MSC has unveiled a flexible cargo service to help customers prepare for the resumption of demand of a variety of goods from Asia once the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
The Suspension of Transit (SOT) programme provides customers with container yard storage at six global transhipment hubs to ensure that goods can be shipped close to their destinations as soon as possible.
While positive signs of recovery have begun to emerge in Asia and factories have restarted production, major ports of destination may still not be ready to discharge containers.
MSC’s new SOT programme aims to fulfil the resuming demand for raw materials and finished products from Asia by providing yard storage at major strategic points around the world.
The transhipment hubs to be used are Bremerhaven in Germany, Busan in South Korea, King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia, Lome in Togo, Rodman PSA Panama International Terminal in Panama, and Tekirdag Asyaport in Turkey.
The programme is aimed at all shippers for containers from Asia and all types of cargo, except reefer (refrigerated cargo), dangerous goods and project cargo (such as large, out-of-gauge pieces of heavy equipment that do not normally fit into containers).
According to the shipping line, there are potential cost savings for customers faced with high warehousing storage costs at destination, demurrage, per-diem and other charges.
It will also free up space at origin factories and warehouses and avoid excess inventory at site, bringing cargo closer to destination markets and alleviating the risk of congestion or closure at ports of discharge.
The lead time will be reduced once operations resume at destination ports, and the programme will also add storage for beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) and non-vessel owning common carriers (NVOCCs), who would otherwise reach their full capacity.