Modest increase in turnover for ship suppliers
Despite the current crisis, the number of ships calling on Rotterdam hasn’t fallen compared to last year. This means that ship suppliers in the port area are still working hard to provision visiting ships with the required food and non-food items.
‘We can even report a modest increase in turnover,’ says Dirk Cupido, director of NeKo Ship Supply and vice chair of the Dutch association of ship suppliers. He offers the following explanation for this increase: ‘Ships are stocked up when they leave, but in these times, there is some uncertainty whether or not they can replenish supplies at their next port of call.’
While turnover isn’t giving any cause for concern, Cupido is worried about maintaining staff capacity – both at the ship suppliers and at the companies that supply them – due to the risk of corona-related staff shortages. ‘That’s why we’re doing everything in our power to prevent infection. For example, we have completely separated truck drivers who load and unload goods from our warehouse staff. In addition, we have arranged extra toilets for the drivers as a temporary measure. We are also offering more office space for our office staff, so they can maintain the required physical distance. Insofar as possible and desirable, we are also allowing office staff to work from home. And naturally, we have a responsibility toward both our own employees and those of our suppliers and our clients. That is why for the time being, we won’t be taking part in any external events, why third parties are barred from entering our offices, why we’ve called off various business trips, and so on.’