Our human resources policy

    Sogestran HR policy

    Our human resources policy

    The success of the Sogestran Group is linked to the skills that the men and women of the company deploy in the day-to-day use of our fluvial and maritime units, in France and around the world, and always for our client’s satisfaction.

    • Apprenticeship and continuing education are therefore the first founding principle of our HR policy, to safely operate our boats today while imagining those of tomorrow.
    • Internal promotion and professional mobility are the second founding principle, to meet the needs of the company and the aspirations of our teams. The continuous success of the Sogestran Group since its creation is based on the fact that it has always attracted talent by means of its internal promotion policy which has allowed many sailors to become captains in our fluvial business.
    • Commitment is the third founding principle of our HR policy: it is one of the important values of the Sogestran Group, and part of our vision.
      It is above all a collective daily challenge because commitment cannot be imposed - it is stimulated. It is the result of the gratification of working together in an environment of safety, quality, attentiveness and respect.

    The Sogestran Group management charter

    In the Sogestran Group, our managers have written a management charter to encourage this commitment. This charter reflects the human ambition of the group to lay down the managerial rules that it wishes to see applied globally to actualize the pleasure of working together.

    Professions for passionates

    © Philippe Anessaut
    © Samuel Salamagnon
    © Samuel Salamagnon
    © Samuel Salamagnon
    © Samuel Salamagnon

    Photos © Philippe Anessaut, Samuel Salamagnon & Sogestran Group

    Join us!

    The Sogestran Group consists of committed women and men.
    Embark on your adventure!

    Join river transport

    You're looking for...

    • An inspiring job in a unique working environment that's always on the move;
    • An outdoor job;
    • A variety of tasks (driving, mechanics, mooring, maintenance, guiding, etc.);
    • A profession that offers autonomy and responsibility;
    • Teamwork and community life;
    • A career in which you'll be given opportunities to evolve;
    • A profession that is part of responsible and sustainable transport;
    • Interesting working patterns (7 days on board / 7 days ashore);

    … Join us!

    Founded in Le Havre in 1948, the Sogestran group is the leading inland waterways shipping company in France. We are now operating all over France and Europe. We navigate the Seine, the Rhône, the Loire, the Rhine, the Danube, etc.

    The Sogestran group also includes other core businesses: maritime transport, multimodal transport and services to industry.

    Our values: Trust, Agility, Pride, Commitment.

    Testimonies from river transport operators:

    The men and women who work in our teams are passionate - find out more about their professions below!

    Inland navigation  /  Rudy - Chief captain, Loire basin
    Rudy, chief captain

    What are your main tasks?

    I'm mainly assigned to the bunkering convoy that consists of the pusher Val d'Argoat coupled with the barges Gwen and Du. We supply ships calling at the port of Nantes St-Nazaire with LPFO (oil products).

    This is done by loading the product at the Donges refinery and then delivering it to the ship while complying with safety and environmental regulations.

    What do you like most about your job?

    Ever since I started working, I've always been on the waters. I need that connection with the river or the sea.

    I enjoy having a diversified activity: when we're not transporting, we're maintaining the units (mechanical work, cleaning, painting, etc.).

    What have been the main steps in your career?

    When I was 17, I started out as a fisher seaman.

    At 21, I became a master fisherman.

    At 28, I was hired on fixed-term contract by a CFT service provider and started working on coal convoys. Two years later, I was recruited on a permanent basis by CFT, as a deckhand.

    At CFT, I climbed the ladder one step at a time. I started as a deckhand, then became an engine watchman, then a mechanic on board the units.

    The most important step was being promoted to captain in April 2023, at the age of 46.

    Testimony published in January 2024

    The chief captain is responsible for the unit entrusted to him and for the crew placed under his orders during his embarkation periods.

    Inland navigation  /  Antonin - Helmsman seaman, Seine basin
    Antonin, Helmsman seaman

    What is your current position?

    I have held the position of Helmsman since the first of June 2023. I've been within the company for 6 ½ years.

    What are your main tasks?

    I carry out the deckhand's work (mooring, loading, unloading), carry out maintenance and drive the unit.

    I'm also responsible for filling in and completing the various on-board documents.

    What do you enjoy most about your job?

    What I like the most about my job is being on the move, being outside, not behind a desk. I also enjoy having autonomy within our unit.

    The working environment is important too: every day I enjoy the scenery along the Seine.

    What are the main steps in your career?

