German container shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd has hired over 100,000 TEU of additional equipment across the globe to keep the supply chain flowing amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
« Our vessels are today operating as usual and our service structure is largely unchanged, » Rolf Habben Jansen, Hapag-Lloyd’s CEO said in a COVID-19 update.
«In terms of trade, we see that many ports in China have returned to normal operations, and that scheduled sailings and bookings ex-China are gradually increasing.
«So far the crisis has had only limited impact on our business, but we expect a significant effect of the virus on global container traffic in the months to come, and if this happens we will have to make some adjustments to the network. We have – after a very good 2019 in which we improved profitability significantly and reduced debt more than planned – taken additional precautionary financial measures now to assure that even if the crisis persists longer than we expect today, we will be able to offer you the services and products you need.»
«All of us are being called upon to help curb the disease from spreading further, and we believe it is important to be transparent about how we are responding to the outbreak to avoid unnecessary risks whilst keeping business going. For example, we have asked as many colleagues as possible to work from home, we have equipped all staff with additional modern IT infrastructure and new collaboration tools. We have cancelled our attendance at trade shows and postponed all business travel. Our crews are not changing ships in high-risk areas, and additional safety measures are being implemented on board our vessels.»
« Over the coming weeks, we will continue to navigate these unchartered waters and move as close as possible to ‘business as usual,' » Hapag-Lloyd CEO further added.
Hapag-Lloyd operates a fleet of 239 containerships with a total transport capacity of 1.7 million TEU, as well as a container stock of approximately 2.5 million TEU including one of the world’s largest reefer container fleets.
Photo: Hapag-Lloyd. Suez Canal has been connecting Europe and Asia since 1869. Today, the 193km longcanal is one of the busiest and most important trade lanes in the world.