2021 marks the 25th anniversary for MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s business in Asia. MSC set up its first office in the region in Singapore in April 1996, and today, it has over 50 offices in 10 markets: Singapore, Greater China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Myanmar, and is represented by a third-party agent in the Philippines.
MSC started its operations in Asia back then by cooperating with Hyundai Merchant Marine and Norasia Line respectively to offer the AEX (Asia-Europe Express) and the AME (Asia-Mediterranean-Europe) services. In a few years’ time, the company started to run services independently from Asia to the different regions, and MSC now has a comprehensive network of over 50 services connecting the countries above to the rest of the world and intra-regionally.
Committed to business in Asia
MSC has a number of strategic port and logistics-related investments in China and southeast Asia. These include the Ningbo Gangji Terminal in China, which was officially opened in December 2004, and the MSC-PSA Asia Terminal (MPAT) in Singapore, which started operations in March 2006.
The Ningbo Gangji Terminal, MSC’s hub port for China with direct services from Asia to other continents, is strategically located in the middle of China’s coastline and is well connected to the economic areas of Yangtze River Valley. In Singapore, the MPAT has grown from three to seven berths, making it the largest JV terminal in the country currently.
MSC maintains its firm commitment to enabling trade to and from the region. Despite the high volatility and huge swings in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, MSC has kept a close eye on the market and has been nimbly adjusting its service network, including launching new services, to cater to new growth opportunities.
MSC has newly launched a Sentosa service in April, which connects southeast Asia and China to the U.S. west coast, and will start another new service in May from Asia to U.S. east coast.
Besides shipping services, MSC has been been continuously launching new offerings to customers such as more intermodal services, MSC cargo insurance, smart containers, and launching new features on its eBusiness platform, myMSC. Last July, MSC launched the instant quote feature on myMSC. Since mid-2020, MSC has also been partnering customers on trial usage of electronic bills of lading in countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.
“Asia remains a huge and important market for MSC and I am confident about the future of trade for the region. We will keep working closely with our clients in the face of the current industry-wide issues, and also continue to develop new, value-adding services and products,” said Caroline Becquart, Senior Vice President and head of Asia & 2M service network.
Managing Director of MSC’s Asia Regional Office, Y.J. Tan, said, “As I look back on the past 25 years, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to our customers and business partners for their steadfast support over the years, and also to our staff, who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get the job done. With our significant business footprint in the region, I believe we are in a strong position to continue our growth in Asia.”