GPM client, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) is expanding the scale of drybulk carriers that it operates in Manila, Philippines. It has been six years since it put up MOL Bulk Shipping (Philippines) in 2012 and transferred some of its operation functions to Manila. The company’s fleet in Manila has grown to more than 50 ships today, from 20-30 ships at the onset, while the ship types in the fleet have expanded from just general tramper vessels to include wood chip carriers in January 2017 and then coal carriers in January this year. Benefits that were not expected initially have also come into sight. The company is located in the Philippines, where coal importers are located, so Satoshi Yamakawa, general manager of MOL Bulk Shipping (Philippines), claimed that, “The placement of operation functions in Manila will become one of the selling points to shippers in the country.” Aside from operation functions, the Manila base also handles some of the charterage settlement work, and Yamakawa said that, “(In the future) We hope to proactively entrust the back-office operations from the MOL Group to Manila, on top of boosting the quality of its operation services.”

While shipping companies from Japan and other countries are making a foray into the Philippines in such areas as seafarer deployment, ship management and shipbuilding, business is still limited in terms of trampers. Amid such condition, MOL transferred a portion of its operation functions to Manila in 2012. Under its plan to expand its general tramper business at that time, the company targeted the reinforcement of its marketing prowess by building a system that let Japanese employees be deployed to the marketing division at the core of the operations while controlling the rise in overhead expenses and other costs. Yamakawa said that, “They are proficient in English and have affinity to the maritime industry, and could communicate with Filipino seafarers in their mother tongue. It was a place where we could secure excellent and young workforce.” The results were actually beyond the initial targets.

Taken from: Kaiji Press News
Fri, Oct 05, 2018

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