HHLA evacuates Ukraine employee families to Germany
Relatives of Ukrainian staff are being hosted by colleagues in Hamburg
HHLA was forced to close its terminal in Odessa following the Russian invasion. It is supporting relatives of its employees that have managed to escape the country
CONTAINER terminal operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik has arranged the evacuation of the first 80 family members of company employees from Ukraine to Germany.
“Approximately 80 women, children and older people who decided to flee their homeland arrived at the company’s main building on two touring coaches chartered by HHLA,” it said. “A third bus with 40 additional refugees is expected within the next few days.”
HHLA, which owns and operates Ukraine’s Odessa Container Terminal, said it had given priority to the safety of its 480 employees since Russia’s military incursion into the country forced the closure of the facility.
An HHLA team organised transportation from Romania, where the refugees had arrived, to Hamburg. Temporary accommodation for the refugees is being provided by German employees.
“More than 70 HHLA employees and their relatives and neighbours responded to the company’s call and have offered people a place to stay in their homes,” it said. “The German employees are not only providing the refugees with homes for the initial period but also serve as contacts and chaperones for pending bureaucratic procedures. They are supported by HHLA staff members with knowledge of Ukrainian and Russian.”
Staff had also donated more than €40,000 ($44,000) to a support fund for Ukraine, it added.
“We are aware of our responsibility for our employees, no matter at which location they work for us,” said HHLA chairwoman Angela Titzrath. “Cohesion and the ability to rely on one another are distinguishing features of our corporate culture that will stand the test in these difficult times, as they do in our everyday working lives.
“We are also demonstrating solidarity with our staff members in Odessa by continuing to reliably fulfil our supply mandate at all other locations and by rail.”
HHLA closed Odessa Container Terminal in consultation with Ukrainian authorities following the invasion by Russia.
“During this time, our thoughts are particularly with the employees who remained in Odessa and who are looking after security at the terminal or who have been called to military duty,” said labour director Torben Seebold.