Another year is almost over, and we are ready for Christmas and New Year celebration with family and friends. The year 2020 has been filled with challenges and will go into the history books as one of the strangest years for all of us.
When we entered 2020, there were no clouds in the battery sky. We had opened our new fully automated factory in Bergen, and we had launched our new product “Blue Whale”, tailor-made to meet the demand from the cruise industry for sailing in “zero-emission mode” in fjords and ports. We read about the new virus and a handful of persons locally were infected after skiing in the Alps. When Norway closed on March 12th followed by Canada and other countries shortly after, we faired delays and cancellations. Do we have enough parts? Will the supply chain be disturbed? Will some of our colleagues get Corona? What about commissioning and service jobs that are scheduled? A lot of questions were raised. Now 9 months after, we are very proud to say that we have delivered all orders on time and we have managed to commission all projects despite the situation.
Not only have there been challenges to carry out established projects when the crisis hit, but this pandemic also changed our sales forecasts as a lot of projects stopped or slowed down. Our global sales staff that used to travel around the world to meet existing customers and to develop new relations were grounded. Suddenly all the work had to take place from the office desk or the home office. Luckily the digitalization of the industry has accelerated faster than anybody could dream of and we have developed new and efficient ways of working together. Even the members of our staff not famous for their computer skills has become local champions in Teams. I am impressed. A big number of customer meetings, contract negotiations, and product training have taken place digitally with great results.
Some segments have been hit harder than others – like the cruise industry, where a lot of people have been laid off, but all in all we see that most shipowners have managed to maneuver well despite the challenges that have been forced upon us.
For Corvus, a lot slowed down when the pandemic hit, but looking at the year in total, the order intake in almost all vessel segments has been strong through 2020 and we are going into 2021 with a better order coverage than ever before in the history of the company. The technology has developed to a level where almost every newbuilt vessel utilizes ESS in one way or another to reduce the emissions, fuel cost, and maintenance cost. In addition, the adoption is increasing rapidly also outside of Europe. We are proud to say that we now have orders from all over the world from San Fransisco in the west to Tokyo in the east.
We are confident that 2021 will be another remarkable year for Corvus. We have a lot lined up to further help Power a Clean Future for the ocean industry: We have exiting product announcements to make, we will open new offices around the world to meet the growing demand for zero-emission solutions globally and we will soon be ready to open our new robotic manufacturing plant in Richmond, Canada.
A big thanks to all our customers and partners for your belief in Corvus and for your efforts to make the business going even if we were not able to meet face to face this year. We look forward to our continued cooperation in 2021 and hope that as the vaccines are rolled out, the industry will recover and that we soon will be able to meet in person again.
On behalf of the entire Corvus family I wish you all a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year celebration!
Chief Executive Officer