Hans Erik Vikestad, Snædís Ylfa Ólafsdóttir, Jakob Borgbjerg and Aad Broekhuizen
At Eimskip our frontline workers are working hard to keep the supply chain open in these uncertain times that we are facing. While many can work from home, these employees perform essential services that cannot be done from home, making sure that necessities like medicines and food are being delivered. These people are working in the warehouses, on harbour areas, onboard the vessels and driving the trucks.
Strict rules for vessel crew to avoid infection
Hans Erik Vikestad is Captain on board Polfoss, one of our reefer vessels servicing the coast line in Norway. They are now on their way to Tromsø. “The weather forecast for the next 24 hours is not looking very good but we are always doing our utmost to keep the vessel on schedule, “ says Hans Erik. In the tough weather during wintertime, it can be challenging on top of the difficult situation with COVID-19. “We are calling several ports in Norway, Murmansk in Russia, Velsen in Netherlands and Grimsby in the UK. During this time the crew also has to follow strict rules to avoid infection. We never leave the vessel and we limit the number of people that come on board the vessel as much as we can”.
Working in 40 meters height
Snædís Ylfa Ólafsdóttir is a crane operator at the port area in Sundahöfn in Iceland. Her job is to load and unload the vessels at the harbor area using the crane Straumur. Her workplace is in about 40 meters height where she hoists containers with great precision. Like many others, Snædís is not able to interact with her colleagues as usual. “In coffee breaks and at lunch we need to take turns. These are strange times and it will be good to be able to meet all my co-workers again.”
Communication through a small porthole
Jakob Borgbjerg is a specialist in operations in Aarhus Denmark. He and his team face a challenge every week by working on a complicated puzzle. They plan all containers with different types, sizes, weights, and cargo commodities to fit the vessel´s capacity. This job is completed in close collaboration with the terminal workers, stevedores, and captains of vessels. “Now the vessel planning team is taking turns being at the office and working from home. During loading and unloading the vessels on Mondays and Fridays in Aarhus, it is required for me or one of my team members to be onsite to monitor the terminal and packing of containers in the warehouse. Due to the COVID-19 situation and restrictions on the vessel, we are not allowed to meet the vessel crew personally onboard and we have to communicate with the crew through a small porthole” says Jakob.
Ensuring safety in the warehouse
Aad Broekhuizen is a forklift driver working in the warehouse in Rotterdam. His main task is to make sure that the containers at Rotterdam Container Freight Station are loaded and discharged in the best possible way. “To ensure safety, a limit has been set on how many truck drivers can report to our office at a time.All other drivers must wait their turn in their trucks. After discharging/loading, the same employee who handled the documents before, will hand them back over to the driver and then they are ready to go. Before COVID-19, truckdrivers were allowed to gather and wait in our warehouse, but those days are over for now” says Aad.