This year came with its unique set of challenges, as COVID-19 spread rapidly through the world in early Spring, causing unprecedented disruptions in our personal and professional lives. After more than 6 months of accommodating to this new normal, we’re reflecting on the specific limitations the pandemic has imposed on rail freight transport and the logistics industry. At MMV Rail Romania, we strived to adapt quickly and efficiently to official regulations, and we’ve implemented new protocols to ensure a safe working environment for all our staff, clients and partners.

Ensuring personnel safety

As the threat of the global pandemic spread, our first order of business was to make sure that every single individual working at or with MMV Rail Romania has access to a safe, secure work environment. The sleeping areas of our operative personnel have been rearranged, to ensure maximum safety at all times during the cargo transport journey. Our security officers have been wearing protective gear, in accordance with international requirements.

We’ve been working on optimizing every aspect of our operations, so all our office employees with desk jobs were sent to work from their homes. Those with jobs within the information system and the dispatching service continue to work remotely. It took a lot of effort and a new way of thinking to organize an efficient work-from-home system for most of our staff, but we’re currently very happy about the results and are set on continuously improving this new way tackling our daily tasks.

Rethinking and reorganizing international trade

During the pre-COVID era we preferred face-to-face meetings over online conference calls, since we like to form in-depth relationships with all our business partners and clients, to better comprehend their needs and professional goals. This way, the service we provide is specifically tailored to requirements that they often better communicate at meetings where everyone is physically present.

We had to rethink and reorganize this well-established strategy as we moved online, to guarantee the safety of all participants as the number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed. Online conferences and Zoom meetings prevailed, and we were happy to see how our partnerships strengthened amidst the turmoil we all experienced.

What we learned during the COVID-19 crisis

As we switched to working from home, as our personal meetings became online conference calls and as some of our shipments changed, shifted or got cancelled, whilst other types of cargo orders suddenly spiked, we’ve managed to learn a few key lessons that will undoubtedly be useful in the way we’ll do business in the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic taught us to be more resourceful and innovative. Our flexible approach to the way we handle business came in handy when we had to adapt to the unprecedented challenges our modern world suddenly found itself in. The coronavirus shed light on the importance of being well-prepared for unforeseen circumstances. It is also quite significant to cope well with emergency situations, for which Swiss punctuality and Japanese strategy can be a source of inspiration.

While the current economic crisis is creating somewhat of a sense of insecurity in the way we do business, this situation also teaches us to build solid structures to which we can turn to when things go awry. The MMV Rail Romania team has been working hard on building such structures in the past few months, which helped strengthen the team spirit during critical situations. Our strong, malleable mindset helped us see the light at the end of the tunnel and contributed to reaching record numbers in terms of transported tonnage in the month of July. Such success stories can only strengthen us in times of strong adversity, and we’re actually looking forward to what the future brings for MMV Rail Romania as we approach our work with a newfound perspective and a fresh openness to new challenges.