IN FRONT OF A NEW YEAR
Our non operational staff returned to the office in two stages, with the main purposes of making life safe and comfortable to everyone. As the year ends still some people prefer to stay at a work from home plan, while still occasionally visiting the office. No one is allowed to take public transport. We are not only disciplining ourselves to ensure productivity is maintained, but also preparing ourselves perhaps for another half year of such scenario, depending on how vaccination program evolves in Colombia. So far, we have had some minor outbreaks of covid with no major consequences for our team.
Our performance this year however was clearly marked by the developments or rather lack of developments in our main market, the coal ships, whose arrivals were greatly affected by a long strike at Puerto Bolivar and a considerable slowdown of production and exports from other major and traditional shippers. In other commodities like steel, and grain, the effects of local economic recession were also sensible to our results, but December is marking already a turnpoint.
We took some hard decisions in respect to rightsizing the company but also making smart transfers and trying to optimize our most relevant resource, the people. Principles, competence, and culture were preserved above individual priorities.
As we celebrated a year´s end altogether via a virtual meeting, cannot help but feel strange since this time of the year it is a time for physical touch, real smiles, and hugs. Still, we managed to find star performers which we wanted to recognize in this new reality: Yendris Bustamente, who was of great assistance managing with intelligence data analytics; Osnaider Surbarán, who was transferred last year to our Santa Marta operations and has performed with great enthusiasm; and Leo Quiroz, our passionate HSEQ leader who has made sure the company abide to new and demanding regulations of local and national institutions. We also recognized our Karen Gonzalez for reaching 15 years with us, 7 of those as Finance and Administration manager, and Alvaro Gonzalez, who reached 25 years with the company.
My appreciation is tsunami strong and mountain high for all the members of this company, whether recently joined or not, whether executing sharp cleaning functions or boarding the ships, for their unwrinkled determination to add to a common effort and sign in for such principles, competence and culture. It has been a year of mutual learning, and tolerance, which makes us more mature and stronger. The road ahead is still paved, and we must march on.
The call to keep our optimism remains intact, and no doubt we all share a common hope: that next year draws a brighter future for LBH Colombia, for LBH Group, and for all our mutual clients and their families.
United with LBH Group we remain stronger, a strength that ultimately benefits our customers!
And do not forget: celebrate loudly as 2021 approaches.