A glance through the pages of this magazine will quickly demonstrate that Damen – and the maritime industry as a whole – is making strides towards greater sustainability. As Damen approached the topic with increasing focus, it quickly became apparent that some of its operations already had a natural inclination towards sustainability.
One such example is Damen Trading. A part of Damen Marine Services (DMS), Damen Trading is the shipyard group’s brokerage service, specialised in the sale, purchase and charter of used vessels.
Damen’s in-house brokerage started life in 1974, with the sole intention of selling used vessels from ’ charter fleet. Its potential soon became apparent and very quickly emerged as an independent brokerage service, facilitating the sale of a wide range of Damen and non-Damen vessels alike.
Unburdening with brokerage
When DMS started operations in 1974, Damen Trading & Chartering followed soon after. Its role, back then, was to promote the sale of used vessels from the DMS charter fleet. However, it soon demonstrated its potential, building a strong network, and slowly began to emerge as an independent broker service.
The first vessel sold by Damen Trading outside of the DMS charter fleet was the Susanne, a Polycat 2000 that was bought from a Dutch operator and sold on to Angola in 1986. Susanne was the first of over 500 vessels to date, traded to 77 countries around the world.
The new entity very quickly made a name for itself, gaining a lot of experience, notably in tugs and workboats, but also in coasters, crew boats, patrol boats and passenger ferries amongst other vessels.
Senior sales manager Michel Radjiman: “One of the main drivers is to unburden our customers. When they come to us, looking for a new Damen vessel, we are able to take care of their old vessel for them – Damen and non-Damen boats alike. This can contribute to making a new acquisition very smooth, saving the customer a lot of time and energy. They don’t have to find a buyer or worry about arranging recycling, for example. It also helps make the investment in a new vessel more cost-efficient.
"For anyone who operates an existing vessel and who is considering a new Damen boat, Damen Trading should be top of mind."
Forming the circle
The advantages of Damen Trading go beyond the benefits of client support, however, as Michel goes on to explain.
“Nowadays you hear a lot of people talking about circularity and sustainability – this is a good thing. I think our industry has already made some important steps in this direction and undoubtedly has more to offer.
"One of the main drivers is to unburden our customers…
making an acquisition very smooth, saving the customer a lot of time and energy."
You will certainly see Damen doing more and more towards this. The subject is one that aligns well with our values as a family company with a long-term view on things.
“In fact, it’s this same long-term approach that has led to the development of Damen Trading. In my view, we are already contributing to increased sustainability in the maritime industry. What we are doing is ensuring that used vessels that may otherwise be sent for disposal, are getting a second life.”
In many instances, in a further boost to maritime sustainability, the Damen Trading process goes further than simply extending the lifespan of a vessel.
Good as new
“A lot of the vessels that pass through our hands, before we sell them, we upgrade them. This not only adds value, but, naturally, applying the latest technologies to existing boats advances their green credentials as well – a lot of modern equipment is either aimed at or contributes to, greater efficiency in operation.
Damen Trading has an excellent track-record in converting and prolonging the life of vessels that might otherwise have been destined for the scrap yard.
“The examples are many and diverse. We’ve had crew transfer vessels converted into yachts, patrol vessels turned to security vessels. We’ve even taken patrol vessels, considered to be at the end of their life, and refurbished them to the extent that we were confident in offering them for re-sale with a one-year warranty. They were like new when we finished with them.”
The road ahead
The service is only likely to get more sustainable as the vessels it handles in turn become greener. “Right now, we’re handling the sale of the Bis Viridis, a Damen RSD Tug 2513. She’s not called double green for nothing. As well as offering the extreme efficiency typical of the RSD Tug 2513, Bis Viridis is IMO Tier III compliant, courtesy of a modular conversion that can be applied to all Damen’s new generation of tugs. When it comes to sustainability, we’re really just getting started and we’re looking forward to the road ahead.”
Damen Marine Services (DMS)
RSD Tug 2513