Graham Westgarth, Chief Executive Officer of maritime support services company V.Group has highlighted the importance of industry collaboration in a video message launched in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In the video, the first in a series, Westgarth outlines the focus of V.Group during this unprecedented time for the shipping industry, stressing that the priority remains the safety and wellbeing of the team.
Graham stressed that the industry must work together, engaging with legislative bodies and industry bodies to reduce restrictions for shipping personnel:
“We’re engaging with various industry bodies who then work with legislative bodies to basically have crew treated as key personnel, so that will then enable us to move them freely onboard and off ships because the current situation is simply untenable. This is something that is of huge importance to us and something we’re putting significant amount of effort into.”
A key priority is the safeguarding of ships, ensuring they are maintained in the correct way and ready for inspection. Graham offered assistance to other operators who may be facing challenges in visiting their vessels:
“We have resources available to visit the ships in many different ports and, whether we manage your ships or don’t, then we’d be very willing to offer our resources to visit ships if you feel that would be helpful in any way. Please feel free to reach out to our officers and ask for that service if you believe that it would be useful to you.”
Security of the supply chain was highlighted as a challenge with Graham staring that the V.Group team are “engaging with all our key suppliers and constantly in dialogue with them really talking about how we can ensure the security of the supply chain.”
Graham had a positive message for the industry:
“We’re privileged to be in an industry that’s resilient and populated with extremely committed people and I’m sure we’ll get through this and come out of the other end stronger than we were previously.”
V.Group has launched a dedicated Covid-19 page on its website which also includes an interactive map, showing port restrictions and the latest news: https://vgrouplimited.com/covid-19-map