    My family have been sailors for several generations.

    From the age of 6, at weekends and during the holidays, I used to climb aboard the ships where my father and grandfather worked, and I liked it straight away: I love shipping as well as travelling and working in tandem on a boat. I quickly realised that I wanted to make a career out of it.

    I joined a specialised class at the CFA de la navigation intérieure, with one week at school and one week on board a riverboat, then enrolled at the age of 16 for the CAP fluvial and followed that up with a Bac pro fluvial. I joined CFT as an apprentice. During my studies, I was able to get the CRR fluvial (VHF diploma) and pass my river driving licence.

    After my apprenticeship, CFT offered me a permanent contract and I became a helmsman, i.e. a sailor learning to drive a boat. I then went on to take other diplomas and certificates such as the CRR Maritime, the Radar and the ADNs for working with dangerous goods.

    Today, I'm a helmsman. I can therefore drive the units independently under the orders of my captain and I intend to continue growing in this company.

    While on duty, the Helmsman Driver is responsible for driving and manoeuvring the unit or convoy to which he is assigned, taking over from those who have permanent responsibility for it. When he is not at the helm, he carries out the tasks assigned to the deckhands.

    Discover Antonin's testimonial on video when he was a helmsman:

    Testimony published in January 2024

    To find out more about the job of helmsman:

    Visit the Matelot Transport fluvial page, on the OPCO Mobilités website (French language).

    Inland navigation  /  Marine - Deckhand, Rhône basin
    Marine, deckhand

    What is your current position?

    I've been a deckhand on the self-propelled Mizar since September 2023.

    What are your main tasks?

    My tasks are varied: I guide the captain to lock entrances and wharves, I handle moorings, and I take part in commercial operations.

    I also maintain the boat (sanding, painting, washing, etc.) and take part in community life (cooking, cleaning, etc.).

    What do you enjoy most about your job?

    What I like most about my job is sailing: you have a feeling of freedom and tranquillity, far from the hustle and bustle of the world 'ashore'. There's no pressure, everyone does their job and everything runs smoothly.

    What are the main steps in your career?

    I've been immersed in this environment since I was born, because my father is a captain on the Rhône. At first, I wanted to follow a different path, so I did a professional baccalaureate in commerce, followed by a first year of a Tourism BTS.

    Then, while working with my father one summer, I discovered the profession and I really liked it. I enrolled at the CFANI to do a professional baccalaureate as an apprentice, which I obtained in June 2023.

    I was then hired by CFT Gaz in September 2023.

    Testimony published in March 2024

    The deckhand performs all the tasks required for the running, steering, guiding, manoeuvring and safety of the convoy, as well as cargo and crew services. They are involved in provisioning, galley preparation and maintenance.

    Inland navigation  /  Gregory - Mechanic, Rhône basin
    Gregory, mechanic

    What is your current position?

    I'm a mechanic on board the self-propelled Eridan. I sail on the Rhône.

    What are your main tasks?

    My main tasks are twofold. On the one hand, I carry out routine maintenance on the main engine and its auxiliaries (pumps, for example): oil changes and refills, GNR filters, oil and air changes, etc.

    On the other hand, I carry out external on-board maintenance, such as painting and cleaning the self-propelled vehicle. I also place orders and work requests for the technical department.

    What do you enjoy most about your job?

    What I like most about my job is the variety of maintenance work on different devices, both on deck and in the machinery. Above all, I enjoy being self-sufficient and versatile.

    What are the main steps in your career?

    After a first year of BTS in production engineering, I joined the French Navy. There I obtained my basic certificate, a certificate of technical aptitude and then a higher certificate in naval mechanics.

    These qualifications enabled me to carry out a wide range of missions on different naval vessels and units (aircraft carriers, patrol boats, firefighters, commandos, etc.).

    After 20 years in the Navy, I left for civilian life, obtained a certificate and joined the boatage service in Sète.

    I then decided to change career again: after 10 years, I left the boatage to learn another profession, that of river transport.

    At the age of 49, I was hired as an enginesman deckhand by CFT.

    Today, I'm a mechanic and hope to progress in this field and acquire new skills (SST, survival at sea, DNA chemistry, etc.).

    Testimony published in March 2024

    The mechanic starts up and maintains the engines and checks the boat's mechanical, hydraulic and electrical components. He is the machine contact for his management and the shore-based technical departments during his periods on board. He or she is also called upon to take part in on-deck operations.

