2020 will universally be recorded in the history books as an extraordinary year in which we were faced, completely unexpected, with the corona pandemic. It was a year in which the logistics industry showed to be of critical importance to keep the economy going. A year in which it was demonstrated again that the traffic congestion we normally experience, but which now evaporated, is a major cost element. 2020 was also the year during which we, en masse, adjusted in record time to the new ways of digital communication. Admittedly inevitable, but it showed us that meetings online can also be very efficient.
Compliments to our employees
I am pleased to see that our organisation was flexible enough to face up to the unexpected blow dealt by corona. Once more it was shown that, if required, we can quickly change and take the necessary steps needed. I would like to thank our employees for this. Also under these difficult circumstances, with various restrictions on free movement, they have shown what they are made of and that we can always rely on them.
As a company we can count ourselves lucky that it has not been necessary to use any of the government measures to survive financially. Even with the various restrictions, we have largely succeeded to meet the targets set for 2020.
The plans and investments for 2021 will continue as set out. In Tilburg the building of a new logistics centre and the establishment of a new BTT headquarter is in full swing. In Berkel en Rodenrijs we will add a new hub to our distribution network in 2021. And in Alkmaar the blueprint for the extension of the warehouse with 6,000 m² is also ready.
Next steps strategy
As a family owned business it is important to develop a long-term strategy. This year we have had many intensive discussions about this at a board level. In our next steps strategy we have defined how we envisage the future of the two main pillars of our company: GVT Transport & Logistics and BTT Multimodal Container Solutions. Both have an extensive customer portfolio and a substantial growth projected. Although there are many similarities between the two organisations, the logistics disciplines are very different. In order to retain our strong position in the changing logistics arena, where consolidation and size of scale are taking off now more than ever before, we want to manage both pure play companies with full focus. Therefore we chose to create two, completely independent, organisations.
During 2021 the new roles in our organisation will be crystallised further, with me taking on a more advisory position. At the GVT Transport & Logistics companies Stan Hamers will be Managing Director (CEO) and Evelien Eigeman will be Director Finance (CFO). At the multimodal branch Bram Biemans will become Operations Director (COO) and for now I will remain at the wheel as CEO.
Both my sons, Jordy and Remon, have expressed that their ambitions lie more in intermodal container logistics. These chaps will therefore familiarise themselves further with all facets of management and service at BTT.
Unfortunately, because of corona, we could not get together with all our employees in order to inform them of these positive developments within our companies. For that reason we brought this news to them via a video message.
Prudent, but fighting fit into the new year
The new year is knocking at the door. The economic damage caused by corona will only become fully clear during 2021, when the governmental support measures are discontinued. Let’s hope the damage is limited and that consumer confidence remains intact. Let’s also hope that the developed vaccines can be deployed rapidly. Enabling us to firmly draw a line under all these limiting measures in 2021. And that we can, once again, enjoy a beer together, watch a football match and organise a great staff party.
But before all this I want to wish you a wonderful holiday season, albeit in a small circle of loved ones, and a healthy, happy, successful and largely corona free New Year!
CEO GVT Group of Logistics