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Keeping the world moving amid an ongoing pandemic

ONE’s 8,000-strong global workforce has the flexibility, whether working at the office or from home, to continue to provide a high level of service quality and focus on process excellence throughout these challenging times

THE resilience of the shipping industry is currently being tested by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has further exacerbated industry struggles following the collapse of Hanjin Shipping in 2016 through to the recent protracted US-China trade war.

Although many countries are in various stages of exiting lockdown, it would be naïve of us to expect a simple return to normality immediately. According to estimates by the International Labour Organisation, nearly 25 million jobs could be structurally lost globally due to the coronavirus.

While the future holds much uncertainty the container shipping industry globally has risen to the challenge. At Ocean Network Express, we remain optimistic about the future and are looking forward to working constructively with all our customers and business partners to build a better post Covid-19 future. In the first quarter of 2020, ONE reported $167m profit compared to $5m in the same period last year despite a 20% dip in cargo demand year on year.

We have a strong balance sheet, a strong and motivated global team and minimal debt. Amid the pandemic, we stayed agile by optimising our global network and recalibrating product offerings based on market dynamics, managing capacity and keeping utilisation rates low.

Most importantly, our 8,000-strong global workforce has the flexibility, whether working at the office or from home, to continue to provide a high level of service quality and focus on process excellence throughout these challenging times.

The people who move life

To the average person, the shipping industry is made up of lifeless ships (approximately 5,500 container vessels operate globally) and huge metal containers (the industry makes around 400 million individual unit journeys per year). But behind every container shipment and sailing lies a dedicated network of people who ensure goods are moved efficiently and safely across the world.

In terms of container shipping we’re talking about around 400,000 seafarers, 250,000 port workers, and some 100,000 dedicated office staff worldwide. And millions more people who form part of the extended global logistics network providing trucking, barge, rail, warehouse, customs brokerage and local forwarding services.

These are the people who work tirelessly around the clock, 365 days a year, to support global trade. Without them, our supermarket shelves would be empty. Our hospitals would face a severe shortage of essential medicine and medical equipment. Without functioning ports, cargoes including those with life-saving supplies cannot be transported to where they are needed.

At ONE, we like to think of ourselves as movers of life, because that’s exactly what we do every single day. We connect people and businesses with commodities and manufactured products by transporting them efficiently, reliably and safely across the globe.

In this time of global crisis, movers of life play a critical role in ensuring that the increased demand for cross-border movement of relief goods such as food and medical supplies are adequately met. It is therefore more important than ever to keep supply chains open and maritime trade and transport moving.

This means keeping the world’s ports open, facilitating crew changes and the movement of ships and containers with as few restrictions as possible. Shipping, ports and inland logistic services hold the world economy together. They connect countries, markets, businesses and people, on a scale not otherwise possible.

Moving ahead into the future

Despite the latest pandemic, and other likely future challenges, life will find a way to go on. And as movers of life, we will be there with you every step of the way as we navigate these challenging waters together. We remain committed to ensuring that humanity and commerce can continue to have access to the goods and services they need to preserve our quality of life, protect the environment and keep the wheels of the global economy moving as efficiently as possible. 

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