Expert Insight: Serving Up Seafood Speciality

There can be no stronger example of the efforts being made by Samskip Logistics to get closer to its customers than the recent appointment of Peter van der Woude as Business Development Manager.

New to Samskip he may be but Peter van der Woude joins Samskip Logistics bringing with him 26 years of experience as a reefer logistics specialist, with a particular focus on developing seafood traffic flows.

In a specialised market, it is no secret that the newly appointed executive spent those years with rival Eimskip. As a fresh chapter opens in a professional logistics career, van der Woude joins a driven team headed by Logistics Director Martijn Tasma, whose passion for growing Samskip’s global forwarding business is being felt at every level of the organisation.

Seafood volumes in particular are expected to secure benefits from closer customer focus, but also from Samskip Logistics investments in digitalisation and data management overseen by Tasma, and a closer cooperation with Samskip’s multimodal network.

“Third party logistics providers make it their business to win cargo flows from the transport provider by making the shipper’s experience hassle-free,” says van der Woude. “My focus has been to work closely with the customer but also see the transport system as an option to offer global logistics services directly to them.”

In his former guise, van der Woude built a sizeable reefer logistics business whose ocean freight component connected not only to deep sea lines operating worldwide, but upstream in the supply chain to the North Atlantic trawler operators providing the source of exports. “A lot of the Icelandic customers were selling to the Far East and became logistics clients first and foremost,” he recalls. 

Now fully empowered at Samskip, he is relishing the opportunity to use his knowledge, insights and contacts in the Netherlands and beyond to support Samskip’s logistics ambitions, by once more focusing on the seafood business at the heart of his successes. “Samskip is adding value to the proposition and using data to take costs out of logistics, scenario analysis, better workflow process management and even integrating with customers’ own enterprise systems.”

Customer Focus

Nevertheless, many issues are very familiar to the new Busines Development Manager. “Samskip has liner services coming into Rotterdam from Iceland and multipurpose services from Norway, and part of the challenge is to create a defined seafood logistics position for Samskip in the market,” says van der Woude.

One of the largest multimodal operators in Europe, Samskip offers shortsea, barge, rail, road and terminal handling services across the EU and beyond, accounting for around 800,000 TEU as container moves each year. Active across the dry, reefer and specialised container businesses, quay-quay and door-door, the group operates a vast fleet of unitised equipment and is heavily invested in track and trace technology and sustainable transport solutions.  

Samskip Logistics, meanwhile, has a presence in the major trade lanes connecting to and within Europe, but is also active in Asia and the Americas (North and South), where is seeks to provide logistics solutions to clients based on available service networks.

“In the seafood business, customers could be importers, exporters, traders or trailer operators, trawler owners or even fish farmers. In some ways, my job is also about pulling together the knowledge that Samskip already has in-house so that customers are fully aware of what services are available.”

Trawler owners, for example, might have their own sales networks but can still benefit from Samskip logistics consultancy, cold storage services, customs management or veterinary documentation, or by using Samskip’s own bill of lading, he says.  

Cool Opportunities

For a multimodal group whose largest sea trade links the Netherlands to the UK, the UK’s EU departure remains a preoccupation for Samskip management but van der Woude is a firm believer in Brexit as seafood business opportunity. “As a logistics guy, a company with veterinary and customs expertise in-house must see this as an opportunity – let alone from the point of view of three Samskip departures a week from Amsterdam to Hull.”

In the near term, he foresees “enough seafood coming into the pipeline of Samskip Rotterdam and our frigoCare cold store services”  to start building significant NVOCC business for Asian importers. “Of course we are already active and buy freight capacity from the deep sea lines but we are also convinced that now is the moment for Samskip to secure a sizeable chunk of the logistics services business flowing from Norway.”

Opportunities also exist to develop an alternative offer for some parts of the fishing industry, de-vanning shortsea reefer containers in Rotterdam and loading boxes bound for Asia that would otherwise move empty. 

“Samskip is a significant North Atlantic player with a huge multimodal set up in European transport and there’s a real excitement across the organisation now that we have started to share all of the knowledge at our disposal. Changing minds can be challenging, but I hope to be pushing at an open door when I bring the value proposition to seafood clients. ” 

Mackerel, cod and haddock are all growth targets, he says but adds: “It can only be a matter of time for a dedicated logistics offer with great service at competitive rates starts making a major impact on the seafood sector in the Netherlands.”

Ultimately, van der Woude sees opportunities to draw on his own experience to bring Samskip Logistics into the spot market, where being active is not only an entry point for Far East imports but a way of hanging on to business from traders whose heads can be turned by favourable day rates.

“This is a game I’ve played in the past with some success but in order to do so I need the right volumes and procurement to be in place,” the Business Development Manager concludes.

For more information

Peter van der Woude - Business Development Manager
Phone:+31 88 400 1272 |