    Inland navigation  /  Mathieu - Helmsman seaman
    Mathieu, Helmsman seaman

    After completing my Seconde générale without much conviction, I decided to take a CAP Navigation fluviale, a course I discovered because of my location close to the Seine.

    It seemed like a job that would suit me perfectly, because it offered a certain amount of autonomy and freedom, which was confirmed later on.

    So I took a CAP, a Mention complémentaire and a Bac pro on a work-study basis, passed several licences and obtained various certificates (River code, 180M licence, ADN, CRR, etc.).

    My work-study placements took place in different companies: I was an apprentice at Lafarge, on a self-propelled ship and finally with CFT, a company that taught me to adopt the right gestures and follow the right procedures in every high-risk situation, which helped me to improve in my work.

    Finally, after two years' apprenticeship, I was offered a permanent contract. What's more, CFT has already given me a place on its school pusher, the Obstine, to train me to drive 180 m convoys.

    More great opportunities for development to look forward to...

    Testimony published in October 2018

    Join maritime transport

    Join the maritime shipping companies of Sogestran Group:

    To apply, visit: Compagnie Maritime Nantaise.

    Testimonies of Sogestran Maritime boatmen:

    The men and women who work in our teams are passionate - find out more about their professions below!

    Maritime transport  /  Mathieu - Fleet Supervisor
    Mathieu, Fleet Supervisor

    Coming from the O1MM sector (first class merchant navy officer), made captain in 2007, I embark for different shipowners around the world. I started as a deck officer then became a marine-engineer officer, before specializing as Chief Officer on tanker ships.

    In 2009, I joined a French shipowner specializing in the transportation of petroleum products as a marine superintendent before becoming Captain, assuming for the first time the role of instructor and auditor. This adventure would last 6 years.

    In 2015, seduced by the idea of a life in English-speaking countries and always in a dynamic of openness to the world, I joined the Rightship team in London, a specialized vetting organization with more than 250 clients, both in dry bulk and liquid. I was naturally assigned to tanker vetting. As rich as this experience was it wasn’t enough to keep me from hankering after a ‘hands-on’ working environment or the challenge of being ‘shipowner side’.

    A few years later, an interview with the MD of Maritima, who operates both bunkers and coastal tankers, persuaded me to join them. It gave me a glimpse of the potential of a company that knows how to renew itself, the diversity that the job has to offer and the prospect of being heard as a manager with various challenges at hand.

    After almost 12 months, all these promises were kept and my motivation to evolve within Maritima is intact.

    Testimony published in October 2018

    Maritime transport  /  Clément - Officer cadet
    Clément, officer cadet

    After obtaining a scientific baccalauréat in 2013, I set my sights on becoming a merchant navy officer. To this end, I entered the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM) in 2015, after completing a specific preparatory class.

    The training provided by the ENSM includes on-board training on different ships throughout the entire training period.

    My first onboard periods were with the Cie Maritime Nantaise, on the MN Toucan and the MN Pélican, each lasting two months. On the MN Toucan, I learned about the logistics involved in transporting Ariane rocket parts from Europe to Kourou in French Guyana, as well as all the ship's operations, both on deck and in the engine room. On board the MN Pélican, I discovered other technical aspects of the scheduled transport of rolling cargo between Spain and England.

    Between May and August 2018, I embarked for three months on the MN Calao, a ship specialising in transporting military equipment to the various French bases abroad. Following this embarkation as a lieutenant, Maritime Nantaise offered me the chance to repeat the experience, this time on the Langevin, an oceanographic research vessel based in Brest, which enabled me to discover a different type of navigation from that of ro-ro transport.

    What about tomorrow? My last embarkation as a cadet will be on the MN Tangara, the sistership of the MN Calao. This embarkation will enable me to complete my training under a professional training contract within the Cie Maritime Nantaise and to obtain my sea-going quarter-master's certificate, in order to then work as a lieutenant in the engine room or on deck on merchant navy ships... at the Cie Maritime Nantaise, I hope.

    Apprenticeship opportunities and continuous training are a real thing within the Sogestran group.

    Testimony published in October 2018

    Join intermodal transport

    Testimonies of intermodal transport team members:

    The men and women who work in our teams are passionate - find out more about their professions below!

    Intermodal transport  /  Adrien - Customs manager
    Adrien, customs manager

    Adrien joined the Sogestran Logistics team as Customs Manager in March 2023.

