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Top Japanese Marine Transport Company Relocates Its Liner Headquarters to Hong Kong

The city is a natural choice for MOL Liner to consolidate its global functions

The MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines) Group is a multi-modal transport group operating close to 950 vessels in all regions of the world. MOL Group’s fleet is as diverse as it is large, including dry bulkers, which transport cargo ranging from steel raw materials and coal to wood chips, as well as oil tankers and LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers, car carriers, ferries, a cruise ship and containerships that transport all manner of products. In terms of its total fleet size and presence in individual market categories, MOL ranks among the world’s largest shipping companies.

Top Japanese Marine Transport Company Relocates Its Liner Headquarters to Hong Kong

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is one of the MOL’s group businesses, operating a fleet of more than 100 containerships with capacities from 4,250 TEUs to 14,000 TEUs (six 20,000 TEUs containerships will also be delivered in 2017). It also covers the world through its comprehensive network and provided close to 80 weekly services. The MOL Group’s turnover reached US$15 billion for FY2014 (as of March 31, 2015).

There are approximately 4,400 staff in the liner business, of which more than 680 are based in Hong Kong headquarters. They work in six group companies for the headquarters, regional headquarters, local agency, IT subsidiary and logistics businesses. In the headquarters, there are over 190 employees who are responsible for global functions including cargo space management, network planning, chartering, marketing and sales, container procurement and management, marine operations, etc.

MOL Liner’s data centre has been set up in Hong Kong as a mirror back-up to the one in the US. The Chief Information Officer of MOL Liner has also relocated to the city.

Human Capital

Faced with a volatile operating environment and an uncertain global economic situation, the company’s key strategies are to streamline costs and raise service quality, for example, by ensuring on-time arrival and providing friendly and value-added responses to customers. In this respect, the availability of talent plays a key role.

According to Junichiro Ikeda, President & CEO, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, one of the major reasons for choosing Hong Kong is the availability of trained people: the maritime, logistics and supply chain degree / diploma courses provided by the local universities ensure a steady supply of quality graduates. Other key advantages include the city’s well-established history as a maritime transport hub, its proximity to growth markets, excellent infrastructure, efficient government and ease of compliance.

“Hong Kong is our natural choice,” Ikeda said.

About 20 staff relocated from Tokyo in recent years and Ikeda himself has spent half of his time in Hong Kong and Tokyo respectively since late 2012. He finds the city a very comfortable and safe place to work and live.

Friday, October 16, 2015

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Fast Facts

  • Established in 1884 and headquartered in Tokyo
  • Close to 950 vessels and more than 10,000 staff worldwide, of which around 4,400 are in the liner business

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