News and Media

Crowley’s Response to the Coronavirus Threat

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Updated March 23, 2020 – Spanish Version

In response to the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world, Crowley has activated its incident management team (IMT), which includes representatives of all business units and corporate services, to jointly manage activities related to the health and safety of our employees on vessels and at offices and other company facilities. This team is providing unified management as it relates to virus prevention, risk mitigation, business continuity and regular, reliable internal and external communications.

As part of this action, our Safety, Security and Resiliency team is monitoring the spread of the coronavirus, consulting with federal, state and local officials and health organizations and coordinating risk mitigation and business continuity strategies with the IMT. Safety is our No. 1 core value, and the health and welfare of every employee is our top priority in these decisions.

As such, Crowley has suspended travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, and limited travel to Seattle-area airports as well. Travel to other international locations requires specific review and approval, depending on the location. Further, all vessel crew members are being pre-screened prior to any travel or boarding of vessels.

All employees in Seattle have been instructed to work from home and avoid using the office unless it is essential to be there, following local and state health guidance.

All business teams have begun considering and developing plans for alternative operations, should they become necessary, as part of the company’s business continuity plans. Flexible work options, including using technology to work from home, are being evaluated and implemented.  We have urged employees, vendors and business partners to utilize safe hygiene to reduce risk during this time and to meet via video and teleconference rather than traveling for face-to-face meetings or attending large events to avoid potential exposure to the virus. Employees who may become sick, even with the common cold, are being requested to stay home and seek medical attention if needed.

Crowley continues to follow guidance from international, federal, state and local officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and U.S. Coast Guard.

Does Crowley have a business continuity plan?

Yes, the company has a robust plan developed over the years by business continuity and crisis management professionals in conjunction with corporate services and operations personnel within our business units. The plan has been implemented several times over the past few years primarily to deal with the impacts from hurricanes.

Does the business continuity plan account for potential team member shortages related to illness? 

Yes, we have invested heavily in technology and cloud computing to allow employees from throughout the organization to work remotely as needed. Additionally, our labor agreements provide pools of talent from which we can draw to supplement our permanent union workforce.

Does Crowley have a contingency plan in place to in the event offices are closed?

Yes, we have equipped most employees with the technology needed to work remotely. Self-quarantine and office sanitizing protocols are in place.

Is the coronavirus impacting operations?

Crowley operations remain unaffected. We continue to monitor the coronavirus’ spread and assess contingency plans should they be needed. As mentioned previously, infection prevention measures are being taken across the company. For example, employees are being urged to use technology for video conferencing.

For shipping, we are pre-screening all mariners and taking necessary precautions based on port locations to support safety and wellness. Access to Crowley-owned or managed vessels by non-crew members is being significantly restricted, and permission is granted only after pre-screening and other preventative protocols have been met.

Our steps continue to be in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard, CDC and other appropriate authorities.

Is the cargo being cleared by government agencies in Puerto Rico?

Yes, both Hacienda and Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture (SUSTA) have planned to ensure that representatives are available for cargo inspection, clearance and release. The only exception to this is the clearance of vehicles, breakbulk and NIT cargo upon arrival in San Juan. We are working with local government authorities to attain their plan for this over the next couple of weeks and will convey that information once obtained.

Is my cargo being timely cleared in other locations?

Yes, as long as your customs broker is maintaining their operations, all government and customs officials are available for clearance. Crowley’s customs brokers are all operating normally.

Can my cargo move to and throughout Central America or are the borders closed?

Effective March 15 – 22, the governments in all Central America countries served by Crowley have closed all land, air and sea borders to the transit of people, however, all borders remain open for the transport of cargo and supplies with minimal-to-no delays.

Is cargo being picked up and delivered normally?

Yes, if you are using Crowley for your drayage/inland, our operations are continuing as normal.  For more information on how we are supporting our land transportation operations and working to maintain the wellness of our land transportation employees and carrier partners, read our message here.

Effective, March 17, we will be waiving detention and demurrage fees through April 5 for equipment within the U.S., Central America and Puerto Rico. This relief does not apply to energy charges, onsite or offsite port storage, or third-party related fees, as well as equipment to or from Dominican Republic, Haiti or elsewhere in the Caribbean. If you require special arrangements beyond April 5, are a customer in a location not covered by this waiver, or have other special requests, please contact us so we can discuss potential solutions.

How is Crowley prepared to continue serving customers should some employees or crew members become infected with the virus?

Crowley is following all regulations and guidance from federal, state and local officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization and U.S. Coast Guard to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our employees, vendors, customers and their business interests. We have a robust business continuity plan that includes alternative work arrangements, locations and operations.