Member Profile: Ernst-Jan Kouveld, ORCA Crew Services

Member Profile: Ernst-Jan Kouveld, ORCA Crew Services

Ernst-Jan, Area Manager at South-Netherlands based Crew Services provider (and sponsors of the Workboat Association’s 25th Anniversary Drinks Reception) – ORCA Crew Services – tells us a little more about the ORCA team, their offering and objectives in this month’s Member Profile.

(Pictured here on the left with two of his colleagues. Attendees of the 2020 AGM may well recognise Rob Vermeulen, centre)

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What is the history of ORCA Crew Services BV.?

ORCA Crew Services BV was founded in September 2017 by a group of like-minded professionals with large experience in Maritime and Offshore recruitment services.

With 3 x branch offices and several dedicated agencies ORCA can provide bespoke turnkey recruitment solutions to their clients worldwide.

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When did you join the company?

I personally joined ORCA on January 1st 2018, recently after the company was established and have enjoyed everyday since – we have a great team and I really like the interaction with our clients.

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What is your background?

It has been varied, but always in Maritime Industry Services, for over 15 years now. I have experience as a Ships Agent, working for Shipowners and Ship Management Companies and of course; Crewing Agencies.

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What services do ORCA currently offer and what is your specialism?

We provide a range of Crewing related services to our customers, these include (but are not limited to);

  • Crew Management / Organisation
  • Recruitment, placement and research
  • Payroll Solutions
  • Ship Delivery Solutions
  • Permanent and temporary Staffing
  • Training Solutions
  • Logistical Services

I am the Manager of the Netherlands so I have a good oversight of many of these services in my sector, key to my role would be client engagement and working to provide them with high quality and professional solutions.

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What are the objectives of ORCA?

ORCA’s objectives quite simply are; maintaining the high-level of services we deliver to our clients and gaining market share with innovative solutions.

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Has there been any significant highlights since the conception of ORCA Crew Services?

A major milestone has been the signing of some large framework agreements within the more well-known Offshore Wind Contractors, we are glad to supply the entire project spread from Hopper dredgers to Multicats and from Offshore Construction Vessels to Crew Transfer Vessels.

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What was the main driver for ORCA to join the Workboat Association in 2019?

Amongst our clients many are Workboat Association members, so it is always beneficial hearing the challenges and best practices they are experiencing in the market. By being a member it is actually mutually-beneficial, we learn at the same time as our clients so we can continue to remain current with expectations and best practice whilst also giving back to the industry with help from our membership and sponsorship of the Association.

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What are the greatest crewing challenges that you experience in the Workboat industry currently?

At moment, despite any ‘normally’ perceived challenges (which we are experienced to manage and advise on), it has to be “How the COVID-19 crisis restricts travelling” especially from and to the Middle East in order to carry out crew changes, we see Shipping Companies unable to relieve crew on board >6 months.

How do you think Brexit may affect your business?

It is our motto to turn challenges into opportunities, we have a broad range of payroll facilities – we anticipate that their will be hurdles regarding the forthcoming Brexit but due to our wide offering we believe we are suited to be able to offer continuity with little disruption.

We do realize that obvious routine will become more bureaucratic once the Brexit enters into effect but until the final exit negotiations are complete it is not fully known the exact details that will affect UK Crewing, we continue to keep a close eye on this and we are ready to assist once the decision is made.

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