    Since then, Sogestran Logistics provides customs procedures management for its customers, for goods entering or leaving the European union.

    What is your career path?

    After completing my training as a customs declarant (professional retraining) and six years' experience, I joined the Sogestran group in March 2023. There's a work-study member of staff working alongside me, and a third person will soon be joining the team.

    What can you tell us about your work?

    We are a certified Authorised Economic Operator (AEO), accredited to clear all types of goods through customs. We operate in France's main seaports: Dunkirk, Le Havre, Montoire, Bassens, Sète, Fos-Marseille and Nice. We are also present at inland river ports, in connection with our river transport business.

    What do you appreciate about the group?

    What I like about the Sogestran Group is the human side that comes with being a family-run business. Also, the group has ambitions and constantly progresses.

    In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good customs declarant?

    To be a great customs declarant, you have to be thorough, respectful of the rules, up to date with the latest regulatory developments, and able to cope with stress!

    Custom clearance

    Testimony published in April 2024

    Join services to industries

    Testimonies of Sogestran Industry team members:

    The men and women who work in our teams are passionate - find out more about their professions below!

    Services to industries  /  Frédéric - Workshop manager
    Frédéric, Workshop manager

    At Sandouville, near Le Havre in Normandy, TSN provides a full range of washing, repair and maintenance services for road tankers, tank containers on chassis and IBCs.

    Today we meet Frédéric, who sheds some light on the repair and maintenance workshop for road tankers and IBCs.

    How did you get to the position you hold today?

    I've been working for TSN for over twenty years. I started out as a forklift driver and tank container operator at the company's other site in Gonfreville-l'Orcher.

    I've evolved over the years. In 2017, I changed my role and site to join the road tanker and IBC business, recently acquired by the Sogestran group. After working as an operator, I became a workshop manager.

    What does the repair and maintenance of road and IBC tanks involve?

    We have different activities in the workshop:

    For road tankers, we prepare and carry out the periodic regulatory tests, and we carry out troubleshooting and repairs (whatever the damage: a broken insulator, a bent support leg, a sunken tank, etc.).

    For IBCs, we check, repair and modify equipments. We carry out the periodic tests, and also refurbish when the IBC changes its use or its customer.

    What is an IBC?

    An IBC is a small metal container holding 250 to 2,500 litres. The public is not familiar with IBCs as they are transported in covered lorries, so you can't see them. And yet they are used to transport everyday goods: food products (tomato sauce or fruit pulp, for example), cosmetics (creams and perfumes, for example) and chemicals.

    What are your duties as a workshop manager?

    I manage the workshop, organise the work of each member of the team and deal with customers, suppliers and sub-contractors.

    We're a small team: four operators and an administrative assistant work with me under the supervision of the operations manager.

    What do you like about your job?

    What I enjoy about my job is that the work is diverse and never gets boring. Each tank is different and, depending on the client's needs, you have to adapt and figure out how to meet the specifications.

    I don't like routine, so this suits me perfectly!

    Watch a video of Frédéric's job:

    Testimony published in February 2024

    Services to industries  /  Fanny - Water treatment technician
    Fanny, water treatment technician

    Fanny is a water treatment technician at TSN / Sogestran Industry.

    A recent arrival at the company, Fanny has over 10 years' experience in the field.

    Her job is to ensure the operation of the treatment systems for waste water generated by tank washing at TSN Sandouville and TSN Gonfreville l'Orcher.

    The water treatment circuit at TSN

    The water used for tank washing at TSN Sandouville and TSN Gonfreville l'Orcher is recovered and treated. The aim is to ensure that the water comes out clean, in compliance with the prefectoral regulation, and can be released into the Grand Canal du Havre.

    To this end, the water passes through various types of filters and undergoes a physicochemical treatment, followed by a biological treatment. The facility treats 48,500 m³ per year (maximum 250 m³ per day).

    How did you choose this profession?

    I've always been interested in the environment. I did a BTS in water management and control as part of a traineeship. I'm used to saying, in a caricatural way, that what interests me in my job is the drop of water! How a drop of water is used in an industry and how it is treated to come out clean.

    I think my job is a job for the future, because water is becoming a rare commodity, and treating wastewater is more than just a legal obligation; it's also an obligation to future generations.

    Autonomy, versatility

    What I like about my job is that I'm autonomous in my work, and that I can do lots of different things: sampling and analysis, placing orders, managing treatment in the biological tanks, etc.

