Solis Marine: Open for Business in Rotterdam

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We have scaled our global operations by opening of a new office in Rotterdam. It’s a familiar base for our new Fire and Chemicals Consultant Sander Loef who is an expert on the workings  of ‘The Gateway to Europe’.

As Europe’s biggest mega-port, Rotterdam is a natural magnet for world leaders in ship management, ship finance, maritime insurance and risk, maritime law and commodity trading.

And who can blame them? Celebrated by one glossy magazine as “the Dutch Brooklyn” Rotterdam has shed its mundane image for a mix of adventurous architecture and modernist cultural appeal which have given the port a new lease of life.

Which must make its vast wharfs and quaysides even more attractive to the cluster of Dutch finance companies, legal firms and insurance brokers who make Rotterdam among the top five leading maritime services centres in Europe.

Solis Marine is well positioned to navigate and service what is a complex market.

As the company’s resident expert, I’m equally familiar with international, national and local inland waterway networks. And as Solis Marine’s risk and fire and chemicals expert, I’m fully acquainted with the many cargo issues encountered around Rotterdam and the local area.

This on the ground, indepth knowledge and experience which has been acquired over 17 years is fully supported and complimented by our London office with its team of mariners, naval architects and engineers.

There are some similarities between the UK and the Netherlands. They are the only two countries, for example, with a system of co-insurance.

Application of Dutch law however is cheaper and faster compared to English law (Civil Law versus Common Law).  Rotterdam has the largest independent maritime law practice in the Netherlands and a dedicated maritime audit court.

Combine the city’s significant risk and insurance heritage with the new VNAB (The Netherlands Insurance Exchange Association) knowledge and meeting centre, and Rotterdam offers the perfect dynamics.

It is 10th largest insurance market in the world and the Netherlands is one of the top 10 cargo and hull insurers. Rotterdam meanwhile handles the largest share of the insurance value.

It’s also an increasingly important city for shipping finance with surveyors like such as Crawford & Co and Cunningham Lindsey setting up subsidiaries here.

Now Rotterdam is securing its place as a hotspot for innovative start-ups and other multinationals at the centre of an innovation ecosystem which is leading on state-of-the-art maritime technologies.

All of this is geared towards a huge digital transformation using data to become the smartest port in the world, keeping Rotterdam in the top three maritime cities for a while to come.

Spotlight on Rotterdam

  • The Port of Rotterdam is 50 kilometres long
  • It’s home to 3,000 companies employing some 385,000 people
  • Each year, 30,000 seagoing vessels and 110,000 inland vessels call at the Port of Rotterdam.
  • All the major shipping lines have weekly services calling at the Port of Rotterdam.
  • More than 500 scheduled sailings a week connect Rotterdam to more than 1,000 ports worldwide.
  • Many shipping lines use the port as their first and/or last port of call in Europe, and there are many shortsea and feeder connections.
  • All Dutch financiers manage their maritime portfolio from Rotterdam, including ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank.
  • Insurance brokers AON and Marsh as well as insurers Allianz, Amlin, Chartis, Lloyd’s and HDIGerling are located in Rotterdam.

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