One year ago, I guess most of us were expecting 2021 to be a less extraordinary year than 2020. We expected the pandemic to be over and that we could revert to a ”business as usual” mode. Little did we know that in less than one year from the “all time low” we would experience the other extreme in the market. Such rapid changes in the market are difficult to adapt to throughout the value chain. Skyrocketing prices on raw-materials, lack of critical components and a sharp increase in demand have challenged the entire logistics and in particular the shipping industry, where capacity changes don´t happen overnight.
The uncertainty in combination with the capacity shortage and the sharp cost increase have caused many tense situations and as it looks the market will remain tough – the question being only for how long. Also, under these circumstances we have tried our best to be a reliable partner to our customers, which I want to thank for the flexibility and cooperation to find solutions also in difficult situations. Frequent and honest communication will continue to be the key for a good collaboration and as the saying goes, “if there is a will there is a way”.
Earlier this year we started a process to put all our shipping activities under the same umbrella which started by launching our new brand. Since then we have been working resolutely to integrate our functions on a practical level as well. As from 1st of January 2022 all shipping activities will be concentrated to Meriaura Ltd. Thus, ship management, crewing, financial management and HR-activities will be transferred to Meriaura. Also, the Ownership of the vessels will be placed into Meriaura. All employees both ashore and onboard will henceforth be on Meriaura´s payroll and this arrangement will not cause any changes to the employees. The aim is to reduce bureaucracy and to streamline our processes, which in the end will show as better customer service and improved efficiency.
As this is basically an internal arrangement, there should not be any immediate changes in our external activities as they will remain unchanged. All contracts and obligations which are made by VG-Shipping, will be novated to Meriaura as is.
We look with confidence into the new year, which once again will probably in many respects be different from the ending one. Lessons learned from the past is not to expect things to normalize, whatever that means, but to be prepared to adopt to the prevailing circumstances. We are ready to serve and more than willing to look into innovative and more environmentally friendly ways of further cooperation. I would like to thank you all for a great collaboration during 2021 and wish we will keep up the good work even next year.
On behalf of the Meriaura team I wish you all a peaceful holiday season and a great start on the new year!