Our People

Our people are at the forefront of our operations, leading the way towards innovation and constituting the driving force behind our success. We value collaboration and cooperation, and are working towards creating a more inspiring and community-based environment to work in. Actively upholding, protecting, and ensuring respect for our employees’ rights, health and safety, and access to learning and growth are key aspects of our renewed people-oriented approach. We strive to continuously improve and share in our progress and success.

Together we make things happen!

People at Samskip

Ensuring the Health and Safety of our Employees

We take the health and safety of our people very seriously, no matter where they are working from.

Solidarity in the wake of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to bring tough times for many people. Although it significantly impacted our business, we never lost our strong sense of community and solidarity. COVID-19 brought about many changes across our locations. Some of which, however, were positive developments such as:

  • The introduction of our ‘hybrid working policy’. This policy gave employees the choice and opportunity for more flexibility in determining their working arrangements by choosing, with their managers, when to work from home, encouraging a better work-life balance.  
  • The provision of necessary office equipment such to use at home to our employees at our various offices, in order to make their working from home experience more comfortable!

While for many COVID-19 may have proven to be a challenge to the bonds and connections formed as colleagues and friends, we tried to make the best of the situation in hopes of uniting and standing together even more strongly.

Our employees are the heart of our company, we are proud of our entire workforce.

Our Iceland facilities have operations that require the presence of on-site staff in order to function properly. This meant that drastic actions were needed to ensure the safety of those who had to continue working on-site. Our employees came together with a truly ‘all hands on deck’ approach by: 

  • Choosing to work either day or night shifts in order to limit the number of people on the premises.
  • Adapting the building to allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Making sure to provide employees in need with medical face masks, gloves, and necessary sanitising agents to safely execute their tasks.

Working together, Winning together: Fostering Employee Engagement 

We win by being empowered and engaged… We want our employees to be a part of a community with a safe, ambitious, and fun working environment, where they feel challenged, and get real opportunities to learn and grow.

We recognise that creating a bond and getting to know your fellow employees is an important exercise for teambuilding and providing opportunities to form healthy connections with your colleagues outside of the workplace.  

Prior to COVID-19, we tried to organise as many educational and social activities as we could to include and cover everyone’s interests. From lectures by guest speakers on a variety of topics like sustainability and human rights, to organising bowling, nature hikes or happy hours! While these activities had to be put on pause during lockdowns, we are excited to continue organising these events once it is deemed safe by national rules and regulations in our countries of operation.

Our people don't just work hard in the office, they can be true athletes as well!
Iceland CEO Birkir Hólm Guðnason addresses the company at a company event.
Work hard, play hard! Live music could not be missed at this Samskip event.

Alongside these activities, we try and make work life as enjoyable as possible. In Iceland, we conduct our quarterly satisfaction survey in order to see how employees feel about topics such as work life, management, and their experience overall. The thoughts, voices, and feedback of our employees are extremely important to us, in order to learn, change, and further develop to be the best employers we can be. This is why we are expanding this practice across our entire organisation.

We are happy with the results that we have achieved and strongly believe that a proactive approach in listening and addressing any thoughts or suggestions of our employees leads to the best possible outcomes.  

Our office in Rotterdam takes a unique approach by conducting ‘stay interviews’. These interviews create an in-depth understanding for our human resources department of what it is that our people value, and how we can do even better to keep providing the best possible working experience!  

Continued Learning: Our Fuel for Success

We win through continued learning and growth…With our people leading the charge on our collective progress as an organisation, we place great importance on re-investing into the growth and development of our employees. This is not only to encourage internal employee progression but also to allow us to continue to thrive in the fast-paced and innovative environment that we operate in, staying ready for any challenges. 

We take great care in the recruitment and selection of our people, attracting, and eventually selecting those bright and skilled individuals who embody our vision through their work. In our talent management, we make sure to practice equal opportunity recruitment, personnel management, promotion, wages, and training opportunities to ensure an equitable and fair personnel treatment. 

Our employees undergo career management performance reviews with their supervisors. These talks, however, don’t only cover past performance but also act as a vital moment for both the giving and receiving of feedback, discussing work satisfaction, career goals, and learning and development opportunities. That said, we recognise that there is always room for improvement, as we work to strengthen our culture of circular feedback. With that, we can learn together in order to grow together. 

We offer a large variety of training opportunities for employees to upskill and further improve or diversify their areas of expertise. For example, we offer many different job-specific training materials such as:

  • Proper handling of dangerous goods
  • Conflict and time management
  • Leadership skills

We conduct and host our training in various formats, such as face-to-face, virtual, hybrid, and through our online learning management system, Samskip Academy. 

We don’t only focus on the growth and development of our current employees, but we also seek to attract and invest in young and dynamic minds through our Management Traineeship Programme. This programme aims to provide eager, promising graduates from top universities with the opportunity to learn by doing, gain on the job skills and be positively challenged in our organisation. We have a job rotation approach in place to let our trainees experience a variety of scenarios within the two-year traineeship period. Our trainees also receive personal mentors that don’t only help with settling in and becoming acquainted with life at Samskip, but also help them on their career path and how to best grow after the initial joining period.

