For the past eight years Mediterranean Shipping Company, one of the world"s leading global shipping lines, has called The Bahamas home and over time has tranformed the way that thousands of companies throughout the country do business.
MSC Bahamas is a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., a privately owned company which has its roots in Geneva Switzerland and as of June 2008 has been operating 393 container vessels with an intake capacity of over a million TEUs (Twenty Equivalent Unit) a year.
When MSC Bahamas began its services in 2001, they began with a staff of only 3, offering six service options through the Freeport Container Port with an annual volume of less than 700 thousand shipments. General Manager of MSC Bahamas, Manuel Ruiz, can personally attest to the tremendous growth of the Bahamain company. ?Nowadays? he says, ?we have 14 services through Freeport with a volume of over 1.4 million moves a year? using the Freeport Container Port as the major hub of operation.
In the most recent years Mediterranean Shipping Company has also begun shipping to several new regions as well. ?We have opened new connections from Freeport to the Caribbean, and Central America? Ruiz says. ?Earlier this year we officially opened our Nassau offices, giving us but especially Bahamians greater access, to over 270 port destinations. This means they have greater buying power with greater access to cheaper markets,? Ruiz noted, ?plus consolidating the shipping means less cost for buyers.?
Ruiz credits the success of the company to the expansion of globalization around the world, ?the idea is that you can reach more ports with less vessels, and decrease the traffic time to many destinations.? He added that ?the most economic way to transfer goods is through ocean transfer and because of that, MSC has facilitated growth averaging 30% annually world wide.?
The success of Mediterranean Shipping Company has also translated into success for the Freeport Container Port which is one of Grand Bahama"s largest employers. ?The tremendous growth Mediterranean Shipping Company has had in the past few years has more than augmented the output of containers at the Freeport Container Port? says Ruiz. ?The container port directly employs approximately 860 persons and indirectly the number is about 200 persons,? he says, ?while not their only client Mediterranean Shipping Company is one of the company"s biggest clients and therefore one of Grand Bahama"s largest contributors.?
Due to the companies continued success in Grand Bahama and the demand of the Nassau companies for their service, MSC Geneva opted to expand to Nassau in late 2007. ?Our new port expansion into Nassau gives us a direct service to Nassau from South Florida twice a week,? said Alex Paine, MSC Nassau Manager, ?due to our expanding requirements we are looking into expanding this service to three times a week!?
Because of MSC"s huge international presence in the shipping market Nassau retailers can now connect with over 270 ports world wide, and Mediterranean Shipping Company is the only company in the Nassau market that can ship in the five (5) continents under one Bill of Lading, saving the consumer much needed transshipment costs. ?Despite the fact that we are headed into a global recession" noted Paine, ? Mediterranean Shipping Company has decided to keep investing in The Bahamas and especially in the Nassau market, which gives clients more choices in their shipping needs and at the end of the day cheaper shipping rates.?
Paine noted that since their official opening in January with the Prime Minster and a majority of his Cabinet on the MSC Lirica, one of the company"s cruise ships, business has steadily increased. ?I think having a major carrier calling directly to the Nassau market has caused an increase in competition among the shipping lines? commented Paine, ?which should stimulate better customer service and rates for all ? a win, win for consumers.? We have seen this increase translate into rapid growth for us and our skeleton staff of 3 has increased to nine at the end of July 2008.
MSC has not only had great business success over the past several years but has joined the list of corporate sponsors donating to key causes throughout the country. ?We contribute every year to the Grand Bahama Children"s Home and we contribute through Rotary to several other charities as well. We"re not doing it to get our names in the paper, but because they"re needed,? says Ruiz. ?At the end of the day, we are part of the community,? he says ?the community is built and developed by the people that live in it, so it is vitally important to us to continue to contribute both from a business and a philanthropic standpoint.?
With all this in mind Ruiz ended that ?MSC is here to stay, we have been embraced by The Bahamas and we look forward to our continued growth here. When I came her in 2001 we had 3 staff, now we have fifty two with a growing need for more, I think you can safely say we are here to stay!?
Photo 1: Pictured at Arawak Cay is the MSC Bahamas, which sails twice a week to Nassau from Port Everglades, Florida on Monday"s and Thursday"s. MSC Bahamas began its services in Grand Bahama in 2001 and expand to Nassau in late 2007. MSC"s international presence in the shipping market means Nassau retailers can now connect with over 270 ports world wide under one Bill of Lading, saving consumers much needed transshipment costs. MSC is looking into expanding its current route to three times a week and has already begun increasing its Nassau staff to accommodate this need.
Photo 2: Just making it under the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco is one of MSC's many shipping vessels. MSC currently ships to over 270 port destinations world wide, "for Bahamians this means they have greater buying power with greater access to cheaper markets,? says General Manager of MSC Bahamas, Manuel Ruiz, he added that ?consolidating the shipping means less cost for buyers.? Right now the most economic way to transfer goods is through ocean transfer and because of that, MSC has facilitated growth averaging 30% annually world wide.
Photo 3: MSC Bahamas began its services in Freeport, Grand Bahama in 2001, with a staff of only 3, offering six service options through the Freeport Container Port with an annual volume of less than 700 thousand shipments. Today, MSC Bahama offers over 14 services through Freeport with a volume of over 1.4 million TEU moves a year. Due to the companies continued success in Grand Bahama and the demand of the Nassau companies for their service, MSC Geneva opted to expand to Nassau in late 2007.