Annual report


Anti-corruption and ethics, quality, ESG customer management, taxes, security (land, sea, bio and IT) and ESG supplier management.

More than 150 years of experience has shown us that trust is essential for long term value creation and critical to our sustainability. We believe trust is built through acting responsibly and ethically. Our Code of Conduct defines our expectations for ethical, trustworthy business conduct from all of us at Wallenius Wilhelmsen, as well as our suppliers and business partners.

Our Ethics Alert Line allows stakeholders to report any concerns anonymously about how we operate and do business. The Alert line, hosted by an independent third party, is a confidential service that can be accessed from any location. Reports may be made on either an anonymous or named basis, and concerns can be a broad range of matters, such as Health, Environment and Safety breaches to fraud, corrupt activities, conflicts of interest, working environment issues, bullying and harassment. The Legal and Compliance team is responsible for anti-corruption and ethics measures.

As a global logistics provider, our customers trust us to move billions of dollars of manufactured goods worldwide. This means quality and security (which encompasses cargo and data) are at the centre of our workday, every day. This focus protects and contributes to the integrity and efficiency of our customers’ outbound supply chains. We have a zero-tolerance policy for security infractions and theft. The COO of Ocean services has overall responsibility for quality and security related to vessels. The COO of Logistics services is responsible for quality and security at terminals and processing centres. The security of the Ocean fleet is managed by the Marine Operations Management team, who set targets, define initiatives, and assess the security performance for all vessels in the fleet. All company-owned or controlled vessels must follow the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Security Policy.

Security for land-based Logistics sites is material to our business for various reasons, but mostly because of the vital role security plays in lowering damages and associated costs and delivering cargo on time.  The group has a zero-tolerance policy for theft and security breaches at any of our facilities. Compliance with group security policies and local regulatory requirements is the responsibility of the respective facility managers. At port facilities and customers’ facilities, we partner with the owners and, if relevant, security contractors to ensure yards’ security within the company’s responsibility.

Privacy and data security is another critical component of building and maintaining trust. Our stakeholders must know they can trust us to protect the security and confidentiality of the electronic records we store. We comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and Group IT is responsible for related company-wide policies and procedures.

Increased awareness of cargo as a vector for invasive species transfer has risen over the past several years. Our operations’ main biosecurity threat has long been the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB or stink bug). Biosecurity is of great significance to Wallenius Wilhelmsen due to its threat to Australian and New Zealand economies, and the potential to interfere with vessel schedules and operations and harm the company’s reputation. For similar reasons, the issue could impact customers and cargo heavily.

The company’s response has evolved in line with changes in requirements and as a result of experience gained. It is the cargo owner’s responsibility to ensure that any product to be imported to Australia or New Zealand is free from any biosecurity threats. The point of origin, which is not necessarily the load port, determines whether the cargo must be treated to exterminate any hibernating bugs. The treatment process prescribed by authorities uses either chemical means or elevated temperatures.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen only accepts certified treated cargo from regulated countries and thoroughly inspects each vessel before departure. At the last port of load, the cargo on board is `fogged’ to wake any hibernating bugs, which will then perish. Regular inspections occur, and before arrival in Australian and New Zealand waters, vessels report any live bug activity to biosecurity regulators.

Management of customer compliance with the regulation, treatment procedures and response to incidents lies with several of the organisation’s functional groups.

Our ESG customer management approach is to ensure that the services we provide to our customers always comply with international sanctions, laws, and regulations. Compliance is essential since the price is lost access to markets for the company and our customers. The company’s management has an established internal procedure to ensure compliance with the rules associated with international sanctions laws and regulations. The group’s Customer Growth teams, along with Legal and Compliance, carry responsibility for ensuring our compliance.

Regulators and society continue to show much interest in the tax practices of global companies. The company is committed to complying with all tax laws and being a responsible taxpayer. We commit to ensuring compliance with local requirements and practices, and transparency with tax authorities. The company is also committed to adopting a justifiable and defendable tax position where tax regulations are open to interpretation or choices. The tax position taken in all significant transactions is supported by obtaining an external opinion. Corporate tax affairs are the chief financial officer’s responsibility and extend to all jurisdictions where the company operates.

To provide our customers with genuinely sustainable services, we strive to instil sustainable ESG supplier management practices in our supply chain. Our Code of Conduct applies to all our suppliers. For our most visible and financially valuable assets – ocean vessels – we select recyclers using ESG supplier evaluation criteria according to our Responsible Vessel Recycling policy. We also include sustainability requirements in contracts with strategic suppliers.

To cultivate and maintain trust in our people and our services, we measure, manage and report on our performance in the following material areas: Compliance, quality of service, tax practices, security at land-based facilities, security of vessels, privacy and data security, bio-security, ESG supplier management, and taxes.

Relevant internal governance documents

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Code of Conduct – Global Environmental Policy – Health, Safety, Environment, Quality & Cost Policy for Logistics services – Responsible Vessel Recycling Policy.

Review of progress in 2020

Our Code of Conduct is a vital part of how we manage our business. In late 2020, management developed an updated version covering several important new topics, including drugs and alcohol, purchase of sexual services, political donations, and public and social media.

Management initiated a project to develop a robust supplier management approach with sustainability requirements and ensure sustainable procurement practices. We intend to complete and launch the new approach with suppliers in 2021, and new KPIs will be implemented for future reporting.

As part of the company’s One Operation digital transformation, all owned vessels were connected with data streaming capabilities, reaching our target for 2020. The complete streaming system and the platform are continually being developed, and during 2020 the company identified and realised significant savings as a result. Vessel data liberation will significantly enhance fleet optimisation decisions and enable our continued transformation towards a data-driven logistics provider.

Logistics operations continued to digitise processes, and security incidents were added to the global KPI register, replacing a manual process with a digital registration solution.

The company did not have any substantiated breaches of privacy and data security in 2020.  While we experienced no breaches, the company had four serious incidents (including one direct cyber-attack on WalWil and three indirect attacks on suppliers/partners) necessitating a formalised response. None of these incidents resulted in any substantiated direct data or financial loss.

During the past year, no vessels were rejected due to biosecurity matters. We developed a refreshed Biosecurity Management Plan for the whole fleet to reflect new requirements and overall biosecurity awareness, including the new VSPS (voluntary Vessel Seasonal Pest Scheme) regulations in Australia to facilitate understanding among vessels operating from targeted countries to Oceania. The online BMSB reporting tool for vessels has been simplified to reduce the workload on board and enhance the visibility of findings on board the vessels during the sea passage to Oceania.

Governance KPIs, performance data & targets 

KPI description Unit of measurement 2020 2021 target 2030 target

Average unplanned off-hire, owned fleet, Shipping


Number of incidents







Number of cases in which group companies were found in breach of international sanction laws and regulations

Number of incidents 0 0 0

Total amount of monetary losses as a result of legal proceedings associated with bribery and corruption

Dollars 0 0 0

Number of substantiated breaches of privacy and data security

Number of incidents 0 0 0

Number of Cargo related biosecurity incidents

Number of incidents 0 0 0

* Performance data for all KPIs we measure available on pages 62-64.