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Intermediation and secondment of self-employed captains and skippers

What is a relief captain or ‘afloskapitein’?

The captain on board of an inland vessel is responsible for safe navigation. To replace the (permanent) captain of a ship, a temporary captain or skipper is hired. We call this replacement a relief captain, relief skipper or afloskapitein. Relief captains often sail on different ships and are even employed by different shipping companies to replace the permanent skipper.

Becoming a self-employed captain?

Many relievers are self-employed (ZZP’er) so that they can easily be hired temporarily by ships. Willem from ACM explains: “After years of sailing with a shipping company as a captain, a reorganization made me re-think my future in inland shipping. One of the decisions I had to make was whether I still wanted to work as an employee and be dependent on someone else to decide when I had to work or take time off. I didn’t like that anymore and from that moment on I started working as a self-employed captain. Inland navigation is very suitable for this way of working. People are always sought after for short assignments to replace the permanent crew or in addition to the crew when the ship has to sail in a different sailing system. With good work ethics and relevant experience you can definitely earn a good living this way”.
Before you can start working as an independent relief captain, a few things have to be arranged. That includes a registration with the Chamber of Commerce, the rate you will ask, how to deal with the administration and sending invoices, and what requirements do they have to meet. The rate must be in line with the market, but also competitive and sufficient enough to cover costs like insurances and pension provision. ACM is a specialist in the field of ZZP captains. We are more than happy to help you get started, from applying for a Chamber of Commerce number to invoicing your first assignment as a self-employed relief captain. ACM has been a specialist in the mediation and secondment of independent captains and skippers for inland vessels in Europe for more than 10 years. We are the link between ZZP captains and an extensive network of various clients. It is our goal to quickly find a suitable match between the captain and the client for each assignment.

How does intermediation for ZZP captains work?

After an extensive intake interview and following the receipt of your registration details, you can start working as a reliever via ACM. Let us know when you are available and we will look for a suitable assignment. Once we have found an assignment, you will be scheduled to work on a ship. With each assignment you will receive a signed assignment confirmation from ACM with all the necessary details such as the period, function, ship and payment rate. Afterwards you simply send ACM an invoice for your work and expenses, this will be paid within 14 days. So no hassle with invoicing to different clients or waiting a long time for payouts, we take care of everything!

Why work via ACM?

  • Goed rates
  • Clear agreements
  • Quick payment
  • We take care of everything!

What do we expect from you?

  • Experience in inland shipping
  • Valid documents
  • Chamber of commerce & VAT-nummer
  • Motivation and interest
  • Respect for people and materials

Start working as a self-employed captain!

Are you considering self-employed work in inland navigation? We can advise and guide you during the preparation, start-up and also mediate in finding clients. You can come to us not only as a captain, but also as a matroos or sailor. Please contact us and we will gladly look into the possibilities together.