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RRB (The Netherlands)

Rotterdamsch Rijnvaart Bedrijf

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[Rotterdamsch Rijnvaart Bedrijf new flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 29 Apr 2008 See also:

Rotterdamsch Rijnvaart Bedrijf

[Rotterdamsch Rijnvaart Bedrijf] image by Jarig Bakker, 29 Apr 2008

R.R.B. or ‘Rotterdamsch Rijnvaart Bedrijf’ (old spelling; Rotterdam Rhine Transportation Co.) plays a role in Nigoco history as recounted by Haalmeijer & Scholten in their 1995 book ‘Van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Co’s Stoomvaart Maatschappij (Nigoco)’.

There are two distinct periods in RRB’s history – today the first one, before the takeover by Nigoco in 1951.  As we will see, this event led to a change in house flag.
In 1929 the Dutch subsidiary of the German-owned ‘Standaard Transport Maatschappij’ (i.e. Standard Transportation Co.) became independent.  In 1947, the Rotterdam based ‘NV C.H.W. van Dam & Co.’ (which firm had a seat in Basel, Switzerland, as well) together with ‘Natural AG’ became financially linked to the company, naming the new firm ‘Natural Van Dam AG’.   The name ‘R.R.B.’ was adopted after another important Dutch inland operator, Damco, complained about the similarity of names.
 
Besides transhipment in Rotterdam a regular service linked this port to Basel.  During the nineteen fifties the fleet, until then consisting of paddlewheelers and towed vessels, was modernized; the number of ships was reduced from about fifty to about twenty.
In 1951 Nigoco bought RRB (Natural Van Dam went on and would come to fly a distinct flag of its own).  List of RRB vessels – from Nigoco’s viewpoint - about end of this page: Shown as a drawing on this Binnenvaart page (and – perhaps – on the photo of paddle steamer ‘Utrecht’), the RRB house flag was horizontally divided orange-white-orange with black initials ‘RRB’ on the white stripe.
Image based on Martin Heere’s drawing, taken from above book.  I should add that ‘Flaggen auf dem Rhein’ (1952 ed.) shows the initials with serifs and has the name in modernized spelling (“Rotterdams”).
Jan Mertens, 8 Oct 2008


RRB new flag

1956 saw RRB beginning to cooperate with Koenigsfeld, the Dutch inland shipping branch of Holland Amerika Lijn.  A River Rhine line was set up with RRB and Koenigsfeld both bringing in about fifteen motor vessels expanding towards forty units.
There was a friendly parting of the ways in 1961 followed the next year by cooperation with Neska, the Rhine shipping branch of SHV.  Due to logistic constraints, this was not a success.
In 1964 half of the fleet was sold to Natural Van Dam while the other half was rented out to NRV (Nederlandse Rijnvaartvereniging i.e. Dutch Rhine Transportation Association).  RRB continued transhipment in Rotterdam.  In 1968 the last vessels were sold and in 1972 transhipment was ended.
The above information was gleaned from Haalmeijer & Scholten’s ‘Van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Co’s Stoomvaart Maatschappij (Nigoco)’ (book, 1995).
 
As mentioned in part 1, a new RRB house flag was introduced around 1953 and here, too, is a family likeness to the Van Nievelt and Goudriaan flag: a blue field with a white five-pointed star in the centre.  There were two additional horizontal stripes above and below the star, white, bearing each two thin red stripes.
 
Image based on Martin Heere’s rendering found in above book. But a photo detail shows the actual item with a markedly larger star.
The larger star pushes the stripes near to the flag’s horizontal edges.  The design in any case was rather striking.
Jan Mertens, 9 Oct 2008