By Olav Nortun, Chief Executive Officer, Thome Group
Dear Maritime Colleagues,
We are all experiencing a huge change in both our personal and professional lives due to the changes brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time of writing, something like a fifth of the world’s population is under some form of lockdown, designed to restrict our social interaction to halt the rate of infection of this highly contagious virus.
This is having a major impact on global tr ade and the wa y in which we do business.
During these uncertain times it is vital to have a plan to address the various implications which the virus has imposed on us and so in this issue most of the articles refer to our comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and how we are implementing it so we can operate as efficiently as possible, working within any limitations set by governments, port authorities, health organizations or regulatory bodies.
I would like to congratulate all staff for their flexibility in these changing times, to our office teams who are now working from home and too ur seafarers, some of whom are enduring a longer than scheduled period at sea due to the various travel restrictions around globe, making crew changeovers almost impossible.
Your patience, fortitude and loyalty are admirable and the Thome Group is doing everything it can to support its seafarers and their families in what is a very stressful situation for all concerned. For instance Thome has extended its hotline services in collaboration with ISWAN which is providing a team of specially trained psychologists who are experienced in dealing with stressful onboard issues.
To keep the crew occupied and take their minds off the crisis, we’ve arranged a different kind of weekly activity with rewards at the end of it, such as art competitions, best group singing sessions, photo competitions, best effort in maintaining COVID-19 preparedness, or best workout session. We would like to reach out to the seafarers and keep them engaged during this difficult time.
As part of our BCP and to help deal with the ongoing changing situation, an emergency response management team has been created which meets on a daily basis to address COVID-19 related issues and respond to any concerns from clients, owners or crews.
We were well prepared. The implementation of the plan, including adaptions made have proved we are very adaptable and resilient.
One thing is certain – we will get through this and we will emerge from the crisis stronger than ever.