The Ruijven Group was founded by Rook Ruijtenberg and Erik Venema, who both have more than 30 years experience working in the shipping industry. In 2002, these two partners decided to pool all that knowledge and expertise and as such Ruijven BV was born.
Prior to this date Erik had worked as an exclusive agent between 1996 and 2000 for the Romania ship repair and new build yard Mangalia, in the wake of Daewoo’s acquisition of more than 50 per cent of the business. As Daewoo-Mangalia Heavy Industries throughout this period the yard received orders from across the Netherlands including coasters for Damen Group, pontoons and coasters for Royal Wagenborg, split-barges for Dredging International, and jack-up pontoons for ABEKO. Many shipping brokers also placed new build orders for inland navigation vessels.
After many years work as a first officer and captain, Rook took all he had learnt of the shipping market and began to offer new build and shipbroker services. At the same time he maintained control over his own vessels in crew management and the like. Before forming Ruijven with Erik, in 2000 Rook took on his first new build project in China.
For the last decade Ruijven has been the port of call for services related to shipping, surveying and quality control of new build projects, and guidance in the realisation of these contracts. Years of co-operation with leading shipyards mean that the company can guarantee quality and timely delivery. Complete build management supervision is available, with Ruijven also assuming the role of delivery agency. The company is able to oversee construction of all floating materials including turnkey projects, as well as handling the purchase and sales of all types of vessels including pontoons, barges, inland and coaster vessels, tugs, and multipurpose workboats.
“By working with Ruijven clients can be confident that the whole process from drawing table to delivery is in capable hands,” enthuses Erik. “This has seen us work with many reputable companies including Neptune Marine Service BV, Koninklijke (Royal) van der Wees BV, and Holland Shipyard BV. Furthermore, we maintain long-term relationships with shipyards across Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, China, and the Netherlands.”
Most recently Ruijven has completed delivery of a 95-metre pontoon for Neptune Marine, known as NP-328, loaded with six pusher barges for its own fleet. The hulls of these vessels were built in the Nanjing region of China, with outfitting of the ballast and lens system having started in February. The outfitting of Ruijven’s pusher barges has also begun with the first expected to be in operation from May. Around the same time the company also expects to take delivery of a series of pontoons from a shipyard in the Archangelsk region of Russia.
Some of these activities feed into the other face of the business, which is the ownership and operation of Ruijven’s own inland navigation fleet. This is made up of several convoy units such as barges and pusher vessels, and pontoons, which enables it to realise customised transport over water at a competitive price.
Finally, the company offers amenities for the imposition of ships at its private docking port on the Waal in Dreumel, the Netherlands. Upon arrival Ruijven can comprise a basic report regarding condition and safety-critical repairs, as well as another level of services based upon its long experience as an operator of its own vessels, and sales agent. This might include minor maintenance work, the sale of the vessel using its large international network, monthly cleaning and battery checks, and winterising or refit activities.
Although Ruijven is currently looking at a healthy order book, the company is under no illusion that the ongoing financial crisis has impacted heavily on the volume of investment into vessels. As Erik outlines, the business has adjusted its strategy accordingly to these challenges: “Using our flexibility and know-how we have looked for new opportunities such as increasing our activities in the second-hand markets of areas like Russia and Africa. Here we are offering guidance and counselling on the conversion and renovation of existing vessels, which is proving to be very positive for us,” he concludes.
Supervision of new builds
Growing in conversions and renovations
Expertise and experience