“Joining a company that's right on the verge of a strategic transition, that's one thing as a recent graduate. But when that company actively involves you, and encourages you to add to their company-wide transformation, that is something different. The Management Traineeship program gave me the opportunity to put my theoretical knowledge into practice by doing various projects, while simultaneously offering me a steep learning curve about the company and the logistics sector in general with a role in an operational department. It's really that combination that makes this traineeship work so well.”
– Laurens Dourleijn, Management Trainee, Sustainability
Laurens Dourleijn, Management trainee, Sustainability
“The best thing about working at Samskip is that everyone’s door is always open. Everybody is very enthusiastic about their departments and will love to tell you about their work. Opportunities to switch jobs or departments are everywhere, and people are happy to help you get the best out of yourself.”
– Kayleigh Tijssen, Management Trainee, Transformation
Kayleigh tijssen, management trainee, transformation

Employee Growth and Work Life Balance

Taking care of the mental and physical health and wellbeing of our people is one of our highest priorities. Of course, we make sure to comply with all relevant local and international labour and working conditions legislation and requirements, but we aim to go beyond compliance to provide our people with the best and most comfortable working experience possible. 

Our human resources team strives to make sure that our people are treated fairly and have the amenities they need to thrive. Achieving a healthy work-life balance lies at the centre of all our people-related processes. 

To ensure our employees are fairly compensated for the work they do, we have a compensation philosophy in place that is competitive within our operational markets. With this philosophy, we aim to retain, attract, and motivate our high-quality employee-base allowing us to continue advancing towards achieving our mission. 

To offer you the best service, our people are trained to improve their skills on all sorts of subjects.

We offer a range of health and fitness related benefits and opportunities for our people to have easy access in their free time during and after work. In our larger international offices, we have well equipped gyms, and in Iceland we also offer group classes such as yoga and fitness bootcamps, so that everyone has an option to get active, no matter their preferences. 

A healthy diet is also something we believe to be vital to the wellbeing of our people. So, we make sure to have large and well-equipped canteens and restaurants in our offices that cater to everyone’s tastes and dietary restrictions. Our Icelandic office has an outstanding restaurant that is loved by our colleagues and praised by our visitors. We make sure our fitness fanatics, as well as our food lovers are definitely well taken care of!

We take care of our people, as they take care of their client's needs.
We take care of our people, as they take care of their client's needs.
We take care of our people, as they take care of their client's needs.

A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. For this reason, we have multiple mental health related initiatives and benefits in place to ensure our employees are as stress-free as possible with adequate access to the appropriate mental health facilities. We have multiple mental health assistance programmes and trainings in place, ranging from stress management to mental health awareness trainings, both online in Samskip Academy and through in-person events. 

Mental health was even more of an essential topic for us during the periods of lockdowns and isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we opened more channels and procedures for employees to be able to reach out to professionals if they needed assistance. We also organised workshops to promote interaction and healthy mental health habits, and to discuss dealing with mental health challenges. 

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion 

Across the seas, across continents, and across cultures…We are committed to promoting and maintaining an equal opportunity, diverse, and inclusive working culture, and environment throughout our operations and locations. 

We seek to embrace the differences we have in our organisation. From the diversity of backgrounds and experiences that our people bring, comes a richness of ideas, approaches, and perspectives that creates immense value for our company and culture. By tapping into the strengths that each individual has at Samskip, we hope to bring a creative and high-performance atmosphere and approach to delivering our services. 

This approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion is embedded throughout our processes. From recruitment to compensation, we aim to always act in the fairest and most equitable manner. In Iceland, for example, we have an equal pay policy in place that complies with the local legislation regarding equal pay and as part of this, the compliance of our equal wage management system is audited every year. 

The Norway Customer Service team from our Rotterdam office, on a field trip visiting the LNG vessel Samskip Kvitnos.

We also make sure that we have active measures to maintain our culture and approach to inclusivity and anti-discrimination and harassment, such as having an anti-bullying committee in Iceland and a whistleblowing procedure across all operations to report and appropriately deal with any occurrences of discrimination and/or harassment. Within the reporting period, there have been 0 incidents of discrimination or harassment. 

Our human resources department takes each reported case very seriously and when deemed necessary, will conduct full investigations that can end in disciplinary action for the parties involved. 

We are equal opportunity employers and offer our positions to the best suited and most qualified candidates without considering discriminatory factors such as gender identity, race or ethnic origins, religion or belief, age, and sexual orientation. We also seek to strive toward equality across all levels and roles in our workplace to reflect the people we have hired. 

Samskip Employee Age and Gender Distribution*

* Does not include Samskip's employees in Iceland due to the unavailability of data

Fostering a Sustainable Culture at Samskip

Our Sustainability Initiatives

We love to hear the bright ideas of our employees and give them the space and opportunity to create and pursue sustainability initiatives of their own! 

