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Inland Shipping (The Netherlands and Belgium)

Binnenscheepvaart (België/Nederland)

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: inland navigation | schuttevaer |
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Dutch/Belgian Inland Navigation Associations

On this site we find following information: Kantoor Binnenvaart (Inland Navigation office) is a co-operative society of several entrepreneurs and interest-groups for inland shipping in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Jan Mertens, 26 Nov 2003


[ARSB flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 21 Aug 2008

The ARSB or Algemeene Rijnschippersbond (contemporary spelling; i.e. General Rhine Shippers Union) was a Dutch association founded in 1898 with a view to defending its members interests. In fact one of the many Mullers who played a role in Dutch shipping, Cornelis, was founder and first chairman.
In 1935, the ARSB  together with other associations  founded the NPRC.
Starting 2000 the ARSB, together with a similar organization, amalgamated with the CBRB.
Link to the original press release of 6 Jan 1998 (in Dutch).
Found in Flaggen auf dem Rhein (1952 ed.), the ARSB flag was horizontally divided green-white-green bearing the organizations initials in the central stripe, in black, and separated by dots (no dot after the final initial).

The Rotterdam colours are no coincidence, as the ARSB was established there.
Jan Mertens, 1 Nov 2007


[ASV flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 16 Nov 2006

Rotterdam-based ASV is a Dutch non-profit organization defending the interests of its members, independent inland shipping operators. Founded in 1946, ASV has retained old spelling for its name: Algemeene Schippers Vereeniging (General Bargemen Association), with homepage.
Logically, the position and viewpoint of the independent operator dominate procedures, policy, and organization (direct action of members), demands for fair dealing, etc.
Sharing fourth place in terms of member companies, ASV ranks sixth in terms of tonnage (1999  Dutch inland navigation survey). It may be small but has a reputation for fiercely defending its viewpoints. In this respect, see this article (in Dutch).
But to the flag… It consists of the simplified ASV mark or seal, in white, near the hoist of a blue flag: letters ‘ASV’ arranged vertically and horizontally in a cross shape (the ‘S’ of course only used once) within a ring.
The seal (name and place name added, surrounding the initials) can best be seen on the former site.
‘Diashow Jubileumvergadering’ (jubilee slideshow) shows a ASV pennants in pictures 1 and 2; some slides show rectangular table flags.
Jan Mertens, 2 Nov 2006

ASV pennant

[ASV wimpel] image sent by Jan Mertens, 6 Oct 2007

This is the current pennant used alongside the flag.  Source: first (clickable) photo on this page: not surprisingly, this pennant bears the simplified ASV logo (in white); it is placed at far left.
Jan Mertens, 6 Oct 2007

Early ASV pennant

[old ASV wimpel] image sent by Jan Mertens, 6 Oct 2007

A much simpler flag, or pennant really, is shown in “Flaggen auf dem Rhein” (1952 ed.): blue with white initials (no serifs) ‘ASV’.  This must have been the first flag - ASV was founded in 1946 – but I do not know when the present, rectangular, one was adopted.
Jan Mertens, 6 Oct 2007

Bureau Voorlichting Binnenvaart

[Bureau Voorlichting Binnenvaart flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 26 May 2007

This flag, seen and giffed by Jarig, represents the Dutch ‘Bureau Voorlichting Binnenvaart’ i.e. “Inland Shipping Information Agency”.
A white curved line starting in the lower hoist and ending as a straight line high in the fly divides two fields, the upper one sky blue and the lower one, green; in the green field are placed a large itialic initial ‘B’ and to the right of it, a white-bordered blue disk containing a white italic initial ‘v’ (lower case).

Website of this organization (interesting flagoid leads to English version).
On this page (centre photo of third row, clickable) we can see the flag flying on the ‘Vysa’, along with the Aerts house flag, already at FOTW-ws.

