Vertraco is an expert in getting its freight from one end of the ocean to the other. In theory very simple, but the reality is much more complex.
For example, even though it is called shipping, our work already begins on land, as we transport cargo from the supplier to the port. Few are better placed to talk about the intricacies of the shipping business than Vertraco staff member Dorine Pronk, who is with the company since the very start. “33 years already”, she laughs, “but I feel at home here!”
Since she has joined the company, Pronk has seen Vertraco from many different positions. She started out as a secretary, then became part of container control and finally ended up working in logistics. “That one was practically made for me, it is incredibly fun!” She enjoys the rational aspect of the work, but also the atmosphere at the company. “On one hand we do work very hard, but at the same time there is room to have a laugh and talk about less serious topics.” Another big reason why Pronk is still with Vertraco: the dynamism of shipping.
“From toothpaste and laundry detergent to baby seats and furniture. There is always something new happening.”
This vitality is largely the result of the diversity in shipping work. Vertraco transports to many different ports in Europe and South America, and its cargo consists of many different kinds of goods. Pronk: “From toothpaste and laundry detergent to baby seats and furniture. There is always something new happening.”
Before goods are shipped from A to B, much work must be done. When clients ask Vertraco to ship something to Suriname, Pronk accompanies them during much of the process. She requests prices from dedicated transporters and organizes the transport. “This is not only a question of good planning and communication. For example, it also requires all kinds of documents and permits in order to cross borders.” Pronk also coordinates with the transporters what trucks are needed, or checks the status of payment – everything to ensure that the cargo arrives where its needs to.
Despite her flexibility, Pronk does not take care of every step of the journey. From the port onwards, other colleagues take over. The sea transport is booked, the freight documents are drawn up, the cargo is delivered to the ship and the agent on the other side is at last ready to receive the goods. “We are all a link in the whole transport process”, Pronk says. “We all help to create a smooth connection between the seller and the buyer. It is nice to be part of this chain –“ She pauses. “But the nicest thing must be the appreciation of a customer – a compliment or a sign of gratitude.”