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MSC boss Diego Aponte says imperative shipping keeps the world moving

In an open letter MSC group president and ceo Diego Aponte said that it is imperative the world’s second largest container line along with its customers helps to keep the world moving in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The low-profile shipowner Aponte said: “While we navigate these unchartered seas, MSC, as a major shipping and logistics service provider, has a crucial role to play in the world.

“As an essential cog for global trade it is imperative that we, together with our customers, keep the world moving despite the difficult operating conditions we are all experiencing.

“Maintaining our usual close contact and close relationships with our customers is key to this. We consider it our duty to continue to deliver our usual high level of service, by linking the oceans, roads and railways of the world.”

He noted that new solutions were needed in these challenging times highlighting the company’s new suspension of transit service which uses transhipment hubs as storage posts to help allow goods to move early when a recovery comes.

“In Europe in particular, we are helping shippers to use our short-sea shipping networks to avoid new land-border blockages created by governments’ essential action to curb the movement of people,” Aponte said.

“Meanwhile, through our internal information sharing system we draw on intelligence from 155 countries to identify new travel and port restrictions, curfews, and so on, to ensure that we are well placed to directly advise our customers on how to manage supply chains amid these changes.”

While commenting that many MSC staff were working from home using technology this is not an option for those in work in the frontlines of shipping.

“At the same time, switching on from home is not an option for many of our people – our seafarers who navigate our fleet of 550 container ships; the drivers of trucks, trains and barges; dockworkers; handlers of goods at our depots and warehouses; and our vigilant port captains and terminal operators around the globe. We salute them all, and many others like them, for their unwavering dedication,” he said.

“We trust that the robust health protection measures we have implemented across our ships, infrastructure and offices have been effective and these will remain in place as long as necessary.”

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