Working as Stuurman for ACM

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Bartlomiej. I am 44 years old and come from Świnoujście, Poland. I’ve been working in inland shipping for over 9 years, even though I’m an agricultural technician by education.
Currently I work as a Stuurman on tanker barges. I don’t have a permanent barge so I work where there is a demand for my job at that moment, always via ACM.

What do you like about inland shipping?

Working in inland shipping  is interesting for several reasons. You have the possibility to work with different people of different nationalities and character but also have tasks you can do solo. Sometimes you will find people with whom you get along right away, sometimes it is difficult to communication. But together you will have to make it work.
It’s also a job full of surprises, very different from working on land. Every day is different and depending on the type of barge you are on, the work is also different. Sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s hard. But overall I like the job!

What is it like to work as a Stuurman in inland shipping?

Usually, I start the day with a coffee and plan the work to be done. For this I take into account several factors such as weather conditions and the planned loading or unloading for the day. Personally, I prefer working in the engine room, it’s challenging and I like to get my hands dirty!
In the past I have also worked on a passenger ship, on barges transporting containers or bulk goods such as sand, salt and stone, and on tankers transporting gases, chemicals and petroleum products. The differences in the work depend on the type of ship you are on. People work differently on a passenger ship or on a barge transporting containers, and on tankers where the procedures and restrictions are more stringent it’s again a whole different story.
Overall, working in inland shipping is interesting and there’s a lot of variation.

Do you have any advice for others, who would like to work in inland shipping?

In this job you have to rely on yourself and your own skills the most. Remember that water is an element with enormous strengths, so do your thing wisely!

Why did you decide to work for ACM?

I started working for ACM (Upstream Crew) in 2013 and stayed that way. I appreciate the cooperation with ACM for stability and professionalism. They make sure I have enough work so I don’t have to worry about what my next job will be. I also like the flexibility and the fact that I can work on different barges.