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MSC positions to meet demand from Asia once COVID-19 impact eases

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has unveiled a new flexible cargo service to meet an anticipated rise in demand for freight services from Asia once the impact of the coronavirus pandemic eases.

The new Suspension of Transit (SOT) container shipping programme includes container yard storage in six transhipment hubs across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, ensuring that goods can be shipped close to their destinations as soon as possible and providing easier cargo flow for customers.

“The programme builds on MSC’s ongoing efforts to ensure business continuity and the maintenance of vital container carriage services, such as the movement of food, fresh produce, medical equipment and other essential goods. The new SOT initiative is focused in particular on a resumption of demand of a wide variety of goods from Asia,” MSC stated.

MSC noted that China has shown signs of recovery with factories restarting production, and the new SOT programme will help avoid high storage costs at ports of discharge.

“While positive signs of recovery have begun to emerge in Asia and factories have restarted production, major ports of destination may still not be ready to discharge containers,” MSC said.

The new SOT programme aims to fulfil the resuming demand for raw materials and finished products from Asia by providing yard storage at major strategic points around the world: Bremerhaven in Germany, Busan in South Korea, King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia, Lome in Togo, Rodman PSA Panama International Terminal in Panama, and Tekirdag Asyaport in Turkey.

The programme is aimed at all shippers for containers from Asia and all types of cargo, except reefer, dangerous goods and project cargo.

MSC added that the programme can offer potential cost savings for customers faced with high warehousing storage costs at destination, demurrage, per-diem and other charges.

“The lead time will be reduced once operations resume at destination ports, and the programme will also add storage for beneficial cargo owners and non-vessel owning common carriers, who would otherwise reach their full capacity,” MSC said.