    Observation skills

    I have to be very keen to observe: I keep an eye on the supervision screen, which gives me information on all the facilities, but I'm also on the alert to visually check the various pieces of equipment. By combining the two, I can identify the source of any malfunction.

    Constant attention to safety

    I pay particular attention to safety. I work in blue and in addition, for each task I carry out, I think about the PPE I need to wear to be safe (protective goggles, gloves, etc.).

    Women in the industry

    I don't often come across women in my job. And yet there's just as much room for them as there is for men! My company TSN and the other Sogestran Industry subsidiaries recruit forklift truck operators and boilermakers, for example. These jobs can also be done by women!

    I won't deny that in my career, I've sometimes had to show more motivation and demonstrate myself more than a man. But the more women we are, the less this will be the case.

    TSN employs three water treatment technicians who work in shifts: 6am/1pm, 8am/3pm or 1pm/8pm.

    Testimony published in March 2024

    Services to industries  /  Nizar - Multi-skilled forklift operator
    Nizar, Nizar, multi-skilled forklift operator

    Nizar joined CARE in 2019 as a multi-skilled forklift operator

    At Rogerville, near Le Havre, CARE is the first port storage and distribution centre for hazardous chemicals opened in France (whatever their packaging: drums, IBCs, big-bags, containers, etc.).

    Hello Nizar, can you tell us more about your career?

    I've been a CARE employee since 2019. Before that, I worked in automotive production and logistics. I wanted to move on, so I passed my CACES (certificate of aptitude for safe driving), which enabled me to join CARE.

    What are your duties as a multi-skilled forklift operator?

    I have several tasks.

    On arrival of the lorries, I unload the goods and check the quantities. I carry them using forklift trucks (or reach stackers) and put them away, scanning the barcodes, in a defined place. The goods will then be retrieved as required.

    When a customer order arrives, I go and pick up the stored goods, then scan them and prepare them for dispatch (depending on requirements, I may put them on pallets, film them, or re-label them according to specific customer requests) and check everything before departure. I then load the lorries.

    On the container storage area: an order arrives on a tablet which enables us to load the requested container and do the interchange in conjunction with the administrative department.

    What I like is that I get to do a variety of tasks, so it's not a dull job.

    At Care, I benefited from in-house training to acquire new levels of CACES, which certify that I can drive several types of forklift trucks (tractor and platform trucks, forklift trucks with a capacity of six tons or more, etc.), as well as training in chemical hazards, the application of emergency procedures and OHS.

    What's your work schedule like?

    I work four days a week, either from 9am to 6.30pm or from 7am to 4.30pm.

    What are the key skills needed to be a good forklift driver?

    Experience and thoroughness are two essential qualities for a good all-round forklift operator.

    Of course, you need to know how to drive forklift trucks and reach stackers, but I'd like to emphasise that you need to be rigorous.

    First of all, because we have to be meticulous when receiving and storing goods, and when preparing and labelling orders.

    And second, we have to work in complete safety:

    • for yourself (I've been trained in chemical hazards, you have to wear safety equipment, for example);
    • and for others (you have to drive carefully and pay attention to everything going on around you, you can't go fast at all costs: you're handling dangerous chemicals, you have to take the time to do it properly).

    Fabrice, Nizar's manager, adds to these qualities: To be a good all-round forklift operator, you need experience, rigour and dexterity when driving forklift trucks.

    You also need good interpersonal skills to work as part of a team, and extra vigilance when handling chemicals.

    Nizar, multi-skilled forklift operator
    Nizar, multi-skilled forklift operator
    Nizar, multi-skilled forklift operator
    Nizar, multi-skilled forklift operator
    Nizar, multi-skilled forklift operator

    Photos © Sogestran Group & Samuel Salamagnon

    Testimony published in April 2024

    Our locations

    The locations of the Sogestran Group

    Sites and activity areas of the Sogestran Group

    Head Office: Le Havre (France)

    Inland activities:

    • Seine/Oise
    • Rhône/Saône
    • Loire
    • Northern France
    • Belgium
    • Holland
    • Danube

    Head office of maritime entities:

    • Nantes (France)
    • Lavéra (France)
    • Cayenne (Guyane)

    Services to Industries:
    Le Havre (France)

    Our job offers  /  Spontaneous applications

    Join the Sogestran Group!

    Consult our job offers or send us your application (French language sections).