Quote from BVB website:  "The Inland Shipping Information Agency is an independent organisation that aims to promote water-based transport by means of promotion and information.  (…)  The BVB also plays an active role in promoting relations between the various parties in the industry, such as transporters, shippers and the authorities. In doing so, the interests of the sector as a whole are always the priority. (…)  The agency informs all organisations within the sector about the policies, activities and results to date.  The main BVB sponsors are a large number of inland shipping operators, shipping companies and suppliers. In addition, the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, the Rotterdam Municipal Port Authority and the Schuttevaer Weekly support the BVB.”
Jan Mertens, 26 Aug 2006

To my annoyance I see the flag regularly and not as I giffed it for FOTW. Now the firm presents downloads at the society's site, which I used for an improved image
Jarig Bakker, 26 May 2007


[CBOB flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 10 Jul 2006

CBOB is the "Christelijke Bond van Ondernemers in de Binnenvaart" (Christian Union of Entrepeneurs in Inland Shipping) in the Netherlands.
It has its secretariat in Rotterdam and tries to support small family businesses.
I found no website, some info is here - a link reported by Jan Mertens some time ago.
This afternoon I observed a cbob-flag in the Hem-haven between Amsterdam and Zaanstad - and it is hung at this page.
The flag consists of horizontal stripes orange - white - orange - white - blue - white - blue - white - orange of varying width; on the second highest (white) stripe "cbob" in blue in the form of a ship.
Jarig Bakker, 10 Jul 2006

CBOB does have its own website now!
Henk J. van der Velde, 22 Jul 2008


[CBRB flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 4 Sep 2008, after this page.

Yet another inland shipping oriented body found in the Netherlands is CBRB (‘Centraal Bureau voor de Rijn- en Binnenvaart’ or Central Office for Rhine and Inland Navigation), the flag of which is found on a photo in Michael Harms’s online collection. click Gallery / Binnenschiffe / Tankschiffe / M / Mercury. For better detail see the homepage (in Dutch), or in a nutshell (same language): there is the logo: a hexagon horizontally divided dark blue over sea-green, a thin white horizontal stripe between them, in the upper part initials ‘CBRB’ in white, mirrored as in water (reflected but broken up) in the lower part: here, the letters are rendered in white and a lighter tint of sea-green.

The flag bears the logo – in fact this takes up most of the field – and repeats its horizontal division.  Judging by the photo the white horitonzal stripe stays well inside the hexagon: it does not divide the two stripes.

CBRB is based at Rotterdam and presents itself as the largest organization in this field representing employers and companies, about 400 in all, plus about 250 independent shipowners active in all branches of inland shipping.  This implies public relations, committee work, lobbying, investigative work, finance and the economy, the evolution in transportation, tariffs, safety, competition, law, technical matters, etc.
Jan Mertens, 25 Sep 2006

Large photo of CBRB flag on recently found page.
Nicely done "reflected in water" effect!
Jan Mertens, 4 Sep 2008


[FSB houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 Jan 2008

‘Federatie van Schippersbonden’ (i.e. Federation of Bargemen Unions). Members of this body are VZ&G or ‘Vereniging Zand & Grindschippers’ (i.e. Association of Sand and Gravel Shippers) and ARSB or Algemeene Rijnschippersbond (i.e. General Rhine Shippers’ Union). To complicate matters, both VZ&G and ARSB cooperate with CBRB which is ‘Centraal Bureau voor de Rijn- en Binnenvaart’ (i.e. Central Office for Rhine and Inland Navigation).

The following press release dated 6 Jan 1998 (still available; in Dutch) details above mentioned cooperation with CBRB: From 1976-1998 FSB had its own weekly, ‘Het Schippersweekblad’ (i.e. The Shippers’ Weekly), itself the product of a merger.

The Dutch auction site ‘Marktplaats’ offers two FSB flags – one large, the other smaller - under no. 13684622713, accessed 9 Jan 2008, put up by “Skipvlag”.
Dimensions given as 0.90 m x 1.45 m (large item) and 0.45 m x 0.70 m (smaller item).

Horizontally divided orange above vivid blue (apparently 3:1) with a white initial ‘F’ in the hoist, standing on the blue stripe, the upper horizontal stem of which runs across the fly suggesting the contour of a vessel – the ‘F’ proper would then be the bow.  Given the position of the flag it is difficult for me to judge but the width of the white element seems to be one eighth of flag height.