Running toward a more sustainable future!

Samskip has previously invited its global employees to participate in the Rotterdam Marathon around the city and will do so again in 2022. In our field, we undertake all kinds of challenges every day. What’s one marathon against our fearless teams? Those interested employees sign up in teams to participate in this physical challenge and test their stamina. No matter the activity, we win together!

Big or small, every initiative counts

In our Iceland location, there has been a departure from the use of plastic cups and the use of single-use plastic. Instead, our employees have all been provided with Samskip reusable water bottles and when necessary, use more easily recyclable paper cups and other more environmentally friendly product alternatives. 

We have abandoned the use of physical paper waybills and we also encourage a ‘think before you print’ policy to reduce using paper unnecessarily in our office, an initiative that has been embraced by our eager employees. 

Iceland Wetland Fund

Established in 2018, the Iceland Wetland Fund aims to have companies, associations, and individuals finance the restoration of wetlands in Iceland. In practical terms, this means collaborating with farmers, landowners, municipalities, and the Icelandic government to restore large areas not being used for cultivation or forestry. 

As one of the founders of the Icelandic Wetland Fund, we pride ourselves on being able to contribute to the reclamation of Iceland’s Wetlands and to the vital mission of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Iceland. Through our support of and active participation in the fund, we place a key focus on the recovery and preservation of Iceland’s biosphere, birdlife, and aquatic resources. 

5.320 tons CO2-e
curbed through reclamation of wetlands in 2021

We engage in these actions not only because it affects the surroundings that we operate in and that many of our employees call home, but also because wetland restoration has been proven by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a fast and achievable means to aid in greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The impact of the fund’s actions is assessed by experts of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and reviewed in collaboration by scientists from both the Agricultural University of Iceland and the University of Iceland, which is then finally submitted to the IPCC for review. 

Our Work with Charities

Enriching Icelandic Communities

As an international multimodal transport solutions company that seeks to move cargo sustainably, we recognise that we are in a fortunate position to use our influence to connect and improve the communities around us. We offer all employees the opportunity to take work off and volunteer at a charity of their choice. While it has to be on a case-by-case basis, so that it does not interfere with our operational performance, we are very supportive, and love to see our people go out and help the communities around us.

Across our locations, we engage in community building and help leave our natural and societal environments in a better state than when we found them. In Iceland, many of our employees work together to volunteer at a local shelter every year, which focuses on providing a safe space for women and children who are at risk of domestic violence. 

Multimodal experts by day, chefs by night? Last year our employees volunteered to cook a new-years meal to take to the shelter.

Who knew Santa’s helpers could be dressed in blue and white? Over Christmas time our employees also got together to create gifts for children living at the shelter, in hopes of spreading a bit of Christmas joy. 

Our Collaborations

in the spotlight

Aurora Foundation

One of our closest collaborations has been with the Aurora Foundation, which we have worked with and supported since its founding in 2007.

The Aurora Foundation was founded as a non-profit organisation by the majority shareholders of Samskip in 2007 in order to aid in the development and cultural enrichment of communities. The Aurora Foundation has pursued many different projects to provide a positive influence on communities and boost their ability to pursue cultural and creative opportunities that they usually would not have the resources for.

We have had the opportunity to be right beside the Aurora Foundation in many of these projects. We frequently provide free shipping for many different projects from Iceland to Rotterdam and to Sierra Leone, the foundations primary country of focus. We offer our multimodal transportation expertise to deliver items safely and for a good cause!

We have donated several hundred computers and other IT equipment for use in Sierra Leone, and since 2016, over 300 students have received IT trainings on the equipment donated by Samskip. The IT equipment that is not needed, is all recycled and repurposed by Samskip’s partners in the Netherlands to reduce our contribution to e-waste. Our IT experts have also been closely involved in supporting the Aurora Foundation with the required IT infrastructure for their own systems and the trainings that the foundation provides locally to support local colleges, universities, community centres, and schools. We will continue this support in hopes of spreading our value of winning together even further across borders and communities.

Another exciting project we were closely involved in was providing the safe transport and delivery of over 60 hospital beds donated by the Akureyri Hospital in Iceland in 2017. Coordinated by the Aurora Foundation, together we managed to safely provide and distribute these hospital beds to multiple different hospitals in Sierra Leone.

in the spotlight

Universities and Research

Engaging with the community around us goes far beyond volunteer and charity initiatives. We seek to help identify, develop, and support those young, dynamic minds that are driving innovation and sustainability initiatives around the world. Engaging with university and academic institutions allows for valuable learning opportunities for both the students and us at Samskip.

Sailing towards a collaborative and sustainable future. We previously sponsored the Stichting Solar Boat Team, which aimed to give support to the students at the Delft University of Technology in the creation of the ‘Solar Boat.’ The boat eventually went on to compete in and win the Solar Sport One Competition 2020. We aim to show that winning together at Samskip means that the wider society also wins.

Our Environment
From Compliance to Care