On Saturday 10 February 2024, Boluda Towage had the pleasure of welcoming the Belgian Minister of Justice and North Sea, Paul Van Tigchelt, on board the tug VB Seine in the port of Antwerp.

Paul Van Tigchelt was appointed Minister of Justice and North Sea in October 2023. Responsibilities for the North Sea cover Maritime Mobility and Marine Environment, including policy on permits and authorizations for the operation of renewable energy infrastructure in the North Sea.

The visit to Boluda Towage started with a company introduction, which highlighted the importance of the logistics and nautical chain and explained the role of towage services in this chain. As a maritime service provider, Boluda Towage is an essential player and a vital part of the nautical chain with its tugs.

The minister’s visit provided an opportunity to discuss challenges within the sector and engage with each other on topics such as security around organized drug-related crime, regulations, optimization of logistics processes in the nautical chain, and Boluda Towage’s investments in various sustainability projects.

Challenges in the labour market and the so-called ‘bottleneck’ professions of nautical specialists were also discussed. In the maritime sector, the demand for well-qualified and nautically skilled professionals remains unprecedentedly high. For nautical personnel, Boluda Towage has developed its internal training program, which allows us to maintain our high-quality service and performance and strengthen our competitive position.

After the company introduction, the minister boarded the tug VB Seine, where he could meet the crew. The boat trip through the port of Antwerp allowed the minister and his team to experience closely the logistics and nautical processes at the port.

Belgian Minister Justice and North Sea, Paul Van Tigchelt said: “The nautical chain is a well-functioning ecosystem in which every link is important to keep the engine of our ports running. When one cog stagnates, it has huge consequences on the sites, economic consequences for the companies, and social consequences for the employees who work there.”

“During a working visit to Boluda Towage, I was introduced to the workhorses of our ports. After all, the tugs ensure that the large merchant vessels safely enter and leave our ports. Huge respect for the professionalism with which they work and gratitude for the warm welcome!”