Dutch Dockers companies ILS and Matrans merged into one company “MILS ” in Rotterdam Port.

Posted by Richard Strauss

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Source : Algemeen Dagblad

The prominent port entrepreneurs Hans Vervat and Gerard Baks want to merge their lashing companies. They get a monopoly in the port of Rotterdam, but the two directors do not expect any problems with the competition rules.

They compare their work with that of the pilots and the rowers, who are also the only suppliers in the port.

The lashers loosen and secure the cargo on the ships, from general cargo to containers. The merger is motivated by the changed market in the containers. They come on ever larger ships, which are in the hands of fewer and fewer shipping companies. Due to alliances between ship owners, there are only a handful of parties worldwide. Losing a customer means immediately losing half of the lashing, the two entrepreneurs outline their situation.

Vervat and Baks announce their plans in the magazine Mainport in an advertorial – an advertisement in the form of an editorial. If they do not “crawl together” it becomes chaos, says Vervat. Through the merger they guarantee employment, says Baks, and prevent labor unrest.

The merger has no personnel consequences, emphasize both entrepreneurs. The names Matrans and ILS are also maintained. “So there are two brands in the sector,” says Erik Bouwens from Matrans.

Guard dog
No permission from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is necessary for the merger, according to Baks and Vervat. This competition watchdog has given the port extra weight, because companies do not take it so closely with the competition rules. But the turnover of their two companies is not so high that a concentration report at the ACM is required, the two entrepreneurs state.

Trade union FNV Havens thinks the merger is ‘fine’, because the lashing companies arm themselves against the large, increasingly collaborating shipping companies, says trade union manager Niek Stam. “Otherwise, the rates for lashing would come under even more pressure.” “Important, he says, because raising the retirement age causes the lashers to run a greater risk of incapacity for work and that must also be funded. Lashing is known as one of the toughest jobs in the port.

According to Vervat, the large shipping companies will compare the rates of the merged company with those of lashers in other ports, making it impossible to ask too much for the work. “They keep us sharp. We do not dictate the customers, but they dictate to us. ”