MOL Establishes New Panama Vessel Operation Center

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
MOL hosted a party to celebrate the grand opening of its new Panama Vessel Operation Center in Panama City, Panama on December 9, 2003. Some of the guests in attendance included: Mr. Joaquin Jacome, Minister of Commerce; Mr. Jerry Salazar, Minister of Canal Affairs; and Mr. Shuji Shimokoji, Ambassador of Japan. Considering Panama to be one of the world’s key maritime centers, the company established MOL (Panama) Inc. in May 2003, which is responsible for handling all commercial activities for MOL’s liner division in Panama. The responsibilities of MOL (Panama) Inc. were increased last month when it was named a regional office in charge of managing the activities of MOL’s Caribbean and Central America shipping agents. MOL’s Panama Vessel Center, established this month, is responsible for vessel planning, operations, stowage and the coastal schedule for all of MOL’s North America liner trade services, as well as, for its intra-America/Northern Caribbean Service, the CX1. Captain Hidetoshi Ito, VP, Panama Vessel Operations, ishead of the new center. MOL has a long history of transiting the Panama Canal. Kongouzan Maru, Mitsui Lines’ first vessel to transit the Canal, did so on June 2, 1915, less than a year after the first ever transit by any vessel. Additionally, MOL is one of the largest users of the Panama Canal, averaging more than 20 vessel transits each month. In 2001, President Mireya Moscoso of Panama presented MOL an award for being the ocean carrier with the most transits through the Canal during the years 1999, 2000, and 2001. “MOL is committed to strengthening our presence in Panama, which will enable us to enhance our performance in this very critical region”, said Ray Keene, EVP/COO, MOL (America) Inc. “Prior to the opening of our vessel operations center, MOL established a new shipping agency, in May 2003. MOL (Panama) Inc. now handles all of MOL’s Panama based commercial activities for our container division. We expect MOL to continue growing alongside Panama,” said Keene. MOL offers multiple weekly, fixed day services calling at the Panamanian ports of Manzanillo and Coco Solo. The services connect Panama with: -U.S. East Coast (CNY, NYX, and KJE services) -Asia (CNY, NYX, and KJE services) -Europe (APX service) -Latin America/Northern Caribbean (CX1, GEX, and NCA services)

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