Some essential information on FSB is still lacking – year of foundation for instance, or current status.
Jan Mertens, 29 Jan 2008

Kantoor Binnenvaart

[Kantoor Binnenvaart flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 26 May 2007

‘Kantoor Binnenvaart’ (i.e. Inland Shipping Office’)  the website of this Dutch interest group or association is of some interest, flagwise: KB unites a number of mainly Dutch employers’ associations:
- “S St N” or NRKBRS St.Nicolaas
- VBR (BE)
- Bond van Eigenschippers (BE)

Jarig recently spotted – and giffed - the Kantoor Binnenvaart flag: white field, large orange initials ‘KB’ (italic, no serifs) through the lower part of which ambles a very thin white waving line; over all – also italic without serifs -  is placed the full name ‘Kantoor Binnenvaart' in blue letters.

Have a look at the top of above KB’s particular page and the specific title: /K/antoor /B/innenvaart in blue letters (where /./ indicates an itialic initial) over a light blue wave.  Words & wave appear on a long white pennant, bordered in blue here.

Given the way the flags are fastened to the wall I think we may assume that KB’s pennant really ends in a point.
Jan Mertens, 26 May 2007

Kantoor Binnenvaart pennant

[Kantoor Binnenvaart wimpel] image sent by Jan Mertens, 26 May 2007


[NPCSB flag] image sent by Jan Mertens, 10 Oct 2007

CBOB or ‘Christelijke Bond van Ondernemers in de Binnenvaart’ (i.e. Christian Union of Entrepreneurs in Inland Shipping) has a website – Dutch only - showing the flag (not really red – a trick of the light - but orange as borne out by their logo and other photos): There are 350 members and they receive a large CBOB flag every year!  Also interesting is the union’s history, covered in some detail on above site (select section CBOB in left menu, then ‘Historie’).

The NPCSB or 'Nederlandsche Protestantsch-Christelijke Schippersbond' (i.e. Dutch Protestant Christian Shippers’ Union) was founded in Amsterdam in 1919 as a countermove against the abolition of the shippers’ transport exchange (it was to return, jm) and the possibility of the ASB ('Algemene Schippersbond' i.e. General Shippers’ Union) and the bargemens’ union getting together. Fifty years later the current name and acronym, CBOB, were adopted.  Then as now the accent is
placed on the members being independent entrepreneurs.
CBOB, St Nicolaas, and Rijn&IJssel founded ‘Kantoor Binnenvaart’ in 1998 to coordinate policy, services, and media output.
“Flaggen auf dem Rhein” (ed. 1952) shows the NPCSB flag: horizontally divided blue-orange-blue, black initials in the middle stripe ‘N.P.C.S.B.’ the ‘C’ having an
extended lower ending – it is the central letter and stands for “Christelijke”.
Jan Mertens, 10 Oct 2007

Nederlandse RK Bond van Reders en Schippers St. Nicolaas

[St Nicholas Ass. flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 27 Nov 2003

On this site we find following flags:
Nederlandse RK Bond van Reders en Schippers St. Nicolaas (Dutch Roman Catholic Association of Shipowners and Shippers St Nicholas), Rotterdam, NL.  This particular saint is venerated by seamen and by extension, inland shippers.
Flag: horizontal horizontal Green - Yellow - Green, Black letters S St N.
Jan Mertens, 26 Nov 2003

Vereniging Belgische Reders der Binnen- en Rijnvaart

[Belgian Inland Shippers] image by Jarig Bakker, 27 Nov 2003

On this site we find following flags:
Vereniging Belgische Reders der Binnen- en Rijnvaart (Association of Belgian Shipowners of Inland and Rhine Navigation), Schoten, BE.
Flag: Yellow with narrow Blue horizontal edges, Red letters VBR. (Perhaps the thin black lines are part of the design.).
Jan Mertens, 26 Nov 2003

Onafhankelijke Nederlandse Schippersvakbond

[Independent Dutch Shippers] image by Jarig Bakker, 20 May 2006

Marktplaats, a Dutch site comparable to eBay, had a real item on offer under no. 1832803613, now withdrawn.
Quote from this site, translated (where 'shippers' means 'people operating their own barge'):
"The Onafhankelijke Nederlandse Schippersvakbond (Independent Dutch Shippers' Association) (...wants to...) defend the socio-economic interests of its members in order to guarantee optimized professional activities in inland navigation.  The ONS board is exclusively made up of shippers."
Seat: Rotterdam.
Jan Mertens, 26 Apr 2006


