How different countries take different approaches
How did you respond when the economy shut down?
Tytgadt: “When the authorities announced the lockdown in Belgium and France, we decided to close all our sites. We did, however, continue to do urgent and essential repairs behind closed doors in order to safeguard the global supply chain. As a consequence, our dealerships were run with only 25% of the normal number of employees. 440 of our 600 employees were put on temporary unemployment. A few weeks later, our employees in Romania, Russia and some other countries were also obliged to stay at home, with only slight or no governmental compensation.”
Verbeek: “The impact of COVID-19 and compensation benefits offered indeed differ greatly from country to country. Yusen Logistics is active in most European countries and we experience major differences. Yet, the effects vary even more from sector to sector. Some industry verticals where we are active in, like automotive and aerospace, have been severely ravaged while others like healthcare and food are less impacted. That means that some Yusen branches have been hit much harder than others. Nevertheless, a significant number of our 5,700 European workers are temporarily unemployed – with or without unemployment benefits. Office workers have all started working from home. As soon as the economy shut down, we installed a European crisis team to handle the situation and make decisions.”