The start of 2020 has brought about many challenges to our company, the industry and the world as a whole. The multiple shocks of a global pandemic, synchronised suppression of demand in many countries and an oil price crash all happening in tandem present an unprecedented situation for all. It is unexpected and the impact is working out to be of a greater magnitude than what the world has seen during the financial crisis over a decade ago.
But in times of crisis, it is when faults and strengths are clearly exposed. For our group, I strongly believe that it is the latter.
We have activated measures to ensure that the health of our staff is well-protected across the globe. Our Safety, Security & Environment Committee is ensuring required precautionary health measures are in place to provide a safe environment for all those who use our terminal facilities. We are working closely with government and health officials for this, and we are also working to assist within the communities where we operate as much as we possibly can.
It is also in crises that the importance of the gears behind the scenes are exposed. The supply chain and all its components – logistics operators, truckers, air cargo carriers, shipping lines, ports and terminals amongst many others – are proving vital to ensure that shipments of food, medical supplies and critical goods are kept moving such that medical frontline workers have the supplies they need, and that people can continue to receive necessities. The port sector is an integral part of this pipeline, and Hutchison Ports’ global network of terminals together with our dedicated staff who keep our operations up and running, play an important role.
Despite the current environment and restrictions in travel, business never stops and we are making efforts to progress our ongoing projects. For instance, we have set up a remote command centre in Hong Kong to effectively connect project team members from different locations to remotely support the implementation of nGen at our new Stockholm terminal, which will commence operations later this year.
Looking forward, I strongly believe that as a company we are resilient, and I remain positive about the strength of a rebound in global demand. In the meanwhile, while we are confined and free from business travel, it is a good time for managers to review and refresh their areas of responsibility in order to refine and improve processes and output.
During this time of great disruption in supply chains, we also see our efforts in digitalising our business and applying new technologies as a vital component in being well prepared for the future.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all good health as we move forward together on the road to recovery.
Group Managing Director