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MSC CEO tells TPM23 conference:

“The global nature of trade will prevail”

Speaking for the first time at this year’s Transpacific Maritime Conference known as TPM23, MSC CEO Soren Toft gave a detailed overview of the company’s continued growth, expectations for economic recovery, and efforts to realize sustainable shipping.

Taking place in Long Beach, California, the annual TPM conference is one of the largest and most consequential events for the supply chain and logistics industry. It was the first full-scale physical-only gathering for TPM since the COVID outbreak.

“The world has seen through the supply chain crunch just how important the logistics and shipping industry really is – we keep global trade moving,” Soren said in an interview with the Journal of Commerce’s Peter Tirschwell. “It has really displayed the fundamental role that we have, and customers are now thinking about how to make their supply chain as resilient for the future.” 

On the back of the pandemic – which Tirschwell declared to be “over” as he opened this year’s event to a record 3500 participants – supply chains and the freight market have normalized and the global economy should see some improvements in the second half of the year, according to Soren.  

Container shipping will serve as the bedrock for the growth of international trade and commerce, and “global trade will prevail” despite the disruptions of COVID and geopolitical factors, Soren remarked. “The world will continue to be globalized, but with a more distributed supply chain,” he said. 

MSC has invested significantly in renewing its fleet in recent years and will keep on injecting billions of dollars to ensure it can continue to be a long-term partner for customers, Soren said. As “first and foremost” a shipping company, MSC prefers to operate its own ships and will likely see the proportion of chartered tonnage in its fleet decline in the coming months, as well as sending some older ships to be recycled. 

Overall, the impact of improving the operational efficiency of the fleet to comply with the UN IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) may absorb 7-10 percent of the world’s container shipping fleet capacity, he said.

When asked about the company’s future plans, Soren acknowledged that MSC’s desire to serve the whole market differs from the stated strategy of some other carriers. “We define ourselves on what the customer wants, not on what we want to offer,” he said. The company remains committed to long-term partnerships, and investments that look far into the future, he added, declining to disclose specific details of the company’s strategy.  

For more information:
Mediterranean Shipping Company
12-14 Chemin Rieu Geneva
CH-1208 - Switzerland 
Tel.: +41 22 703 8888
Tel.: +41 22 703 8787

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