One year of the Ukraine crisis: a look back and ahead

Shortly after the invasion of Russia, our CEO, Sylvester van de Logt, spoke in the 'Seaconnected Podcast' about the impact of the war in Ukraine on the transport world. We look back at the challenges of the past year and look to the future.

On February 24, 2023, it will be exactly one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began. Putin's latest speech, in which he blames the West, and reports of Biden's recent visits to Kiev and Poland, inspire little confidence in a quick and peaceful end to the war in Ukraine.

We sympathize with the Ukrainian people who have lived in great uncertainty and significant risks for so long. On the other hand, we also have sympathy for the Russian people, we wonder whether they are being told the real facts and whether they are even free to share their own opinion. At Seacon Logistics, we have adapted ourselves to the war situation in the past year, in order to deal with it as best as possible. Including looking for solutions and alternatives for the logistics questions of our customers.

Our logistics world is constantly changing, from minute to minute. That is our profession and that is also where our quality lies. We have been challenged in this over the past two years, one of which was the Ukraine crisis. This required even more flexibility from the team. We managed this very well and I am very proud of our team for that!

Our customers have also adapted their business to the new reality. Usually by stopping their business in Russia and customize their service to Ukraine. In addition, we see transport flows shifting to other areas, such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkey. The war is not only having a major impact in Ukraine. We are noticing the consequences of this worldwide, including in the Netherlands and closer to home, namely our own company. Unfortunately, we had to decide to close our specialized transport department Russia and Ukraine. With pain in our hearts, because twenty colleagues lost their jobs because of this. We have given them maximum support during this process. For a number of colleagues, we have found another position within Seacon Logistics and fortunately most of the others have now found a new job elsewhere.

The global flow of goods is in constant motion and balance sheets change regularly. For example, the rates for sea freight, where they used to be very high, we are now back to rates that we knew before corona. There are many more issues that have a global impact, including the worldwide shortage of drivers, restrictions on the New Silk Road, but also the expansion of the terminal capacity in Duisburg. Every day we weigh up what this means for our customers, how we can best respond to this and which modalities we can use for this. This demands a lot from the adaptability of the team, but also from customers and suppliers. That also counts for me. As CEO of a company in the present day, you are increasingly confronted with major disruptions, such as in recent years: the corona pandemic, the tight labor market, the ship in the Suez Canal, sky-high inflation and the Ukraine crisis. You can only manage that if you have a very strong team around you. I see it as a beautiful and interesting puzzle that we enjoy working on every day.

24 February 2023

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