Monday, March 14, 2011

Japanese Freight And Container Line Issues Vessel Status Report After Disaster

MOL Step in Immediately with Aid for Stricken Districts
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – There is no need for us to outline the scale of the disaster unfolding in Japan this week. The earthquake, measuring a colossal 9.0 on the Richter scale was bad enough but the Tsunami which followed has cost countless thousands of lives in a country which thought itself best prepared for such events. Acting with their usual efficiency, multi modal container carrier and ocean freight provider Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) has issued an update on both their vessel status and what they are doing to mitigate the disaster.

MOL has donated ¥50 million to help support and rescue victims of the quake with the group’s executives and employees arranging a charity donation program within the MOL Group of companies, the proceeds of which will be donated to organizations that are working to support victims and rebuild their cities. The company has also set up a task force and support headquarters headed by MOL President Koichi Muto to help the victims of the Tohoku district.

At the request of the Japanese government, a subsidiary company, MOL Ferry has cooperated to transport members of the Japan Self-Defence Forces (JSDF) who were assigned to rescue operations in northeast Japan. This afternoon, four ‘Sunflower’ ferries, Sapporo, Furano, Shiretoko and Sunflower Daisetsu, started taking on the task of transporting vehicles and members of the JSDF from Tomakomai in Hokkaido to Aomori, which is close to the quake-stricken area.

Regarding the status of MOL vessels the company tell us the only vessel directly affected from their fleet was the MOL-chartered C.S. Victory (Flag: Panama, 20,212 Gross Tonnes),which was swept toward the breakwater by the tsunami and now rests on the bottom of the shallow harbour at Ishinomaki (Miyagi prefecture). All the crew members left the vessel on orders of the harbour master, and none were injured. None of the cargo of kaolin or fuel oil has spilled from the vessel so far.

MOL will announce further developments regarding the aid program as they unfold and we shall publish them as they happen. Together with MOL we at the Handy Shipping Guide of course express our heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones in the earthquake.

Photo:- Sendai Airport where cars and ships vied for runway space with planes after the devastating tsunami.