Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Freight And Shipping Interests Stump Up For Japanese Earthquake Victims

Tsunami a Reminder of the Power of Nature
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN- After we wrote recently of Mitsui OSK Lines efforts to assist its home nations stricken populace others in the freight and logistics sector were also immediately offering help and assistance to the victims of the recent disaster. The fact that the Tsunami has undoubtedly killed and made homeless far more than the original earthquake has struck a chord with those who earn their living from transporting cargo across the oceans of the world.

French container shipping giant CMA CGM say the Emergency and Communication Response Team they immediately set up to monitor the situation will continue to liaise with the group’s nine Japanese offices and that they have proposed to make available a number of containers to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Médecins Sans Frontières (French Humanitarian Organization) and the World Food Program (WFP) of the United Nations, for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Japan. None of the company vessels were directly affected by the disaster.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) will donate £200,000 and send representatives, General Secretary David Cockroft, and President, Paddy Crumlin, to the country to see how best to help further as soon as it is appropriate to do so. The ITF will also approach other global union federations and the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) to help coordinate trade union aid for those affected by the quake and tsunamis. ITF president Paddy Crumlin said:

“Every day more devastation is discovered, revealing just how important it is that help gets through. Just a month ago the same Japanese trade unions who are today trying to re-establish the transport links that are vital to the rescue effort were sending financial aid to victims of the Queensland flooding. We in the ITF worldwide family are now able to do all we can to help them in their great need.”

ITF general secretary David Cockroft commented:

“We’re in constant touch with our colleagues in Japan and they identify funds and aid as immediate priorities. I am glad to report that we have been moving on these since the first news of the quake, and today we’re taking that even further.”

Those wishing to express support for the Unions’ efforts or to read more details of solidarity with those affected by the destruction click HERE.

FedEx say the company will work with its long-standing humanitarian organization relationships: American Red Cross, Heart to Heart International, Water Missions and Direct Relief International to assist in bringing critical medical and other emergency supplies required for the recovery efforts currently under way.

UPS are also liaising with their regular disaster relief agencies, the Red Cross and Salvation Army, and have pledged a million dollars to assist in normalising the situation as far as possible. UPS also have personnel trained to assist in such situations who will be deployed to assist.

A Red Cross disaster fund has been set up specifically to assist victims of the Japanese tragedy and donations can be made HERE.

Photo: Nothing new under the rising sun. The Great Wave of Kanagawa painted by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) in around 1831. Look closely to see the three sardine fishing boats being pounded by the waters.