Protecting safety and health
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic caused disruptions in our regular ways of working. Similarly to other Aspo’s employees, ESL Shipping’s office employees in Sweden and Finland started working remotely in the middle of March. Even though offices were later opened in part, most employees were still working from home at the end of the year. However, the pandemic had a more significant impact on ESL Shipping’s maritime crew.
During spring, crew changes in other countries were practically impossible due to different coronavirus restrictions. This resulted in longer work periods aboard ships. Furthermore, crew members were not permitted to step ashore at many ports, which significantly restricted their access to recreational activities. These restrictions remain valid at many ports.
The situation was even more problematic for ESL Shipping’s crew members from outside the EU. After hard
work and detailed planning, new processes were adopted, allowing crew members from outside the EU to first fly to Finland for testing and a quarantine. They were accommodated on Rautaruukki, ESL Shipping’s vessel docked in Helsinki. The few infections were screened successfully in close cooperation with Finnish authorities, and the infected crew members were quarantined before coming aboard. As a result of these measures, crew changes have been possible from the beginning of May. Every crew member is still tested during crew changes to ensure the safety and health of all employees.