We have been living in challenging times these last six months. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the world ground to a halt. This had an impact on the project and heavy lift market as well. Projects and investment decisions were postponed, production was reduced and exports declined. Additionally, the meetings with our clients and the travelling we took for granted came to a halt and working from the office was also restricted for quite some time. While presently the lockdowns in many countries are easing somewhat, other countries are still struggling. The Covid crises has led to various interesting challenges that needed a flexible mindset and inventive ideas.
Looking for instance at the cargo handling on our vessels: before, a Cargo Superintendent and Engineer could travel to the port to assist the ship in the cargo loading or discharging activities and use their experience and knowledge, preparations and extra pairs of hands and eyes to make the cargo operation a success. But in the last months we had to do this guiding from a distance. Through intensive communication with the people on board and with the help of modern technologies, we have been able to continue our operations and maintain a very good standard despite the restrictions. A more difficult issue, which is still not completely solved, has been the relief of our crews. Suddenly in mid March, crews were unable to reach their ship or unable to travel from the ship to their homes and had to stay on board longer than planned. For a number of nationalities and regions, this problem has meanwhile eased up and if required we are making an extra port call or allowing extra time in port for the crew changes. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to make the journey home still, and has to remain on board for a while longer. Our Crew Department is working very hard to try and find solutions for this situation. However, we should not complain. Everybody on board and in the office put their best foot forward, worked from home, had meetings via videocall and put their creative thinking caps on to manage our operations without much interruption. We even had scrubbers installed on both BigLift MC vessels. Having been in our fleet for just over a year, in this issue we are pleased to highlight some of the recent projects where we are making good use of the P8 and P14 vessels for specialised and heavy cargoes. This spring a fifth P14 even joined the fleet, mv Palmgracht. We also highlight how petrochemical equipment, very large ship-to-shore cranes and the largest stacker reclaimer machines to date moved from the construction yard to their ultimate destination. As well as this, we have articles on shuttling wind turbine equipment and automated stacking cranes. Enjoy reading BigNews and Stay Healthy!