Freight News, Sea

HHLA welcomes Odessa refugees- corrected

[ March 9, 2022   //   ]

German terminal operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) has accepted the first families of staff members fleeing from the fighting in Ukraine in Hamburg. About 80 women, children and older people arrived at the company’s main building on two coaches chartered by the company, with a third with 40 more refugees is expected within the next few days.

Since the closure of its terminal in the port of Odessa following the Russian attacks on Ukraine, a HHLA team organised transport from Romania, where the refugees had arrived, to Hamburg while support staff assisted people who had fled Odessa in their private cars.

The refugees will stay with German HHLA employees temporarily. More than 70 HHLA employees and their relatives and neighbours have offered people a place to stay in their homes, supported by HHLA staff members with knowledge of Ukrainian and Russian.

HHLA employees have also collected more than €40,000 for a Together for Odessa campaign.

HHLA labour director Torben Seebold, welcomed the refugees at the company headquarters, saying: “The executive board is deeply moved by our employees’ tremendous effort on behalf of their colleagues in Odessa. We stand together as HHLA family to take a common stance of solidarity and humanity. 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.”

HHLA operates a container terminal in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. The terminal was closed and employees sent home when the Russian army invaded. HHLA immediately arranged to pay employees their monthly salaries in advance so that they could stockpile goods they need for everyday consumption.