How COVID-19 effect Wallenius Marine
The situation regarding COVID-19 is serious but under control, according to Johan Mattsson, CEO at Wallenius Marine. “The safety of our crew and office employees is our top priority. Long term we need to make sure that our services are intact. So far, we have a stable volume in our segment and will honour employment contracts”.
In what way are Wallenius Marine affected by the corona virus COVID-19?
“We are in some of the most dramatic weeks that shipping and business in general have experienced. It affects us all, one way or the other, but we have the situation under control. Our top priority right now is the safety of our employees. Long term we need to make sure that our services are intact.
We have several building projects at ship yards in China. The projects have been delayed a few weeks but are now up and running. Since we have a team on site that have been there the whole time, we have been able to restart the project rather quickly.”
What measures have you taken to ensure the safety of the employees?
“We have followed the development of COVID-19 closely from an early stage. We are following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the national health authorities in the countries and ports where we operate.
Short term we need to restrict traveling – that’s why we postponed all crew changes for four weeks, starting from 16th of March. The reason for this is to protect our crews by minimizing the risk of bringing the COVID-19 contagion on board any of the vessels. Travels to and from the vessels in connection to crew changes represent a great risk for contagion and must at the moment be minimized as much as possible. There is also a risk for crewmembers signing off to be caught in different places around the globe.
Our office employees in Stockholm and Singapore are working from home if their presence aren’t absolutely necessary.”
Will the effects of COVID-19 lead to layoffs in personnel?
“Many shipping companies, especially passenger companies, are facing a sharp drop in sales and cancellation of existing bookings as a consequence of COVID-19. For the container shipping companies a lack of containers are escalating with a reduction of shipments as a consequence. As reported in media, this has unfortunately led to layoffs in personnel.
Fortunately, we have so far not seen a similar drop in volumes in our segment as an effect of COVID-19. Wallenius Marine is at the moment confident that we will be able to keep up similar level of workforce and honour Wallenius Marine employment contracts also going forward. It may even be that we see local increases in shipments due to lack of container and passenger/RoRo vessel capacity.”
What kind of reactions have you recieved?
“Of course, these changes isn’t easy. I am very impressed and grateful to see how well our co-workers have adopted to the instructions regarding COVID-19. We also have a close dialogue with our customers and partners, and we share the same view in this. It is very important that we all continue to follow these guidelines to restrict the spread of the virus. By acting responsible, supporting each other and keeping the spirit up, we will come out on top of this.”