Dear Groningen Seaports contact,
It has now been a week since the government took drastic measures in the fight against the corona virus. Since then, all our lives have been affected; the lives of our parents and children have changed completely in a week. Of course, we have huge respect for the healthcare workers who are pulling out all the stops to protect our health. The same goes for those in the food industry who are keeping our supermarkets stocked and the teachers who concern themselves with the education of our children.
Life in the seaports continues as well. At Groningen Seaports we are doing our best to minimise the impact of the corona virus on the performance of our ports and industry. For that reason, our employees are working from home as much as possible. But that can’t be done in all cases. The Nautical Service Centre is operational 24/7, albeit with minimal staffing, to keep shipping traffic on the right track.
The health and wellbeing of all personnel in our ports and industry is paramount. We are doing everything we can to create a safe working environment for them. Also, the port companies are all organising themselves in such a way that as many employees as possible can work from home. The chemical industry has been designated as a ‘vital sector’ and is an important supplier of products that are desperately needed in this corona crisis. There are many men and women working in our port areas in these extraordinary times. That deserves all our appreciation and respect and a sincere and heartfelt thank you.
The social role of seaports gives them an important task. We are continuing to perform that task as well as possible with the companies in the ports, our partners and, of course, our own people. I’m very proud of all the people who are doing all they can to keep the ports running. We are holding very frequent consultations with the various nautical service providers, companies and interest groups. Consultations with local and national public authorities are also being held regularly. The aim is of course to ensure that the ports continue to run optimally under these difficult conditions.
I consider myself a down-to-earth kind of person. But I have to admit that this crisis has taken me by surprise. It is proving much more serious than we initially thought and is forcing us to make hard choices, both at home and at work. It is only with hindsight that we will be able to conclude whether we got things right. I wish our customers, our port companies and their people, our partners, our directors and our own staff every success and the best of health in the time to come.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, uncertainties or worries. We will of course keep you informed if there is any relevant news in the coming period.
On behalf of the management team,
CEO Groningen Seaports