On May 19 the Rotterdam Maritime Board had a dedicated meeting about the regional cluster of maritime business services. The meeting was co-organised with the Rotterdam Maritime Services Community (RMSC).

Learn more about the regional cluster of maritime business services providers.

The covid proof meeting was held at the premises of RMSC member STC Group. After the opening by the chairwoman of the Rotterdam Maritime Board and Vice Mayor Arjan van Gils of Rotterdam, RMSC's chair Connie Roozen took the opportunity to explain the diversity of the regional cluster of maritime business services providers.

Learn more about the port of Rotterdam.


Maritime business services are crucial for the competitiveness of the port and maritime ecosystem, showed Dr Wouter Jacobs, (Erasmus UPT) during an insightful presentation. This is because business service providers have clients in various sectors and therefore are especially well equipped to co-create new business models or quickly can identify if patterns change.

Knowledge based relations give the business services the foundation to help grow the ecosystem. This is a form of relatedness (C. Hildago et al, 2018), where the proximity of different actors in a region enhance and accelerate developments in that ecosystem. For Rotterdam the presence of maritime business services is a factor for the high ranking in the “The Leading Maritime Capitals of the World” report (Menon, 2019). Co-evolution between the companies, sometimes as competitors, other times in cooperation, enables growth in the whole eco-system.

Learn more about the energy transition in the maritime capital of Europe.


The meeting continued with the discussion led by Dr Bart Kuipers (Erasmus UPT) , on how maritime business services can facilitate growth in the region, and how this should be put on the agendas of the port, city and region. More awareness within companies and institutions make it easier to connect. Developments in the field of sustainability need a joint approach, which the Rotterdam Maritime Board agreed upon; another example was to use the presence of the port more frequently. Other maritime capitals don’t have this in the backyard – make use of this relatedness.

When talking about the energy transition, the Rotterdam Maritime Board said that the maritime business services can be more powerful in new projects, where can the business services join in at the beginning of these, with think-tanks or community thinking. An example given was with a large art exhibition, which proved almost un-insurable, but with the right people at the table, it was insured. Request a seat at the table right from the start, where boundaries, rules and regulations are set.

Maritime start-ups require this view as well, so RMSC could be better connected to the start-up community and ecosystem, through PortXL for example Financial institutes, legal advise and insurance can help start-ups more in depth. RMSC will discuss how to achieve a better integration with PortXL.


Overall, this meeting proved that there is more to it than the eye can see –maritime business services function as linking pin and oil to the wheels of a properly functioning and competitive port and maritime industry. They bring immense value to Rotterdam, the maritime innovation capital of Europe.

Source: Rotterdam Maritime Services Community