|MSC named Shipping Line of the Year 2003 by Lloyds' Loading List.||30/04/2004|
MSC Named Shipping Line of the Year 2003 Once again we have received the prestigious award of Shipping Line of the Year by Lloyds Loading List of London and we quote below the full text from the awards ceremony which took place on the 23rd of April 2004
For the second year running, and the third occasion in four years, the Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has captured the Customer Service award for Shipping Line of the Year, confirming its popularity amongst readers of Lloyd’s Loading List and the UK shipping fraternity as a whole.
MSC continues to progress in leaps and bounds, and in the past year has consolidated its position as the second largest container shipping company in the world – and the onward march is relentless.
Service coverage continues to expand, with a focus in the past year on two main areas. These are the Asia/Europe route, on which a new Far East / Aegean / Black Sea loop has been added, and the relay sector, where an expansion of own feeders in Europe (particularly the Mediterranean and Black Sea), the Middle East and South-East Asia has taken place.
The most recent major development is the launch of a second North Europe / Far East string, the “Lion” service, on which the first westbound sailing was due to take place this week.
The extension of service coverage has been accompanied by a dramatic build-up. The last of a series of seventeen 6,700teu post-Panamax ships is due shortly, while ten 5,000teu vessels (of the largest size able to transit the Panama Canal) are also entering service, with the last one expected in July.
However, the centerpiece of MSC’s fleet expansion is a set of 8,000teu post-Panamaxes, the exact number of which has yet to be confirmed. Eight are known to have been ordered by MSC itself, while estimates for the number committed to long-term charter by MSC are as high as 21 – one to be delivered this year, and the rest between 2005-2007.
On top of this, MSC has been snapping up smaller secondhand ships – over thirty were purchased in 2003, and several have already been added this year. MSC has always been a canny player in the sale-and-purchase and charter markets, and this acquisition spree reflects a concerted effort to reduce exposure to the spot charter market, where rates have reached painfully high levels.
These developments underline the company’s commitment to further expansion, and it is now true to say that the only possible threat to its heady second spot in the global container line league would be a merger of other ‘top ten’ lines.
On regaining the Lloyd’s Loading List title of “Shipping Line of the Year” last year, MSC’s dynamic founder and president Captain Gianluigi Aponte attributed the success to the ‘dedication and supreme effort of all MSC staff.’
Although one should not underestimate Capt. Aponte’s own leading role, we are happy to agree with his assessment. Our particular congratulations go to the staff of UK agents Medite Shipping Co, led by managing director David Petchey, following the move of Roy Davies to the chairman’s desk, who have contributed so much to MSC’s enviable reputation among shippers – a position endorsed by today’s award.
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