibility: ensuring that the right professional is in the right position on every JR Shipping and SeaZip vessel. Our seafarers are our capital. They are the key factor for the quality, safety, and continuity of the operational processes at sea that our customers entrust to us. Together, We are JR Shipping!

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