First, I want to say thank you. There’s a saying that “adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” As we respond to this unprecedented challenge, our team is showing its true colors: resiliency, flexibility, compassion, determination, and dedication to our mission. I am so proud to work alongside you.
I have no doubt that our team understands that the job we do every day is critical. As a provider of essential services, it is our duty to do everything we can to maintain operations for those who absolutely depend on us. And while we will always strive to provide the highest level of service to all our customers, we also need to be prepared for difficult headwinds. In times like this, it’s important to have a common understanding of the company’s top priorities:
Priority 1 – Ensure the continued health, safety and well-being of all Seaspan employees. Be assured that we are following all COVID-19 guidance and directives of the public health and government authorities. Thanks to each of you for respecting and complying with all preventative measures implemented at and outside work.
Priority 2 – Ensure all work is conducted safely. This is a people business. Everyone matters. I know it will be difficult at times to stay focused on the job, but in our line of work the stakes are high. Even a split-second lapse in concentration can have life-altering consequences. Moments like this are what we train for; our highly experienced workforce knows how to get the job done safely.
Priority 3 – Ensure continued ferry and barge services to Vancouver Island. Seaspan Ferries transports nearly 60% of the consumer goods moving to and from Vancouver Island. Our fuel barges transport half of the diesel and gasoline consumed on the island. These communities rely on us and we must deliver.
Priority 4 – Ensure continued critical transportation and tug support services. Many customers depend on us to deliver the raw materials and move the finished products that keep their businesses running. We play a vital part in our customers’ supply chains and will prioritize service to our long-term customers. We also play an instrumental role in keeping the Port of Vancouver open. We make sure the vessels are safely guided to and from marine terminals and refueled prior to departure. Few companies play a more critical role in terms of mitigating damage to our national economy.
Going forward, you can also expect enhanced preventative measures to minimize the risk of exposure. Please note that yesterday we implemented a new pre-job risk assessment process to help identify employees who may have come into contact with the virus at home or in the community. It is now mandatory to complete a risk assessment checklist prior to crew changes and every time staff boards a vessel. For shoreside staff, the same questionnaire must be completed daily, prior to commencing work in any of our office buildings.
In the coming weeks as COVID-19 developments unfold, you can expect frequent communications from me with any new information, changes, or developments. In the meantime, thank you again. We will get through this by supporting each other, working together, and pulling hard as one team.
CEO, Seaspan Marine Transportation