News | 05 August 2021


Your career at Svitzer is exactly that, your career. As our team spans across the globe, we want to highlight the many different pathways in which a career at Svitzer can take and the dedicated colleagues who have carved their way.

Fred Jeeninga’s career started out different from many onshore colleagues, a clear demonstration of the multiple career trajectories in Svitzer. Fred started working at sea as an A/B on a tugboat when he just was 17 years old. By the age of 22, he was already sailing as a Master. His time at sea spanned almost two decades, before coming ashore in 2008. With his feet on the ground,  Fred kickstarted his career with Svitzer as a training master in the Americas region.

In 2018, after many years abroad and countless hours commuting back and forth to Latin America, Fred returned home to the Netherlands to take on his current role as Cluster MD of Continental Europe. Fred’s entire family lives in Netherland, and after 10 years in Americas and 18 years at sea prior to that, being offered a position at home in the Netherlands was perfect.

HR have been great at addressing personal incentive along with professional, as his development into different positions happened naturally. Career advancement is important for Fred, otherwise he would not have climbed the ladder the way he has – ultimately transitioning from ship to shore. Svitzer’s value for career growth and personal development has encouraged Fred in his endeavours. “The company has supported me with training and different programs, which is the reason why I came in position of my current job as cluster MD,” he explains.

Fred continued, “Svitzer’s ability to provide a variety of positions in different corners of the world and the opportunity to learn and grow, professional as well as personal, are what keeps it interesting to work for this company. Not many companies provide these opportunities, however, Svitzer and Maersk are excellent at letting people grow and keeping employees engaged as there are always new opportunities arising.”

Fred’s background as a seafarer has significantly complemented his roles onshore, allowing him to draw on his understanding of what is going on on the tugs, as well as an understanding from the crew's point of view, and applying that to make everyday operations safe and efficient. Building bridges and synergies between sea and shore makes a lot of sense for individual careers and to Svitzer as a company, as the different perspectives are very valuable to our business.

I started my career 30 years ago at sea and sailed for 17 years in different functions onboard tugboats, the experience gained at sea has helped me in my development within the various onshore roles in Svitzer together with the company’s personal development and training programs.”

On a daily basis, Fred is putting the experience he gained onboard the tugs into play by sharing insights with colleagues who do not have the same at-sea experiences. This knowledge sharing is vital for setting everyone up for success.

Fred is an important player on the team, both in the Europe region and globally. He reports to Lise Demant, Managing Director of Svitzer Europe, and he is part of the European Management Team. Fred is known for going out of his way to help others, crunching problems and lending a hand where needed, even beyond his field of responsibilities.