Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Container Shipping Groups Contribute to Freight and Logistics Efforts During Thai Floods

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Shipping News Feature

THAILAND – ASIA – As a company which maintains an office in the country the Handy Shipping Guide is all too familiar with the problems and the misery associated with the current devastating floods which have caused chaos in the freight and logistics sector. Our branch manager speaking from Bangkok this morning said that currently nothing was being delivered to the worst affected areas. As usual however the container shipping companies have stepped up to assist in what is a very grave situation.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) have announced today that it will provide free transport of relief supplies by its containerships to flood-stricken areas of the country following its donation of over $65,000 in cash and the supply of shipping containers to act as a flood barrier. Donor organisations which need to move supplies are requested to contact their nearest MOL office or agent for details.

MOL tell us they need to vet all cargo to avoid dangerous and regulated items and that acceptance will be based on available space with donated items being transported from container yards in overseas ports where MOL-operated vessels make regularly scheduled calls to container yards at ports in Thailand served by MOL Group container service. Relief supplies must be delivered to container yards at loading ports by the end of December 2011. As shipping capacity is limited, transport of those supplies will be on a first-come first-shipped basis.

Just last week APL and APL Logistics, the shipping and supply chain management businesses of Singapore’s NOL Group, announced its efforts to try and ease the suffering of the Thai people. The carrier has provided free containerised transport of relief supplies and rescue boats to outlying Thai provinces, a rescue paddle boat, and a 40-foot container for a barrier to hold back floodwaters. This in addition to a $20,000 donation to the Red Cross in Thailand and voluntary contributions from staff amounting to over $6,000 to various relief agencies.

So far over four hundred people have been reported killed by the flooding the worst in over fifty years. APL Thailand Managing Director Watana Kitikongnopakorn said:

“We are doing everything we can to provide uninterrupted service in a time of need. At the same time we are providing resources to help the country overcome this crisis.”

MOL President Koichi Muto commented:

"The MOL Group wishes to convey its deepest sympathies to all those affected by the floods, and sincerely hopes that the afflicted area can recover as quickly as possible."