W&O speaks to Binnenvaartkrant about W&O’s offering to the inland shipping sector
Our Business Dvelopment Manager, Gerton van der Kammen recently attended the ‘Maritime Industry’ event in the Netherlands, where he spoke to Martin Dekker of Binnenvaartkrant about W&O’s offering to the inland shipping sector.
Inland shipping is a vital part of the maritime industry, and key to supporting global supply chains. In 2020, at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, European inland shipping was still used to transport 505 million tonnes of goods.
To maintain this essential supply chain, ensuring vessels are equipped with the right valves is vital to ensuring operational continuity, but the variety of valves on the market can make it hard to choose the right one. W&O’s experts can accurately assess your needs – while this can ideally take place onboard the vessel, it can also be done from an onshore location.
“There are four basic factors that determine the choice of a valve: the medium, the pressure, the temperature and the environment,” says Gerton. “For example, in some cases, stainless steel might be the best choice – however, if the vessel will be operating in a port such as Rotterdam, where the water is brackish and salty, then stainless steel will corrode far faster than aluminium bronze valves which were designed for both fresh water and saltwater conditions. Corrosion can lead to serious system failures, so getting it right from the beginning is essential. Furthermore, there are different valves required for different vessel types - you need a completely different offer for a gas tanker than for a chemical tanker.”
Gerton emphasises the importance of expert knowledge when sourcing valves for vessel systems. W&O supplies valves to 45 to 50 newbuild vessels per year and works together with valve manufacturers, using its high level of knowledge and familiarity with the requirements of the market to ensure it has everything its customers need. “As an example, we have recently worked with a manufacturer to develop a new, wear-resistant variant of polyurethane for use on a cement tanker and tailored it to the product they are transporting. Different valves are needed for different vessels and uses and accessing the right valve at the right time is essential to safe and efficient shipping operations.”
Sourcing stock at short notice is also key for efficient operations. W&O’s warehouse in Bergen op Zoom is 4,000 square meters in size with a large stock of various brands. With expert knowledge and market-specific expertise, W&O can almost completely supply new-build vessels in their entirety for all systems, especially those used for inland shipping.
Originally published in Binnenvaartkrant