Saturday, January 12, 2008 Launched

Two-dozen container shipping companies on Thursday launched a publicity drive to showcase the industry's crucial role on the global economy to a wider audience.

The Container Shipping Information Service initiative was unveiled in London by Maersk Line Chief Executive Officer Eivind Kolding and Adolf Adrion, Hapag-Lloyd's executive board member.

One of the first steps is a new Web site,, that contains a history of containerization and highlights its impact on globalization and the environment and security, among other things. The 24 participating companies will invest more than $1 million each year as other projects are being planned to take it "beyond the Web," said Adrion, who is also chairman of a variety of industry groups including the Far Eastern Freight Conference, World Shipping Council and the Box Club.

Adrion and Kolding conceded the liner industry has remained publicly silent for too long and that it generally only registers in the public consciousness when things go wrong such as when a ship is involved in an accident.

"The choice of goods that consumers have and their availability is largely down to the container shipping industry," Adrion said. "However the wider world is not, on the whole, aware of this. So it is important that as an industry we make them aware of this and explain the wider role and impacts that our industry has on the world."

The London event was attended mainly by shipping journalists. But executives from a number of the participating carriers will over the next few days reach out to the mainstream media.

Companies participating in Container Shipping Information Service are: Atlantic Container Line, China Shipping, CMA CGM, COSCO, Crowley Maritime Corp., Compania Sud-Americana de Vapores S.A.(CSAV), Evergreen, Hamburg Sud, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, "K" Line, Maersk Line, MISC Berhad, Mediterranean Shipping Co., MOL, Neptune Orient Lines/APL, NYK, OOCL, Pacific International Lines, United Arab Shipping Co., Wan Hai Lines, Yang Ming and Zim.

Wow...the shipping lines are finally getting into the 21st century! And along with that, they are dealing with a sharp sense of fear...that all those leviathan class size boats could soon be ghost ships. 2008 is going to be a wild year!

Happy New Year!