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Wrist Ship Supply busy supplying stranded crews


30 April 2020

INTERVIEW - In an interview with ShippingWatch published April 27th 2020, our Group CEO Jens Holger Nielsen tells about our continuous efforts to supply under the international travel restrictions.

Wrist Ship Supply is working flat out to procure supplies for crews stranded on board ships due to coronavirus. Price increases are being seen for several goods, reports the company CEO to ShippingWatch.

 

The Danish ship supply company Wrist Ship Supply is busy supplying food and other necessities to all the seafarers stranded on merchant vessels due to coronavirus.

Travel restrictions at ports all over the world mean that crews have been spending far longer than usual on their ships.

In this deadlocked situation, it is essential – both for their health and morale – that the crews receive fresh supplies on board. Here, Wrist Ship Supply is playing a key role.

There are obstacles along the way here and there, but there hasn’t been anything yet which we haven’t been able to solve
JENS HOLGER NIELSEN, CEO, WRIST SHIP SUPPLY

“Our top priority right now is to ensure the well-being of our employees, and then to deliver supplies, largely food, to crews stuck on ships and offshore installations,” says CEO Jens Holger Nielsen to ShippingWatch.

“We see it as our duty to keep them well supplied so they can continue to do the work that benefits us all.”

Can you reach the ships without any problems and, moreover, obtain the goods they need?

“We can, but it’s taking a lot of time and effort. However – so far so good. We’ve run into a few obstacles here and there, but there hasn’t been anything yet which we haven’t been able to solve,” he says.


More luxury items

Jens Holger Nielsen says that Wrist Ship Supply has experienced a slight increase in food orders the past 3-4 weeks.

“It’s our impression that on some vessels people are buying slightly more than they otherwise would. Many shipping companies are also doing a bit more for their crews. They are ordering more luxury items to show that they are thinking about them,” he says.

Wrist Ship Supply is based in Nørresundby, Aalborg, but has offices in, for example, Singapore, Rotterdam and Dubai, which are all key ports for the shipping industry. In total, the company has 26 offices worldwide.

There is no physical contact with the ship crews when the supplies are delivered.

 Many shipping companies are also doing a bit more for their crews
JENS HOLGER NIELSEN, CEO, WRIST SHIP SUPPLY

So far, the logistics are running smoothly, and there is no problem sourcing the goods which the shipping companies want, says Jens Holger Nielsen.

“We have a ‘heat map’ that shows our ability to deliver goods around the world, and by far the majority of the map is still green,” he says.

However, Wrist Ship Supply has started to fill its warehouses in areas where there is a risk of shortages for some product groups.

“It mainly applies to fruit and veg and certain types of high protein foods which are sometimes harder to get hold of in certain locations,” says the CEO, who is also seeing price increases for several products at the moment.


Considering psychological help for employees

The high level of activity means that Wrist Ship Supply’s revenue has not yet been impacted as a result of coronavirus.

However, the company expects this to change as economies around the world shut down, reducing the demand for shipping.

“We have not yet seen a big impact on our largest segment, which is all types of cargo ships. However, it will inevitably happen if a recession is on the cards, which, if I’m honest, is what I’m now expecting,” says Jens Holger Nielsen, while mentioning that smaller segments such as the cruise and offshore industries are already affected.

 

Jens Holger Nielsen replaced Robert Kledal as CEO of Wrist Ship Supply last year. He previously worked for Maersk and the Icelandic company Samskip.

The high level of activity has been making heavy demands on the company’s employees all over the world, with many of them still having to work from home. To help them, Wrist Ship Supply is considering making a business psychologist available to those employees who need it.

“There’s no denying the fact that there are quite a few employees who are starting to find it stressful working from home. However, it varies greatly from employee to employee. The unpredictability of the situation doesn’t help either. People are nervous. But I’m impressed with their resilience,” says Jens Holger Nielsen to ShippingWatch.

Wrist Ship Supply, which is owned by the private equity fund Altor, has so far taken advantage of being able to defer tax payments in Denmark, but has otherwise not needed to avail itself of the Danish government’s aid packages.

 
Article written and published by ShippingWatch:
Niklas Krigslund

The original article has been translated to English. The original Danish article can be found here:
pdf Wrist Ship Supply har travlt med at skaffe forsyninger til strandede søfolk