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MSC CEO addresses COVID-19 pandemic

MSC CEO addresses COVID-19 pandemic
Diego Aponte

MSC has introduced new solutions to help its customers navigate and adapt to the COVID-19 disruption, group president and CEO Diego Aponte has explained in his letter addressing the pandemic.

In anticipation of a resumption in demand, MSC has offered advance storage posts at some of the world’s leading transhipment hubs to help shippers begin moving goods early.

Aponte wrote: “The spread of COVID-19 has created a public health issue unprecedented in our lifetimes, triggering an unexpected shock for societies and economies.”

In Europe in particular, MSC is helping shippers use its short-sea shipping networks to avoid new land-border blockages put in place by governments’ essential action to curb the movement of people.

The shipping and logistics service provider is drawing on intelligence from 155 countries to identify new travel and port restrictions, curfews, and so on, through its internal information sharing system.

Aponte begun introducing travel restrictions within the company in January 2020 and has had a record number of MSC employees working remotely from home.

This includes people in its offices in China, starting in January, and subsequently in MSC’s headquarters in Geneva and many locations around the world.

Many of MSC’s customers are utilising its online booking platform myMSC, for which the company is actively prioritising upgrades to the e-business solution.

Aponte said: “At the same time, switching on from home is not an option for many of our people – our seafarers who navigate our fleet of 550 container ships; the drivers of trucks, trains and barges; dockworkers; handlers of goods at our depots and warehouses; and our vigilant port captains and terminal operators around the globe.

“We salute them all, and many others like them, for their unwavering dedication.”

On top of the services it is offering to shippers at this time, MSC has also “gone the extra mile to be of help” in other areas.

It has converted a passenger ferry vessel from Grandi Navi Veloci, part of the MSC group, into a floating hospital for victims of COVID-19 in Italy – one of the worst affected countries.

Aponte added: “While the situation is clearly becoming more intense in parts of Europe and the US, we are seeing some glimmers of hope in the Far East.”

China has seen early signs of recovery from COVID-19 after the lockdowns eased, factories have started working again and goods have started to flow.

Aponte noted that MSC, a global diversified group of companies with a stable financial position across its various business, remains in a position of long-term strength.

“When the calm eventually comes after this storm, I hope we will collectively be stronger and wiser from this experience and better prepared to tackle life’s challenges,” he added.