The Corona Virus Pandemic has created un precedented challenges to most businesses in the world. The marine industry and sailmaking specifically, are at the busiest time of their year in the northern hemisphere spring. At Hyde Sails we have had to close our factory in Cebu in the Central Philippines from the end of March under orders from local and national government while an extremely strict lock-down was imposed. All deliveries from the last week of March onwards have been affected- which obviously we very much regret, but the health of the factory staff and the rest of the population of the Philippines was clearly the priority.
In the UK our small number of staff employed in design and sales have continued working from home with none of them furloughed as there has been plenty for them to do regardless of the lack of production ( and sales!)
From the second week of May we have been able to resume limited production in Cebu with approximately one third of the staff back at work. A strict regime of testing and checks has been put in place with a bus shuttle to allow staff to get to work without being exposed to risk on public transport. Some of the necessary PPE has also been made in house (and offered externally) We are awaiting government guidance on the next phase of virus control there and it looks as though the majority of restrictions will apply until mid june at the earliest. We hope to have more staff back in production at the earliest opportunity. We have a big backlog of orders and are desperate to get the sails made and delivered to our customers.
Shipping of sails outwards and materials inwards remains difficult. At present the number of flights from and to Cebu Mactan airport is restricted and therefore carriage capacity is greatly reduced. At the moment we can only ship sails out by courier. Hopefully this will change soon and normal carriage options will return to normal.
We are operating at limited capacity in unprecedented circumstances with health as the paramount consideration. i would like to apologise to all our customers for the disruption and inconvenience that has been and will be, inevitable for now and the near future.
Best wishes and keep safe.
Nigel Grogan M.D.