[Schuttevaer flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 26 May 2007

Jan Mertens reported this link. Koninklijke Schuttevaer (the main Dutch Inland Shipping Society) - orange flag; in top a white crown; in center white "S"; in bottom a wavy blue stripe fimbriated white. - it edits the magazine Schuttevaer, read eagerly by the Mertens family, as dad Mertens was a civil servant working for the Belgian Department of Inland Shipping. Schuttevaer was founded in 1849.
Jarig Bakker, 9 Mar 2005

"S" and crown yellow instead of white, as requested by Jan Mertens, and according to my observation of many barges - it is a popular flag.
Jarig Bakker, 26 May 2007

Stichting Watertransport

[Stichting Watertransport] image by Eugene Ipavec, 3 Nov 2007

“Stichting Watertransport’ (Water Transport Foundation) I first encountered when checking a book by Harry de Groot, ‘Volaan vooruit. Binnenvaart van opdrukker tot duwboot’, (i.e. Full steam ahead. Inland navigation from push tug to push boat), De Alk, Alkmaar, 1989, 192 p., ill., ISBN 90-6013-977-1.
Partially visible, a dark flag with large light-coloured initials ‘SWT’ is shown flying on two photos on p. 90 of this book.  The captions identify the motor vessels as ‘Vios’ and ‘Casa-Nova’, active, in the nineteen fifties and ‘sixties, as summer excursion boats on the Rhine.  In this way, Stichting Watertransport at Rotterdam participated in a regular activity busying in fact dozens of private shippers who would resume normal transportation after summer.

“Flaggen auf dem Rhein” (1952 ed.) helpfully provides an illustration: blue pennant, white initials ‘SWT’ (no serifs and no dots).   There may have been rectangular flags as well, the photos are not very clear on that point.
Founded in 1948 as a parallel organization to NPRC, but concentrating on national inland shippin, SWT was the brainchild of ASV, ARSB, PCSB (later CBOB)
and RK union – we have come to know these – anticipating the abolition of the transport exchange bureau.  As explained above, tourist shipping aided in making ends meet and in one case a barge was completely outfitted as such, sailing between Amsterdam or Rotterdam and Basel.

In the nineteen seventies the exchange bureau was still not abolished so only the tourist activites were left to SWT which then developed into WT Cruises at Rotterdam:
Jan Mertens, 3 Nov 2007

VHN (Vereniging van Havenmeesters in Nederland)

[Vereniging van Havenmeesters in Nederland] image by Eugene Ipavec, 22 Nov 2007

VHN or ‘Vereniging van Havenmeesters in Nederland’ (Association of Harbour Masters in the Netherlands) was founded at Utrecht in 1949 and is established at Amsterdam.  Homepage (in Dutch), or here.
While stressing the fact that it is not a union, VHN has its members’ interests at heart and is consulted in questions regarding the safe running of harbours and waterways.  Also there is an effort to keep abreast of technical developments and informing its members (about 120) about them.

The association’s logo is shown on the website and also appears – in a slightly different form - on a flag: see various photos of the 2007 congress (click ‘Fotoboek’, left menu). Blue field, yellow upright anchor in the centre the stock of which is replaced by white initials ‘VHN’.  On the flag the initial ‘V’ is slanted to make the acronym more symmetrical (compare with the initials as they appear in the logo – and there are no flukes, either).
Jan Mertens, 16 Nov 2007


[VRB flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 4 Sep 2008

Another acronym – this time, that of the ‘Nederlandsch[e] Vereeniging van Reders der Binnenscheepvaart’ at Rotterdam. Found in ‘Flaggen auf dem Rhein’ (1952 ed.), its flag represents the “Dutch Association of Inland Navigation Shipowners” (original name in old, pre-WWII spelling).
I have found virtually nothing (in both meanings) about this association, which is a great pity, what with the flag being extremely simple: the acronym ‘VRB’ (the 'R' slightly larger) within an oval, all black, placed in the middle stripe of the national Dutch colours (horizontally divided red-white-blue).
Jan Mertens, 4 Sep 2008