Iskes Towage & Salvage is ambitious for growth
The Netherlands is notable in having a considerable number of family-owned businesses. This is true of many sectors, but particularly so in the maritime industries. Like Damen, a number of these companies have been active for a considerable amount of time. Over the years, Damen has had the pleasure of supplying vessels and solutions to many of them. Here we speak to a number of Damen clients from across a range of different sectors.
“The Dutch are explorers and the maritime industry is our nature,” states Jim Iskes, Managing Director of Iskes Towage & Salvage. “Of course there are other countries with a strong maritime tradition, but we as the Dutch always try to be one step ahead.” Stating his point with the Iskes fleet, which has shown a solid growth since the operational start half a century ago in the Dutch harbour of IJmuiden, at the port mouth of the North Sea Canal towards Amsterdam.
“Just as Damen, we are a family owned company, my father started with harbour assistance to fishing vessels in IJmuiden in 1968 and since then we steadily worked up to provide towage assistance to larger vessels, such as the cape size iron ore and coal vessels calling the Tata Steel plant in IJmuiden.
And also we are active in offshore work, for instance doing “rig moves” and towing barges for the offshore renewables market. Our Damen AHT BEVER was most of last year active in the Gulf of Mexico.”
“But also for harbour towage we have an appetite for the outside world.” To this end, Iskes commenced towage activities in Aruba, French Guyana (together with De Boer Dredging) and Portugal in 2016 and Germany in 2017.
“And we have ambitions for further growth – we don’t want to sit still,” he continues.
Playing a part in this growth is Damen; who have delivered seven vessels in the last seven years to Iskes Towage. In addition to standard vessel designs that are both customisable and available on stock, the financial services provided by Damen, in the form of temporary vessel leasing, are also attractive, says Mr Iskes.
“But quality is paramount. And not only it’s important that a vessel performs optimally, but comfort is a key aspect too. A tug is not just a work boat; the crew lives on board for weeks at a time. Therefore, it shouldn’t have the sterile feeling of a hospital – it should feel like home.”